In the week the new SEAT Exeo saloon and ST officially launch in UK showrooms, ambitious Spanish motor maker SEAT is underlining its intention to compete in other new sectors of the car market with first details of an exciting addition to the SEAT Ibiza line-up.
The forthcoming SEAT Ibiza ST, illustrated here with a concept design sketch, is destined for UK showrooms next year and becomes the third distinct body style in the Ibiza model family - joining established big sellers the practical SEAT Ibiza 5dr and sporty SEAT Ibiza SC.
The unveiling of the attractive ST is, however, not SEAT's first entry into the supermini estate segment: it follows the SEAT Cordoba Vario which debuted in showrooms here in 1998.
This time around, the compact estate offering promises even more style, comfort and practicality thanks to the exceptional creative efforts of SEAT design chief Luc Donckerwolke.
The ex-Lamborghini man, who has introduced SEAT's new trademark Arrow Design concept on cars such as the latest generation SEAT Ibiza and the new SEAT Exeo, is again working to deliver a healthy dose of much-needed sporting SEAT style into a traditionally dowdy market sector.
The rationale behind SEAT's latest new car is as confident as its design. Speaking recently SEAT S.A. President Erich Schmitt said: "Customers want attractive, top quality vehicles regardless of whether times are good or bad. That is why we are launching ten new models that suit customers' tastes this year, thereby positioning ourselves for better times.
"Next year we will be launching the third variant of our successful Ibiza model, a wagon version, which we will be producing here in Martorell. This will be the Ibiza ST."
More precise details of the new model will be revealed closer to its launch, although SEAT is confirming that it will include a selection of engines not currently offered in the SEAT Ibiza.
Head of SEAT UK, Peter Wyhinny, said: "The addition of a great-looking, sporty and practical Ibiza ST to our fast-growing range is a very exciting development.
"It will, I'm sure, find significant appeal across a broad spectrum of UK drivers and I'm very much looking forward to its arrival in 2010."Published 6 March 2009