Vijay Pattni24 July 2014

First look at the new Seat Ibiza

Seat claims a design ‘revolution’ for fifth generation supermini, which goes on sale in 2017

Here's your first look at the upcoming fifth generation Seat Ibiza, snatched from a suit-filled presentation last night. It's the bottom one. Not that much to go on, we agree, but then the car is still a long way off.

This all came about at an event celebrating 30 years since the very first Ibiza was launched way back in 1984, and each of the supermini's designers were present to talk up the new car.

Current Seat design chief Alejandro Mesonero noted: "it will be an opportunity to redesign an icon. It will be a revolutionary design, not just because the market demands it, but also because it has to set itself apart from the Leon."

Information at this early stage is limited, not least because they're still playing with the current Ibiza, which Seat admitted has got lots of life left in it. And while the design lines of the new Ibiza will change, "its character won't. It will look like it's moving at standstill, but will still clearly look like an Ibiza."

In fact, former Seat and Lamborghini design chief Luc Donckerwolke, said the new car had to be a revolution. "There's nothing worse than making a global car design," he said. "The global car was one of the worst ideas ever, and I'm glad it's finally disappearing."

He later explained to TopGear.com how "people have learned the lessons of globalised design [one car design for the world], it's a thing that comes from logistics and simplification of the project, but it's actually counter-productive for design and for the market.

"We're not being asked to have a car that fits everybody - you have to fight that as a designer. You cannot be mainstream, because that means nobody notices you anymore," he added.

Another former Seat design chief, Walter de Silva - who now heads up the entire VW Group design - hinted to TopGear.com how the connectivity of the new car would be key. The man behind the very first Ibiza told us: "We are looking at lot at how the younger generation operate, at interconnectivity and new technologies coming in. They need a car that is fun to drive, but also functional too."

It's going to be on sale in 2017. Plenty of time for us to get some better pictures for you.

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