SEAT IBE concept car
SEAT is wholly owned by Volkswagen
2nd March, 2010
- Dynamic concept for urban mobility
- Stunning evolution of design DNA
- Electric drive with 75 kW (102 hp) for zero-emissions driving
- Continuation of efficiency strategy
- Development of electric car expertise in Spain under SEAT leadership
Spain's SEAT is delivering a powerful statement with a compact sports coupé that carries stunning
design and great driving fun into the age of electric mobility. The SEAT IBE concept car uses the
zero-emissions drive of the future in a sporty and dynamic concept for urban mobility, while the
clean, 'athletic' styling of the IBE concept offers an exciting perspective on the ongoing
development of the next generation of SEAT design. Powerful proportions and a precise, clear design
language define the continued evolution of the Spanish brand’s design DNA.
Short, low and wide, an extremely low front-end and broad 'shoulders' – at first glance, the SEAT
IBE displays the proportions of a classic sports car. Yet, it interprets this style genre in an
innovative and unique manner – in a compact vehicle optimised for youthful living in urban areas.
“With the IBE, we are demonstrating that, for SEAT, electric mobility will always be combined
with excellent design and outstanding driving fun,” says James Muir, President of SEAT, S.A.
“The IBE is in the best SEAT tradition of always offering the boldest and most youthful cars in
its class. On top of that, our first electric concept car represents the continuation of our strategy
for the future; after the huge success of the highly efficient ECOMOTIVE models, we are now working
intensively on electric mobility; and that includes plug-in hybrid drive, as well as an all-electric
The IBE concept car delivers an enticing perspective on the ongoing development of SEAT design.
The pure forms, the precise lines and the exact surfaces depict a consistent and unique design
language that clearly sustains the SEAT identity in all its modernity. “The IBE is like a
concentrated gene pool for our next generation of vehicles. It will have a clear impact on all our
models.” says SEAT Chief Designer Luc Donckerwolke. “And it also represents a promise for the
future of the automobile – even with electric drive, design will still be exciting and driving will
still be fun; at least, in a SEAT.”
The SEAT IBE is 3.78 metres long – making it more than 25 centimetres shorter than an SEAT Ibiza
- but its unusual breadth of 1.80 metres and overall height of only 122 centimetres lend it classic
sports car proportions. Another classically sporty feature of the two-door layout is its extremely
low bonnet and its long roof line. The short front overhang and 'muscular' rear end with almost no
overhang work together with the 19 inch wheels to underscore the car’s powerful and compact look.
The front-end is characterised by full-LED headlamps that are as sophisticated in their design as
they are distinctive. They bear the characteristic V typical of SEAT’s so-called “arrow design”. The
entire front-end takes a powerful V form that then carries on through the bonnet. The two air intakes
in the lower bumper section are ample for the relatively low cooling requirements of the electric
drive. The SEAT logo is located on a trapezoidal functional surface. The alternative drive enables
an extremely high degree of consistency in the design – because the compact electric motor and its
power electronics require less packaging space, it was possible to stretch the V-shaped bonnet a lot
flatter across the front end than would have been possible with an internal combustion engine.
The side profile of the IBE emphasises its powerful stature – its broad 'shoulders', its sculpted
flanks with a distinctive cut-in behind the front wheel, and the large wheels featuring an
aerodynamically optimised five-spoke design all serve to underscore the dynamic look. The tyres, on
the other hand, with their 175 format, are far from extreme – with their low rolling resistance, they
contribute to the high efficiency of the electric concept car. The roofline stretches rearwards, with
the side glass surfaces kept low.
The rear-end picks up the characteristic form of the front and reinterprets it. The rear light
clusters featuring LED light guide technology once again display the “arrow” thematic with a hint of
a diffuser beneath the rear bumper area reflecting the visual of the front air intakes. The entire
vehicle is completely free from ornamentation – good design needs no decor. Every single line has its
function in structuring the volumes and surfaces of the car; every 'muscle' emerging from the form
emphasises the sporty design. The reduction of forms, their consistent application and the precision
in every detail are fixed elements of the SEAT design philosophy – and will be even more evident in
With its manageable dimensions, its agility and dynamics, the SEAT IBE is the perfect fit for city streets.
