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The Ibiza Mk1 (codenamed 021A) was based on the SEAT Ronda, in turn derived from the Fiat Ritmo, with a powertrain which had been developed in collaboration with Porsche. This was the first SEAT which did not share any external body panels with any Fiat model, having been designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. This version, while it established the now classic Ibiza shape, was advertised as having "Italian styling and German engines".
It was know for having a rather quirky interior intrument layout, marked by a lack of control stalks. The indicators were operated by a rocker-switch and the headlights by a sliding switch.
In terms of size, it was larger than most superminis like the Ford Fiesta and Fiat Uno, but smaller than any small family car such as the Ford Escort and Volkswagen Golf. Styling was fairly imaginative and interior space was good, but the Ibiza was let down by suspect build quality, heavy steering and doubtful reliability.
SEAT also produced a saloon model based on the same platform, the SEAT Málaga.
In the UK, sales couldn't hope to compete with Ford, Vauxhall and Rover (or even imported brands like Volkswagen and Fiat), but the car sold well among buyers who were more interested in budget buys from the likes of Hyundai and Škoda. The Ibiza's moderate sales success gave the marque a decent platform to build on as it looked to increase sales throughout the 1990s.
In 1999 the design was bought by Chinese automaker Nanjing and was redeveloped into the Nanjing Yuejin Soyat.
Seat Exeo - Seat León - Seat Tango - Seat Tribu - Seat Altea - Seat Bocanegra - Seat Classic - Seat Córdoba - Seat Cupra GT
Check out the Seat Ibiza wallpapers and Seat Ibiza Pictures (pics) collection below: