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Review (2/2)

Seat IBL to Shape the Future of Seat Sports Saloon Vehicles

Source: Seat | Published: Tue Sep 13, 2011

(continued from the previous page)

Hallmark Seat Interpretation of Saloon and Coupé

Now, with the IBL, Seat is turning its attention to the reinterpretation of the sports saloon. With its powerful proportions derived from a generous wheelbase of 106.7 in (2710 mm) and an overall vehicle length of 183.9 in (4670 mm) - plus its flowing, dynamic roofline - it almost belongs in the four-door coupé category.

In any event, the Seat IBL fits into a premium, individual lifestyle that sets great store by clarity and quality, technological excellence and precision dynamics.

After the IBE and the IBX, the new IBL concept car delivers a further, enticing, perspective on the continued development of Seat design. The pure forms, precise lines and exact surfaces of the IBL depict the distinctive design language that not only sustains the modernity of the Seat identity, but also clearly strengthens it.

Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, the new Head of Seat Design, explained: 'IBL is all about emotion. Love at first sight. But this first impression is something that is meant to last thanks to its timeless, elegant, design.'

As a further evolution of this new design strategy, the IBL also demonstrates how well it works when applied to a car in the upper medium class. The Seat IBL is a crossover in the very best sense of the word - it combines the elegance, spaciousness and utility of a classic saloon with the athletic look and dynamic line of a powerful sports coupé.

'The IBL was created from the unique design DNA that will prevail right across our next vehicle generation,' says Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos.

'The IBL is certainly more than a saloon; it is the Seat interpretation of a very sporty four-door. With it, we are also demonstrating that we can apply our elegant dynamics and our youthful character to a full-size vehicle concept, too, making it unique and unmistakable.'

Based on Powerful Proportions

At 183.9 in (4670 mm) long and 72.8 in (1850 mm) wide, the Seat IBL falls into the full-size saloon category. Its long wheelbase of 106.7 in (2710 mm) gives it short overhangs front and rear, and enables powerful proportions - the essential basis of every good design.

At the front, the IBL is distinguished by the familiar 'arrow' nose, the classic core element of Seat design. The front end features the arrow form, with a clear centre line along the bonnet. The grille also bears the characteristic, five-sided arrow shape, expressed here in a very wide, flat form.

'We are very satisfied with the result achieved. Under the skin of a sporty vehicle, the IBL offers a surprising degree of ergonomics with comfort and practicality, thanks to the use of the latest technologies in materials and processes,' says Dr Rabe.

LED Headlamps as Light Sculpture

The full LED headlamps are designed as sharp strokes: precise in their appearance and state-of-the-art in their function. The individual segments of this light sculpture fulfill the various lighting functions, ranging from a main beam with variable illumination, to indicators, to daytime running lights.

The air intakes low down on the front end take a fine, linear form. They are evocative of the design of an electronic circuit board, creating a visual connection to the zero local emissions electromobility that the IBL commands perfectly as a plug-in hybrid. The air intakes are designed in black and red and framed with fine chrome lines that emphasize both the vehicle's breadth and its premium character.

'Our engineers successfully combined the spectacular design of the head and tail lights fully integrated into the bodywork with innovative light functions,' said Dr Rabe.

Muscular Profile

The profile of the Seat IBL is dominated by its mighty wheels - at a diameter of 20 inches and with a sophisticated design featuring single and double spokes, they are not only extremely sporty, but also pleasingly elegant.

Their stature is further emphasized by powerfully defined wheel arches - the entire car seems to grow towards its wheels with the extremely muscular flanks firmly fixed to the road. The dynamic line running the full length of the flanks and the chrome line around the greenhouse add taut visual length to the side view.

Details such as the small fold-out door handles and the aluminum feet of the exterior mirrors bear testament to the consistently minimalist approach. The Seat IBL is form at its purest level, the essence of Seat design.

Luxuriously Sporty Ambience

Clean, minimized to the essential, exceptionally precise and premium in its look-and-feel - this is the Seat IBL interior philosophy. Innovative technology and perfect execution come together here to create an ambience of relaxed and luxurious sportiness. Light, matte leather dominates the surfaces and brings breadth and a lightweight feel to the generously proportioned interior of the four-Seater. Contrast is offered by leather surfaces in clear, sporty black and trim elements in the rich red of the exterior paintwork. The form of the dashboard, which almost seems to hang suspended in space, further adds to the impression of lightness.

Driver's Cockpit

The cockpit is clearly oriented towards the driver. A one-piece, curved glass surface covers the complete instrument panel all the way to the secondary display in the centre of the cockpit. The main display behind the steering wheel is fully digital and can be programmed to suit the driver's preferences. Information can be presented either in the form of classic analogue dials or as a digital readout.

Mr Mesonero-Romanos said: 'The interior of IBL is in total harmony with its exterior design. It is definitely a place where you want to be, and to be seen.'

Information System

The information hierarchy and color choice can be selected from three programs - 'Travel' for relaxed driving, 'Sport' for concentrated driving fun or 'Efficiency' when the focus is on the fuel efficiency of the plug-in hybrid drive. The second display in the centre of the dashboard is dedicated to the extensive communications and information systems.

The navigation system, for example, incorporates data from Google Earth and real-time traffic information into its route recommendations. The information systems are operated intuitively via two touch pads integrated into the steering wheel spokes.

Draught-Free Air Conditioning

Particular attention has been paid to perfecting the car's climate control technology - virtually the entire upper side of the cockpit is conceived as large-surface air vent, facilitating draught-free ventilation. Targeted air flow is handled via individual air channels, integrated into the displays. The air channels have been designed with precisely executed frames machined from solid aluminum. They stand as symbols for the passion with which even the tiniest detail on the Seat IBL has been designed and executed.

Seat IBL Concept: Photo Gallery, Review (1/2) and Specifications

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