Tightly cut as a 2+2-seater, it is conceived for youthful lifestyles. It has plenty of space for a couple,
while also offering capacity for four. The long roofline ensures good interior headroom, while still
retaining space for luggage or leisure equipment.
“SEAT has set itself the challenge to develop new concepts for new mobility demands in large
cities,” says Frank Bekemeier, who is Executive Vice President for Research and Development at SEAT.
“The IBE is a zero-emissions vehicle, which is becoming increasingly important in many areas, and is
optimised for future information systems. With its compact dimensions, its great manoeuvrability and high
degree of usability, it is the perfect fit for the multi-faceted demands of a young target group.”
The SEAT IBE is an all-electric vehicle that generates zero local emissions. The drive motor is located
together with the power electronics beneath the extremely flat bonnet, with the lithium-ion battery
positioned in the car’s very short rear. With a maximum output of 75 kW (102 hp) and 200 Nm of torque, the
power unit delivers exactly the kind of dynamic driving fun suggested by the exterior styling. The city dash
from 0 to 50 km/h takes only 3.4 seconds; within 6.3 seconds, the IBE has reached 80 km/h, and after only
9.4 seconds it arrives at 100 km/h. This impressive performance is a function not only of the powerful
off-the-line characteristics of the electric motor, but also the low weight of the SEAT IBE, which tips the
scales at only 1,000 kilogrammes.
The continuous power rating it limited to 50 kW (68 hp), with the top speed pegged at 160 km/h – which is
more than enough to cut an impressive figure even on urban motorways. Battery capacity is 18 kWh, which is
plenty to cover all the daily mobility requirements of city life. It goes without saying that the SEAT IBE
is equipped with the latest safety and communication systems and, in particular, is prepared for car-to-x
communication. Within the information network of the future, the SEAT IBE exchanges data concerning status
or safety alerts directly with other vehicles or the traffic infrastructure.
SEAT is a vehicle manufacturer with a particularly high degree of expertise in environmentally friendly
technologies. Recent years have seen fuel consumption systematically reduced across the individual model
ranges, with SEAT ECOMOTIVE emerging to enjoying enormous success on the market as a brand for exceptionally
high-efficiency vehicles. The pinnacle is the Ibiza ECOMOTIVE, which, despite its powerful 59 kW (80 hp)
output consumes only 3.7 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres and emits only 98 grammes of CO2 per kilometre.
SEAT continues to expand the ECOMOTIVE range, with the Leon, Altea, Altea XL and Alhambra also set to
receive exceptionally low-consumption TDI variants.
The next step in the SEAT strategy is the Leon Twin Drive ECOMOTIVE. Its drive is derived from a
combination of an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. Yet it is far more than a conventional
hybrid; it is a plug-in vehicle. Its lithium-ion battery can be charged at a regular electrical socket and
has a range fully-charged of around 50 kilometres. For longer trips, the internal combustion engine takes
over. The first series production version of the Leon Twin Drive ECOMOTIVE is planned for 2014.
The development target is the all-electric vehicle, with the SEAT IBE concept car serving as a taster.
At the same time, the IBE marks the start of a targeted project for the promotion and development of
electric mobility in Spain. The Cenit VERDE initiative brings together the capabilities of 16 leading
technology companies and 16 leading universities and research establishments.
With its expertise in research, development and production, SEAT has taken over the industrial
leadership of this project. Support by the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation (CDTI), the company
will explore, develop and establish the fundamental requirements for electric mobility. The objective is to
explore technologies for the production of electric vehicles in Spain and for the establishment of the
“This project is very important for Spain, for its technological development, its future perspectives
and its industrial network,” says Frank Bekemeier, SEAT Executive Vice President for Research and
Development. “The initiative is one of the most ambitious challenges faced by this country. With the
SEAT IBE concept car, we are providing this process with very clear impetus.”