It’s 1984, we’re in the era when the only smiley faces we know are the ones printed on those over-sized XXL t-shirts and the winds of change are blowing. The world is on the threshold of a new wave of globalization that will unite cultures and markets in ways never seen before. In Spain, a prime example of this is born: the SEAT Ibiza, 100% SEAT and the first car produced as an independent brand, would be in charge of seducing countries and consumers beyond the Spanish borders.


Robust, with a spacious interior and revolutionary straight lines, the SEAT Ibiza is officially presented to the press in the spring of 1984 and had Number 1 written all over it. Both a petrol and diesel versions are launched with a 4-cylinder in-line engine and a Weber carburettor. Designed by the legendary Giugiaro, the creator of other top-of-the-chart themes like the VW Golf, while the prestigious firm Karmann engineered the chassis. But the best sound of the SEAT Ibiza was hidden underneath the bonnet: its impeccable System Porsche mechanics. It had power door locks, electric windows and a sunroof, which made it a pretty desirable car back in the 80s.


SEAT Ibiza's climb to the top, however, didn’t take off until months after its launch. And it didn’t hit Spanish dealer showrooms until later that year, ready to be driven by young fans.

This first SEAT Ibiza triggered the internationalisation of the brand and for many years was its Greatest Hit. Historically it has been SEAT’s biggest export car and its calling card in many countries.

After 30 years and more than 5 million units sold over its 4 generations, the SEAT Ibiza has gone from being that danceable song of the summer to an all time favourite in its own right.

Know more about SEAT's historic models in the new Digital Museum