Design Analysis – 2014 SEAT Ibiza CUPSTER


The 2014 GTI Wörthersee event brought out a few exciting concept reveals: including this very playful Ibiza.

If any car’s namesake location points to its mission, it would be this concept!  Why?  Ibiza (say: eeee-beee-thhaaa) is the Cancun of Europe.

Sunny party people flock to this semi-trashy island resort to escape the grey, rainy winters across Europe.  They dance to all the latest club bangers, contract some STDs (worth it!), then march home — back to the real world.

Would this CUPSTER make sense in just resort mode, or in real life?

It does not really matter: the car is just a showpiece for SEAT (pronounced SAY-aht)’s design team.  Unique details center on the glasshouse and full removal of all the normal roof and pillars.  The windshield is cut in height a full foot lower than the stock supermini, with a sharp and glam edge. Just the tinted glass forms the window-tops and the top of the windshield itself, removing all the clutter of a normal roofline.  Visually, some cabrio’s can hide their upper glass metal for the windshields. But none are as bold as this extreme cutoff.

The chop-top look continues around the side of the CUPSTER, where its window glass continues down in a straight line — terminating well behind the two seats up front.  Sharp twin peaks for the tonneau cover in back match the glass angle elegantly.

No back seat here, and no roof whatsoever on the CUPSTER, but the concept does wear a cool and chic new trunk spoiler — cut right into the normal hatch.

Design-wise, the look of the CUPSTER is hurt by its mission to share all middle and lower bodywork from the production car.  A deep bodykit and sill extensions would help ground the car — helping it look lower and more aggressive than the somewhat high-riding look of the actual concept.

The results look low and mean and trendy, and perfect for resort hotties.  Will they enjoy the drive?

The CUPSTER gets its name and powertrain from the top CUPRA Ibiza model, so it will be quick enough to give anyone sex-hair in minutes on the highway.  The CUPSTER mounts its two seats 2.8-inches lower than the stock hatchback, too, which might be the most production-feasible tweak in this tropical dream.



SEAT Ibiza CUPSTER – open to the max, fun to the max

  • Show car displays the Ibiza in its most emotional form
  • Ibiza CUPRA provides the basis for the dynamic two-seater
  • New Leon CUPRA Black Edition and CUPRA Performance Pack
  • Big SEAT Show with highlights like car tennis and the party boat

SEAT Ibiza CUPSTER – open to the max, fun to the max

Reifnitz, 28/05/2014 – At the 2014 Wörthersee Treffen, SEAT is showing a completely new interpretation of the most successful model in the company’s history – the SEAT Ibiza CUPSTER celebrates the Ibiza’s 30th birthday with maximum open-air fun. A low wrap-around screen and the complete absence of a roof make the CUPSTER a radical pocket rocket for driver and passenger alike. The highly dynamic basis is provided by the Ibiza CUPRA with a 132 kW / 180 PS TSI power unit and DSG dual-clutch gearbox.

The show car is the focus of the SEAT presence at the legendary GTI meet in the Austrian state of Kärnten. The CUPSTER is accompanied by the hottest members of the new Leon family, the Leon CUPRA Black Edition, CUPRA Performance Pack and the Leon Cup Racer, the racing machine for SEAT’s new single-make series, the Eurocup.

SEAT is also offering an exciting fringe programme for fans of the Spanish brand, with highlights such as car tennis with real cars. The organisers of this year’s 33rd GTI Treffen are once again expecting significantly more than 100,000 visitors over the four days of the show.

“The Ibiza has always been the heart of SEAT – a young, dynamic car with an emotional design, a good head for the practical things in life and excellent value for money,” says Jürgen Stackmann, President of SEAT S.A. “At Wörthersee, we are celebrating the anniversary of our most successful model with the unique Ibiza CUPSTER and, of course, with a great programme.”

“With its flat silhouette, powerful proportions and low seating position, the CUPSTER is the resolute embodiment of SEAT’s dynamic brand values. In design and in sporting character, the CUPSTER is the ultimate Ibiza variant – and it delivers driving joy in its purest form,” stresses Dr. Matthias Rabe, Vice President of Research and Development.

Ibiza CUPSTER – radically open

Every Ibiza captures the imagination with a design that is as emotional as it is dynamic – and cited by customers as one of the most important reasons for buying the Spanish brand’s most successful model. SEAT Design has created a surprising reinterpretation of this design language for the Ibiza CUPSTER: While the body shell is largely the same as that of the series-production model up to the shoulder line, everything above it is radically open.

The two-seater fun car has no roof whatsoever; and even the classic front windscreen has given way to a low, wrap-around strip of glass. Nevertheless, the driver and co-driver are well protected – thanks to the seating position, which is 70 millimetres lower than in the series-production car. As the CUPSTER, the Ibiza has completely new proportions – wide, low and even more powerful. The steering wheel is clad with an especially sophisticated type of leather – pure aniline leather is coloured all the way through, without a layer of pigment, making it open-pored, very supple and wonderful to the touch.

The one-off created and built by SEAT Design is resplendent in “New Orange” paintwork formulated specifically for it. The dark grey cover behind the classic double-bubble style seats looks almost like an island in this sea of bright orange. The interior is purist and based on the Ibiza race cars from the Ibiza Trophy run in several European countries. Minimalist instruments and black Alcantara upholstery for the cockpit, low-slung racing bucket seats make for a real racing feel.

There is also no shortage of performance – after all, the CUPSTER is based on the Ibiza CUPRA. And that means a powerful 132 kW / 180 PS from the 1.4 TSI engine, super-fast gear changes thanks to the DSG transmission and precision sports running gear with 18-inch wheels.

About The Author

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of, an innovative and rapidly expanding automotive news magazine. He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank. Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)