Seat surprised many at today's press conference during Auto Salon Barcelona. The company unveiled a production model of the Seat Ibiza Bocanegra, shown as a concept just a year ago.

Seat shocked the Auto Salon Barcelona press corps today by introducing the production model of the Seat Ibiza Bocanegra.  Introduced as a concept at last year's Geneva show, the Ibiza Bocanegra got a fitting curtain call on Seat's home turf.

At the front, you immediately notice the blacked-out portions of the front fascia, bumper, headlights, and honeycomb mesh grille.  It's the blackened front end that garnered the "Bocanegra" name.  Translated as "black mouth", the car is a bit of a tribute to the Seat 1200 Sport Bocanegra.  Based on the Fiat 127, but with a bigger engine, the 1200 Sport was produced over a five-year period.

The hatchback is powered by a twin-charged 1.4-liter TSI engine, that can be tuned to either 150 or 180 horsepower.  The company claims the engine performs well while maintaining "exceptional [fuel] economy."  Once behind the wheel, the driver controls the seven-speed DSG gearbox with the paddle-shifters on the steering wheel.  If you drive the car a bit hard, the XDS electronic limited slip differential should help you get full use of the car's horsepower.

Fog lamps are built into a non-black portion of the oversized bumper.  Follow the lines back to the muscular wheel arches to find the 17-inch Sira alloys.  The car also gets a darkened sunroof and rear window, and black side-mirror casings.  The company is also proud of the car's rear end, which incorporates mesh side grids, and a spoiler.  Bocanegra badging is featured dead-center on the hatch.

Climb inside and try to get comfortable in the quilt-patterned fabric sport seats with red stitching, and an embroidered red capital "B."  Black trim contrasts well with the red stitching, metallic touches, and aluminum pedals. A squared-off three-spoke steering wheel also has the "B" logo, this time in aluminum. 

And UK drivers get ready: a Seat Ibiza Bocanegra will also be available as a right-hand-drive.

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