I haven’t finished covering every hall of the Palexpo yet, alternating between going out for “war” and posting in the press centre, but so far, the SEAT IBe is one of the concepts that caught my eye. Low, wide, squat, and free from the severe “criss-cross” lines of the current range (which I personally dislike), the IBe could be VW’s Spanish subsidiary’s rival to the Scirocco. Although its 3.78 m length is 250 mm shorter than an Ibiza, the IBe measures 1.8 m wide and is only 1.22 m in height. The showcar’s 19-inch wheels also look good with almost zero overhangs beside them.

Unveiled here by managing director James Muir (right) and chief designer Luc Donckerwolke, the IBe is a zero-emissions electric vehicle powered by lithium-ion batteries. With a max output of 102 bhp and 200 Nm of torque, the IBe completes the century sprint in an unexceptional 9.4 seconds, although the 0-50 km/h time of 3.4 seconds suggest good point and squirt acceleration. Top speed is limited to 160 km/h.

An electric powered SEAT should be quite far away, since the brand only plans to launch its Leon Twin Drive plug-in hybrid in 2014. For now, SEAT has a popular range of diesel powered Ecomotive cars, the best of which (Ibiza Ecomotive) achieves 27 km/l and 98 g/km of CO2. More pictures after the jump.

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