Life can be pretty tough for the youngest brother; Chinese burns, dead arms and hand-me-down clothes are just some of the indignities heaped upon those unfortunate enough to be last out of the womb.
When the brother in question is Seat and the cast-offs include Volkswagen’s 1.8T engine, however, it’s hard to muster any sympathy. Having built virtually its entire brand around the turbocharged 20-valve unit, the Spanish firm is poised to beat Ford, Vauxhall and Citroën to the punch once again by launching a new turbocharged 150bhp Ibiza hatchback called the FR. At £13,500 it slots neatly between the 2.0 Sport and the forthcoming Cupra flagship, and – crucially – should undercut all its rivals when it goes on sale later this month.
So, what’s with the FR tag? Seems that Cupra Sport, the independent tuning company that owns the Cupra name, has laid down the law. From now on, only cars that have actually been fettled by the firm can wear the CupRacing badge, creating the need for a new intermediate, Seat-tweaked category: Formula Racing (FR).
Under the Ibiza’s bonnet sits the same 150bhp Euro4-compliant engine found in the entry-level Audi TT, connected to a five-speed manual ’box. Seat has also stiffened the spring rates (up 25 per cent at the front, 10 per cent at the rear compared to the Sport’s) and installed a thicker anti-roll bar between the front wheels, which now wear 205-section tyres.