Ahead of its official reveal next Monday on June 26, the first-ever SEAT Arona has been spotted at a high altitude in Barcelona where the B-segment model will celebrate its world premiere. Joining the increasingly crowed subcompact crossover genre, the Arona is showing off its strong Ateca influences downsized for what will essentially be a high-riding derivative of the new Ibiza supermini.
As it's the case with other models in this segment such as the Juke, Captur, C3 Cactus, as well as the Kona and Stonic duo, SEAT will sell the new Arona with a ton of customization options. Seen here is quite possibly the range-topping FR version with full-LED headlights and a predominantly gray body contrasted by an orange roof. It sits flies on funky alloy wheels and has the typical plastic cladding on the wheel arches, side skirts, and on the lower sections of the bumpers.
A member of the growing MQB family, the Arona will inherit most of the hardware from the Ibiza, but with an increased ground clearance as one would expect from a crossover. Don't hold your breath for an all-wheel-drive version as there's a good chance SEAT will sell it only with a FWD setup. The gasoline engine lineup will likely include the three-cylinder 1.0-liter TSI rated at 115 horsepower and the VW Group's new 1.5-liter, four-cylinder TSI Evo with 150 hp on tap.
If you prefer diesels, a 1.6-liter TDI pushes out 110 hp in its highest specification in the supermini. Depending on engine, five- and six-speed manual gearboxes along with a seven-speed DSG are available in the Ibiza, and it should be a similar story with the Arona.
You can think of the Arona as sort of a replacement for the Ibiza ST wagon, which SEAT has made it clear it won't come back due to poor demand and also because crossovers are all the rage nowadays. The Arona will have to face some fierce competition, not just from the models mentioned above, but also from within the family as VW will give the new Polo the crossover treatment soon. Further down the line, the Skoda Fabia will also put on a pair of stilts.