The 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, which opened today for the press, has seen VW’s Spanish brand’s present the SEAT IBL concept car.
With an overall length of 183” it’s seemingly based on the VW Jetta platform but shows SEAT hasn’t abandoned the large sedan market, despite struggling to sell its existing Exeo sedan range in Europe.
Following the brand’s previous IBE and IBX concepts, this latest car has tried to interpret SEAT more adventurous design language into a larger sedan.
According to Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, the new Head of SEAT Design, “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.”
At the front, the IBL is distinguished by the familiar ‘arrow’ nose, which is highlighted in a clear centre line along the hood as well as the grille that also bears the characteristic, five-sided arrow shape, expressed in a wide, flat form. The full LED headlamps were designed as sharp strokes. The individual segments fulfill the various lighting functions, ranging from a high beam with variable illumination, to indicators, and daytime running lights.
The air intakes low down on the front-end take a linear form, said to be evocative of an electronic circuit board, creating a visual connection to the zero local emissions of the plug-in hybrid powertrain.
The profile of the IBL is dominated by its 20” wheels with sophisticated single and double spokes that emphasize the well defined wheel arches. The dynamic line running the length of the flanks and the chrome line around the greenhouse add visual length to the side view.
Details such as the small fold-out door handles and the aluminum feet of the mirrors bear testament to a minimalist approach.
To create a relaxed and luxurious interior ambience, the designers used light, matte leather. It’s contrast by sporty black leather and trim elements in the rich red of the exterior paintwork.
The dashboard, which seems to be floating, further adds to the impression of lightness.
The information hierarchy and color choice of the dashboard can be selected from three programs – ‘Travel’ for relaxed driving, ‘Sport’ for concentrated driving or ‘Efficiency’ when the focus is on the fuel efficiency of the plug-in hybrid. A second display in the center of the dash is dedicated to the extensive communications and information systems.
The navigation system, for example, incorporates Google Earth and real-time traffic information. The information systems are operated via two touch pads integrated into the steering wheel spokes.
Particular attention has been paid to the car’s climate control technology, where the entire cockpit was conceived as large-surface air vent, facilitating draught-free ventilation. Targeted air flow is handled via individual air channels, integrated into the displays. The air channels have been designed with precisely executed frames machined from solid aluminum.