SOTW: SEAT Ibiza Cupra Sport

The SEAT name might be long gone from international rallying, but back in the late 90s VW's Spanish arm was king of the stages. In the front-wheel drive Kit Car class, at least.

In fact, la Sociedad Espanola de Automoviles de Turismo actually took the World Rally Championship for front-drive 2.0-litre cars in 1996, 97 and 98 with their Ibiza Kit Car, whose greeny hue was echoed by the 'Kiwi Yellow' of today's SOTW.

For those few years, then, the fastest roadgoing Ibizas had quite a bit of performance car kudos since Kit Car regulations, although they allowed for aero addenda, wheelarch extensions and wider tracks, were essentially a production-based formula. By that logic, you can almost consider this Seat Ibiza Cupra Sport 16v to be a poor man's STi Impreza. Almost.

But there's more than a moderately tenuous motorsport connection and an oh-so-90s paint job to this diminutive hot hatch.

The combination of the same VW group A03 platform as the Mk3 VW Polo, and the 2.0-litre 150hp engine from the Mk3 Golf GTI 16v made for pretty lively performance. It wasn't generally considered to be the most polished of dynamic performers, but was blessed with a certain tenacity of spirit, willingly cocking an inside rear wheel like a dog marking its territory if you chuck it enthusiastically at a corner.

This particular car has been mildly tweaked, with uprated suspension and a stainless-steel cat back exhaust but, as modifications go, these are definitely at the more appropriate end of the spectrum. It's also still visually standard, so nobody is likely to accuse you of anything using the words 'Max' and 'Power'.

Apart from a dodgy rear bumper, this looks like a pretty clean car, too, with plenty of service history, and plenty of recent work on it. Not bad for £999. And you can even pretend to be Harri Rovanpera... though perhaps not driving like this...

Advert is reproduced below

Seat Ibiza Cupra Sport 16v (£999)
We have owned the car for the last 6 years. We spent a long time looking for the right car. Very well looked after.
It is a proper cupra sport.
Rare kiwi yellow
Half leather seats
117700 miles
12 month mot
6 months tax

good tyres all round
stainless cat back exhaust
hid headlights (white not blue.)
recent disks and pads all round
new rear wheel bearings
bilstein sport front dampers
gaz adjustable rear dampers
every thing else standard
cam belt and tensioner done at 98k
12disc multichanger
lots of history
original owners manual
ultra reliable
bad bits.
small dent on rear d/s rear arch
lacquer on rear bumper has been redone, colour is uneven. Shown in pics.
New car forces sale.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (87) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Craikeybaby 26 Jul 2012

    I had a red 16v one in 2003 my first proper car (after a metro hand me down from my folks), very rapid, but combined with understeer and my lack of talent I ended up writing it off. This SOTW has certainly made me feel very nostalgic.

  • Limpet 24 Jul 2012

    Should be half the price just for the foul colour. Shame, as it's not a bad looking car otherwise.

  • Martin 480 Turbo 24 Jul 2012

    While I can understand all the (not so) young lads,
    who get carried on a sentimental journey by this
    ad, I'd strongly advise anyone to leave the realm
    of the VAG offerings and try an italian or french
    alternative of the time.

    Even the original VW Golf GTI was a rather tame
    car, compared against the Ritmo, Alfasud or later 205.

    Adding some weight for crash protection and airbags
    while subtracting the italian styling and German built
    precision of the Golf doesn't help the Ibiza.

    This particulur example looks like an experiment in
    degrading different sorts of vinyls under UV exposition.
    What a heap.

    Martin 480 Turbo

    Edited by Martin 480 Turbo on Monday 23 July 12:14

  • JB! 24 Jul 2012

    1k is too much.

    You can get a leggy 20vt MK3 Ibiza for £1500 ish, that will see 200bhp if not already mapped.

    Plus the MK3 looks better.

    £500 yeah, 1k, no.

    Damn good fun to throw about though, especially when stiffened up.

  • gledy2 23 Jul 2012

    My mum bought one when i was 16 in 1996, a kiwi yellow 1.8 16v. I remember when she got it, the kiwi yellow ones were meant to be limited to 30 or so examples, but then they released the cupra and carried the colour on. Seat were great to her, paid for her to go to the london motorshow and go on the stand and talk to potential customers, and there were lots of other freebies too. I hated the colour to begin with, but grew so much on me as it was the first car i got to drive. I used to go shopping on a saturday with her, she would chuck me the keys and i could practice driving round tesco's carpark, think you'd be shot for that nowadays! Went like Sh** when i was 17, I loved it, and got banned in it for speeding at 17, the joys! It was great fun, especially when i raced a sierra cossie and watched it explode right next to me! I think the cossie is more of a keeper to most though, but n271 xvv is missed! Shed of the week it may be, but a kiwi yellow seat is special to me, just don't think I am £999 sentimental, and i think it would spoil the memories getting in one now and being dissappointed.

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