64th Frankfurt International Motor Show 2011 Seat IBL Concept Car

Sep 13, 2011
Author: Evgeniy Sherstobitov
Photos: Seat
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Seat continues the development of its design DNA: the new Seat IBL concept car showcases the Spanish brand‘s unique and consistent design language in the shape of a sports saloon with an exceptionally dynamic and self-confident look-and-feel. The Seat IBL combines clean, minimalist exterior design with an innovative, premium interior that clearly conveys its quality and precision.

“The IBL shows that sports saloons within the Seat brand portfolio will play an important role in future. However, this concept car does not pre-empt a specific model, but rather shows the design philosophy we are applying to bring the unmistakable Seat identity to a saloon car, too,” says James Muir, President of Seat, S.A. , “The IBL is the perfect representation of Seat brand values – with its distinctive look, its precision and its premium feel. Over the next few

years, Seat will embark upon a product offensive that will see the spirit of the IBL reflected in several series-production models”.

The IBL completes Seat’s series of concept cars that define the genetic pool for the ongoing development of Seat design. Laying the groundwork, the IBE compact electric sports coupé was highly acclaimed and received plenty of positive feedback. The IBX that followed showcased the new DNA code of Seat design in a completely different vehicle architecture – a crossover between SUV and sports coupé.

¨In Seat´s Technical Centre (CTS) we have combined the latest technology that the Volkswagen  Group offers with our design language to achieve products as exciting as the IBL,¨ says Dr. Rabe Vicepresident of R&D at Seat.

Now is the turn of the IBL and its reinterpretation of the sports saloon. With its powerful proportions derived from a generous wheelbase of 2.71 metres and an overall vehicle length of 4.67 metres, plus its flowing, dynamic roofline, it almost belongs in the four-door coupé category. After the IBE and the IBX, the new IBL concept car delivers a further, extremely 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.

“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,¨explained Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, the new Head of Seat Design.

“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.”

¨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.

The full LED headlamps are designed as sharp strokes, extremely precise in their appearance and state-of-the-art in their function. The individual segments of this light sculpture fulfil the various lighting functions, ranging from the 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.

The sideline of the Seat IBL is dominated by its mighty wheels – at a diameter of 20 inches and with their sophisticated design featuring single and double spokes, they are not only extremely sporty. Their stature is further emphasized by powerfully defined wheel arches – the entire car seems to grow towards its wheels; 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. The small fold-out door handles and the aluminium 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. There is no room here – and no necessity either – for decoration without function.

And the same applies to the rear end, too – the LED lights are also cut extremely sharply; with segments of the arc fulfilling the various light functions. The bumper is indicated by just a character line, while a piece of chrome trim also serves to underscore the horizontal, the breadth – as does the finely sculpted rear diffuser.

Very clean, minimized to the essential, exceptionally precise and premium in its look-and-feel – this is a fair way to describe the interior philosophy. 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, is a further aspect that adds to the impression of lightness.

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 freely programmed to suit the preferences of the driver. Information can be presented either in the form of classic analogue dials or as a digital information system.

Says Alejandro Mesonero: “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”.
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