First ever Ibiza produced on 27 April 1984 at Zona Franca factory in Spain
At this year’s Techno Classica, which will be held between 26 and 30 March in Essen, Germany, SEAT will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Ibiza.
A number of classic SEATs will be on display at the show, including a first-generation Ibiza 1.5 GLX (1984), a second-generation Ibiza GTI (1993), the third-generation Ibiza 1.4 100PS (2001), and the fourth-generation Ibiza 2.0 TDI 143 PS (2014).
Since its launch in 1984, the Ibiza has become the brand’s best-selling model with five million sales worldwide.
The Techno Classica show celebrates vintage, classic and prestige cars. This year will be its 26th meeting.
30 years of Ibiza – a historical review
1984 – first generation
The 1984 Paris Motor Show set the stage for the world premiere of the Ibiza. As SEAT’s first autonomously developed vehicle, the Ibiza was a milestone in the company’s history.
The compact first-generation model (3.6 metres long) offered a spacious interior with comfort hitherto found only in a higher class of car. SEAT worked with Italdesign, the company of Italian designer Giorgio Giugiaro, and Karmann (for the passenger safety cell) and with Porsche (for engine technology), which is why the cylinder head cover sported the inscription ‘System Porsche’.
There was a choice of engines, ranging from 44PS to 100PS (petrol) and an efficient diesel engine with 55PS. More than 119,000 Ibiza Mk I models had been sold in international markets by 1990.
1991 – facelift
In 1991 the model had a minor facelift with a redesigned front and updated interior. The Sportline version was also introduced with the final developments of the System Porsche engine (1.7-litre 110PS). The Ibiza became the official car of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
A total of 1,342,001 first-generation Ibizas were sold between 1984 and 1993.
The second-generation Ibiza was available with a choice six different engines (petrol, diesel and turbo diesel). Vehicle development was now being overseen by Volkswagen Group, giving a quantum leap in production quality. It was the first model in its class with a 90PS TDI engine.
1996 – a first with engines and launch of Cupra
In 1996, SEAT introduced a 110PS engine, which at that time was the most powerful diesel engine in this class of vehicle.
The powerful Cupra version with 2.0-litre engine and 150PS was also introduced. The model’s eagerly awaited product launch was celebrated by SEAT with the convincing triumph of the SEAT Ibiza Kit Car in the 2.0 litre class of the FIA World Rally Championship. This success was repeated in 1997 and 1998.
1999 – facelift
A new Ibiza design was unveiled at the Barcelona Motor Show with a completely revised exterior and interior. This included larger headlights and a new radiator grille. Inside, a new multi-functional display pulled together information from the on-board computer, air conditioning system and radio.
2000 – 50th anniversary of SEAT
SEAT celebrated its 50th anniversary with a new Ibiza Cupra powered by a 136PS 1.8-litre turbo charged engine. The first model in its class to be equipped with electronic stability programme (ESP).
The experience that SEAT Sport had accumulated during six years of rallying was used to develop the Ibiza CUPRA R. It was the first series-produced vehicle developed by the company’s motorsport division and was equipped with the 1.8 20 V turbocharged engine, producing 180PS.
The second generation Ibiza exceeded sales of the previous model: in total 1,522,607 Ibizas were sold between 1993 and 2002.
2001 – third generation: launch of active suspension
The third-generation Ibiza, which was designed by Walter de’Silva, boasted improved manufacturing quality, engines and driving dynamics. It was the first Ibiza to include the ‘agile running gear’ developed by Centro Técnico Martorell and set new standards for performance with diesel engines of up to 130PS.
2004 – 20th anniversary of Ibiza
SEAT celebrated the Ibiza anniversary (more than 3.3 million had been produced) with the launch of soon to become the flagship models of the Spanish marque: the FR 1.9 TDI (130 PS) and 1.8 Turbo (150 PS), and the Cupra 1.9 TDI 160 PS and the Cupra petrol-engined 180PS 1.8 20V.
February 2006 – facelift
A sporty new-look Ibiza with improvements to the bumpers and interior equipment: 18 versions of the model were on offer from five equipment levels with eleven engine options.
From 2002 to 2007, a total of 1,084,989 vehicles of the third generation were sold.
The fourth generation; a perfect synthesis of design and technology
In 2008 the fourth generation Ibiza was launched and focused on two criteria that exemplify the character of the new model perfectly: design and technology.
Euro NCAP crash test safety rating: five stars for passenger protection, four stars for child protection and three stars for pedestrian protection. No less impressive: during the Auto Bild long-term test the repair costs amounted to just 4.58 euros after a total of 103.445 test kilometres; only the number plate light had failed. Auto Bild awarded the Ibiza 1.4 16V Sport an overall score of ‘1’ and headlined the assessment with ‘Highly recommended’.
2012 – facelift
The current Ibiza followed in 2012. The Ibiza’s design had already been counted as one of the outstanding strengths of the model; customers named it as the most important purchasing criterion. The current model with its modern, fresh appearance has taken its design appeal significantly further.
With its three body options the new Ibiza is perfect for every lifestyle. The three-door Ibiza SC and the five-door Ibiza are not only masterpieces of design but with their generous interiors, luggage volumes of 284 or 292 litres respectively and variable rear seat backrests they are also well equipped for the challenges of day-to-day use. The Ibiza ST (estate) provides a particularly high-level of functionality. In spite of the sporty line, the luggage space of 430 to a maximum of 1,164 litres is surprisingly generous. There is even sufficient space here for two bicycles with their front wheels removed.
Added to this are the wide range of engines from 60 to 180PS as well as perfectly spaced manual and dual clutch gearboxes. The efficiency highlight is the Ibiza 1.2 TDI CR Ecomotive: with combined CO2 emissions of just 89 g/km and a combined fuel consumption of only 3.4 litres per 100 km it sets benchmarks for fuel efficiency and eco-friendliness. At the other end of the performance spectrum the most powerful model in the range, the Ibiza Cupra, comes up trumps with its 180PS engine and sets standards for performance and driver enjoyment. Like no other model this is the one that represents the fundamental nature of the marque. With its compact exterior dimensions and high-level of functionality it provides the perfect sporting experience for everyday use. With impressive performance: from zero to 100 km/h in just 6.9 seconds; top speed is only reached at 228 km/h. At the same time its exceptional efficiency withstands scrutiny: its standard consumption being around just 5.9 litres/100 km with CO2 emissions of 139 g/km.