Seat is dead? Not at all: The brand delivered 288,400 vehicles worldwide in 2023 (2022: 232,700), which corresponds to strong growth of 24.0 per cent. Cupra recorded 230,400 deliveries. Would more have been possible in the past? Hardly any well-known concepts from the factory's own collection have piqued our interest.

The Seat Ateca "Mattracks" with tracks instead of wheels, which can be seen on our cover photo, is particularly striking. It was produced for a media presentation in 2017 to mark the Ateca Snow Experience. A set of snow chains produced by Mattracks replaced the wheels of an Ateca 2.0 TDI 4Drive with 190 PS. Raised and widened, its natural habitat is the snow, but it is authorised for road use.

Gallery: Special Seat models from the Ibiza Cabrio to the tracked Ateca

Open-top cars are always attractive, but the current situation for fresh-air fans is poor, as the announced demise of the VW T-Roc Cabrio shows. But there were also better times, such as the 1980s. Back then, an Ibiza Cabrio was created based on the first generation of the Ibiza. The purity of the lines of this 2+2-seater without a roll bar originated from the Italdesign studio. That is, the company of Giorgio Giugiaro, who was responsible for the design of the Ibiza at the time.

Seat Ibiza Cabriolet

Seat Ibiza Cabriolet

Why the stylish car was not launched on the market remains a matter of speculation. It is possible that Seat needed all its capacity to build the successful normal Ibiza. It is also possible that parent company Volkswagen did not want to jeopardise the Golf I Convertible, which was built until the early 1990s, with the chic Spaniard. The sales opportunities would also have been questionable, as the Seat brand was still relatively unknown outside Spain.

Seat Ibiza Cupster (2014)

Seat Ibiza Cupster (2014)

Seat Marbella Pick Up

Seat Marbella Pick Up

Let's jump back to 2014: that was when the Seat Ibiza Cupster was launched, a striking and elegant speedster with a low windscreen and humps at the rear. Even after the 850 Spider from 1969 (a licence build from Fiat), the time was not yet ripe for Seat to bring a model with an open roof into production.

The Seat Marbella Pick Up, on the other hand, was about to be built. It was a simpler and more practical version than the Marbella Playa concept, which also did not go into production. The most striking element was that the loading area was only separated from the cab by a protective grille. Unfortunately, anyone looking for practicality always had to fall back on the Seat Terra.