Beijing 2012: Seat Ibiza Cupra concept

* Seat Ibiza Cupra Concept * In close-to-production form * Due on sale in late 2012...

Beijing 2012: Seat Ibiza Cupra concept

The Seat Ibiza Cupra Concept makes its debut at the 2012 Beijing motor show and gives a very good idea of how the range-topping hot hatch version of the new Ibiza will look.

The concept version of the Cupra is displayed in three-door SC format, and comes with a turbocharged and supercharged 1.4-litre petrol engine that develops 178bhp.

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As well as the same cosmetic changes that were introduced for the rest of the 2012 Ibiza range, it adds a few more besides. These include a distinctive LED-light signature in the front and rear lights, a broader front grille and a large, central rear exhaust tailpipe.

The black wing mirrors contrast with the bright Crono Yellow paintjob, while a small spoiler and a matt black diffuser complete the look.

Seat hasn't released any official performance figures, but a sub-seven seconds 0-62mph time should be achievable going by Volkswagen Polo GTI that carries the same engine. The concept also comes with the seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox that Seat uses in the rest of the Ibiza range, and adds an electronic differential lock and high-performance brakes to aid handling and stopping.

The production version will arrive later this year and is expected to be available in three-door SC form only. Pricing will be confirmed closer to the launch, but we'd expect a small increase over the previous model's17,905 starting price.

Tom Webster