Return on Thursday: 1984 Seat Ibiza first drive

Seat is a large brand name in these days; it produces more than 400,000 cars annually, it exports all over the world and has a market share in the UNITED kingdom, slightly less than 2%.

His Ibiza qualities was his greatest success story – and not just because the new model Mk5 landed at the top of his class. Over four generations, the Ibiza has sold more than 5.4 million samples, and the original was the car with which Seat he took his act of faith.

It was a big risk for the company that was formed in 1950 by a group of industrial of the Spanish state as Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo, on the basis of a partnership agreement with Fiat.

Seat has made its way to rebadging Fiat models or the construction of one’s own based on them until the two companies had a bitter break-up in 1982. The Spanish government has wasted no time in finding a Seat for a new partner, the signing of an agreement with the expansion of the Volkswagen Group in the course of the year.

This was in part to build Volkswagen models to export, but this place really wanted was his very own model for the world exports. However, rather than build a machine like this, or just simply a makeover of the existing Volkswagen model, has approached companies around Europe, to help.

So the Ibiza is born. It was built around adapted underpinnings from the Fiat Strada, the body was designed by Giugiaro, the Italdesign team, and his production was done by Karmann, while the design of a new engine to Porsche.

This has meant that Autocar described the August 18, 1984, as “a highly professional, complete and stimulating” the three doors of the Peugeot 205 genre.

This “careful, functional” design“, both in its original engineering sense and the modern, debased sense of styling” has been “critical”, we said.

The island of Ibiza, the engine options are the 1.2-and 1.5-liter four-cylinder Porsche petrol unit with “relatively high” power output of 63bhp and 86bhp respectively, and a 55bhp 1.7-liter diesel of its own Headquarters. All except for one, the model used a five-speed Porsche manual transmission, sending drive to the front wheels.

The suspension was “interesting”. It was conventional, at the front with springs and struts and no anti-roll bars, while the rear was quite unusual, being the “strut and lower control arm geometry, but born with a transverse leaf located in the swing arm pivots to the center, free to move vertically, constrained only towards the top, a block of ‘rubber’ that acts when it is compressed as a lowering of the limiter, so that the spring acts as an anti-roll device”.

The interior, while it lacks the touch of the Mediterranean, which we expected, it was still a little strange, with headlights, indicators and switches the wipers on the two spurs of the steering surround, leaving only the adjustment of the heating conventionally on the dashboard, even if we found this layout to work well, once you get used to the unusual positions”.

The back room was “just acceptable, with just enough head and leg room when you put the back of the front seat to suit a tall driver, and the boot space was “generous to a short queue of cars”.

The driving position was “distinctly German, which you seem to be sitting up and very much in command, assisted by those large windows and, evidently, large B-post, wonderfully ordered the round”.

“The Ibiza will be a pleasure in traffic,” we said, “because of its lack and the lack of overhanging bodywork.”

We tried the 1.2 CL model, and our driving impressions were as follows: “The engine starts easily and immediately you feel ready. By selecting the first gear, the clutch is smooth and the drive hardware have obviously been designed with attention, as a ‘shunt’ (which, in fits and starts, if you are at all clumsy with the engine) is well controlled – not always easy in a transverse engine, front-wheel drive.

“There is a slight viscosity change of gear, but that will probably disappear with use. What it is not, however, is unnecessarily large width of the doors.

“From the aerodynamic point of view, the Ibiza is quite good with the field, thanks to its good intake design, low nose, small rear top lip, some attention to the bonnet seal and higher-than-average curvature of the windshield, the pillars.” This has contributed to low wind noise at speed.

“The car seems to be potentially funny in terms of performance,” we continued. “It revs willingly and has a nice spread of power, delivered smoothly even if a little less than that in silence.

“The steering and handling feel pleasant. For a start, the Ibiza seems to be stable. It responds well to the wheel and doesn’t run much, but his stroke is excellent for a car of this weight and size.”

In view of the launch of the Home in the autumn of 1985, with the Ibiza, which sells more than 1.3 million copies all over the world, and his Malaga beauty sister, we had this to say for the small sedan of the prospects: “This first real Home should be taken seriously. In Seat terms, manana is coming…”.