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Seat IBE concept news - Geneva show: Seat IBE concept - 2010

Seat’s official company line is that this,
the IBE, is a concept coupe to show off a new VW Group modular electric drive
system. The design chief says it shows us the company’s new design language: ‘a
rolling DNA concentrate.’ There’s a lot of new-Leon in here.

The designer in question is Luc
Donckerwolke, who in his old job at Lamborghini did the Gallardo and
Murcielago. So he’s got previous. This is his manifesto for Seat.

The IDE is remarkably, er, unshowy for a
show car. No mad curves or levitating wings or rocket booster pods. But
Donckerwolke says good design is about paring stuff back. “You should design
with the minimum number of design elements. Then subtract one. So this car has
no bluff or fireworks,” he says.

What’s left after all that reduction? A
little coupe, shorter than an Ibiza but very wide, with narrow wheels. A compact electric motor snuggles
under the bonnet. The compact surface-mount LED lights are possible for
production in two years’ time.

When we first clapped eyes on the IBE, we
were a bit underwhelmed. But like many subtle things - and unlike Patum
Peperium anchovy paste - it’s definitely growing on us. The trick is to carry
the purity to production and not let it get blanded-out to make the engineering
 easier.

Donckerwolke knows this. “Design is about
battles. If I don’t have a fight every day, I don’t go home happy.” We’ve always
found him a charming fellow. But suddenly we’re glad we don’t have to work with
 him.

Paul Horrell, Consultant Editor of Top Gear magazine

See what else is being revealed in Geneva

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