While for those who want a downsized Golf, VW offers the Fox in South America and the slightly bigger Polo in Europe, the old continent also had a more exotic choice for the last three decades. It's time to celebrate, Ibiza style!
The first generation Ibiza was a very important car for Seat when it came out in 1984 mostly because it was the first model they developed independently under Volkswagen's umbrella after tearing up all the papers that linked them to Fiat for 34 years.
Their work was guided by Karmann and the engineers of Porsche, the body was styled by Italdesign and that combination became such a hit that the Spanish sold 1,308,461 units until 1993.
The following generation was once again penned by Giorgio Giugiaro, and while getting bigger and more powerful, Seat also managed to race the kit car version in the WRC in the 1996, 1997 and 1998 seasons. 1,522,607 left the factory until 2002, and the first Cupra from 1996 with the 2.0-liter 150 hp engine is a true modern classic by now.
The third Ibiza was Walter de'Silva's child, who was easily the hottest designer in the automotive industry at the time thanks to all his brilliant designs at Alfa Romeo before Ferdinand Piëch brought him to Seat. Sales were slightly down at 1,221,200 units, but this car was only sold for six years.
The current Ibiza has been with us since 2008, and if you like its looks, thank Luc Donckerwolke, who you might remember from his live chat with us last week.
Cheers Luc, and happy anniversary to all the four-wheeled Spaniards out there!