The design strategy of the VW Group continues to confuse here in Frankfurt and nowhere is this more apparent than when looking at the Seat IBL concept.
Perhaps the first point should be that that it’s a very attractive and well executed piece of design. Proportionally it’s short of front overhang and long and elegant of rear; a true ‘sporting sedan’. Its surfacing is also beautifully resolved, especially around the ‘tornado line’ and its conclusion the trunk lid. However the issue is that it’s so reminiscent of Audi’s current design language that – lamp and grille graphics aside – you wonder if it’s been placed on the wrong stand in the VW Group hall.
Seat, Skoda, Audi and – to a lesser extent – VW, appear to be converging in terms of design language as well as product format, which is surprising given the possibility these brands have to spread themselves across the spectrum rather than bunching together.
Seat is keen to point out that Seat is a youthful and design-led brand and while there’s no denying this car’s design execution, its D-segment positioning and seriousness are more family man than Generation Y. But perhaps the biggest shame is the lack of national identity the IBL presents. A little more Spanish flair would be more authentic than Teutonic precision, no matter how well executed.
Posted by Owen Ready