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SEAT Ibiza Bocanegra

Stephen Dobie
7 May 2009

SEAT unveils a production version of the striking Ibiza Bocanegra with up to 178bhp

There’s good news from SEAT at the Barcelona motor show. It has made the highly praised Bocanegra concept a reality, warming up its Ibiza hot hatch and rekindling a name last seen on the SEAT 1200 Sport in 1975.

Bocanegra is Spanish for ‘black mouth’, in relation to the cars eye-grabbing front styling. The Bocanegra concept (pictured right, last three images) debuted at the 2008 Geneva motor show, preceding the production SEAT Ibiza Cupra, the styling of which ultimately disappointed in comparison to the mad concept.

Fear not, though, as SEAT has seen fit to introduce the ‘black mouth’ look for those who want a more standout hot hatch. Blackened headlights, honeycomb grilles and a gloss black grille surround are the highlights while the 17in alloys are similar in style to the concept’s, too. Inside, things look similar to the Ibiza Cupra save for the addition of stylish seats (heavily influenced by those in the concept) and a smattering of ‘B’ logos and gloss black trim providing a neat link between interior and exterior.

Performance-wise, you can choose between two engines, borrowed from the Ibiza FR and Cupra. Both are variants of the 1.4 TSI twin-charged petrol unit, which gains a supercharger and turbocharger and boasts 148bhp (FR) and 178bhp (Cupra) variants. The engine is linked to a new seven-speed DSG twin-clutch ‘box and the car also utilises the VW group’s XDS limited-slip diff, which has worked wonders in the Mk6 VW Golf GTI.

The 1970s Bocanegra was a bit of a milestone as far as SEAT is concerned, being the first model to be wholly developed at the SEAT tech centre in Martorell. It sold 11,000 units in three years and gained a bit of a cult status.

The modern-day Bocanegra will be hoping for similar success, and is set for UK sales later this year, priced from around £16K. You certainly won’t mistake it for anything else…

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