· Production version of supermini estate breaks cover

· Third Ibiza silhouette significantly extends range

· New engine options enhance existing, impressive, powerplants

Making its world debut at the 80th International Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland this week, the forthcoming Ibiza ST promises space and style in equal measure.

The Spanish brand’s latest addition to the already popular Ibiza family which currently comprises both sporty SC and practical 5dr bodystyles – the ST adds accomplished load-carrying to the Ibiza’s list of attractive family traits thanks to a capacious 430-litre load bay (rear seats up).

Making its debut in the metal alongside the stunning SEAT IBE electric concept car, the production-ready Ibiza ST prepares to fight for a slice of the UK’s supermini estate market and is geared to take on the likes of the Peugeot 207 SW and MINI Clubman in the process.

In the UK, the new arrival from Martorell will debut with no fewer than five modern engines and an extensive array of equipment and new technologies.

At launch later this year, British buyers will get a choice of three petrol and two TDI diesel units with the latest common-rail fuel injection. Four of the five engines operate with direct injection and turbocharging and outputs span from 75 PS to 105 PS. Highlights include the exceptionally efficient new 1.2 TDI common rail diesel and 1.2 TSI.

Transmission options comprise both five-speed manual and six-speed dual clutch DSG automatic/sequential manual ‘boxes, while every new Ibiza ST will be offered with a combination of ventilated front disc brakes and either disc or drum rear brakes.

The new Ibiza model’s range structure in the UK will mirror that of its familiar siblings, with versions available in S A/C, SE and Sport specs.

Generous levels of standard equipment across the range, allied to the new SEAT’s undeniably elegant lines, promise to help the Ibiza ST make an instant impression. Buyers in the UK can, therefore, look forward to the availability of all manner of creature comforts.

Highlights of the ST’s standard equipment roster in the UK include, depending on model: speed-sensitive electro-hydraulic power steering; electrically adjustable, heated and folding door mirrors; electric windows front and rear; front fog lights with cornering function and climate control.

Performance is fully in line with the Spanish brand’s sporty ethos so, despite being a practical load carrier, the Ibiza ST will not be left wanting on the road. Provisional performance figures suggest a 0 to 62 mph time of as little as 10.1 seconds – for the version equipped with SEAT’s new 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS powerplant – while that same version is also capable of a top speed of 118 mph.

Provisional economy figures suggest that the Ibiza ST will be as frugal as it is practical. When equipped with SEAT’s hi-tech EU5-compliant 1.6-litre TDI CR turbodiesel with latest generation common rail fuelling the forthcoming supermini estate will be good for more than 55 mpg around town, rising to 78.5 mpg on the extra urban cycle.

Welcoming the public debut of the Ibiza ST in Geneva, Head of SEAT UK Peter Wyhinny said: ‘The arrival of our new supermini estate marks another important milestone for the growing Ibiza family.

‘This sleek, practical yet sporty new car is certain to appeal to a wide variety of drivers and I know our dealers are eagerly anticipating its UK showroom debut later this year.’

UKpricing and full specification details will be revealed closer to the car’s showroom launch.

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