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Frankfurt 2011: Seat IBL concept
This is the Seat IBL concept car, and this is how the next generation of Seats will look.
The four-door concept saloon aims - perhaps a bit too ambitiously - for the upper-business class (think BMW 3 Series) and is said to combine “the elegance, spaciousness and utility of a classic saloon car with the dynamic line of a powerful sports coupe”.
Temper your excitement though. Seat has struggled to shift its ageing Exeo, and you have to ask whether Europe really needs another sporty-four-door-saloon-coupe with a driving emphasis.
Seat says the IBL isn’t a precursor to a new sports saloon, but merely an opportunity for the company’s designers to play with the idea of a premium-ish four-door, a design idea that will be later find itself into the Seat line-up.
It measures 4.67m long - a tad longer than a BMW 3 Series - but with a similar wheelbase to the Munich sedan, features LED headlamps fully integrated into the body and 20in alloys wheels. Inside Seat has made merry with light, matte leather, while a one-piece curved glass surface covers the instrument panel in a cockpit aimed at the driver.
Drivers can also manually programme individual preferences into the main digital display behind the steering wheel, such as the shipping forecast or the weather in Holland, while three driving modes can be selected in the central display: ‘Travel’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Efficiency’. That last hints at the drivetrain of the IBL, with Seat only noting that it has a “plug-in hybrid drive”.
Since you have been gifted with enough wisdom to click on this page, you’ll no doubt have an opinion of your own on the design - for our money the IBL looks smart enough, no doubt.
Have a wander through the picture gallery and then regale us with your thoughts, below. Should Seat be rolling out a sporty four-door using “the latest technology that the VW group offers”?