Don’t be fooled by the musicals, the rain in Spain falls on the coastline too.
Marbella in October can be precipitous and to be fair, this was the only day it rained during my recent visit, so I’m not complaining. The Irish are used to getting wet anyway, so I was hardly going to let a drop in atmospheric pressure interrupt my ongoing quest for a green car. However, while pounding the streets, I happened upon this duo and frankly, the photo rather suggested itself.
The car on the right is a second (Typ 6K according to the good people at Wikipedia) generation Seat Ibiza, first introduced in 1993 and styled (just like its forebear) by the fair hand of Ital Design under the supervision of maestro, Giugiaro.
The amount of older vehicles in service within this region of Southern Spain is both notable and laudable. A likely consequence of the overwhelmingly dry climate in the Costa del Sol (not today obviously), but also I would suggest the Spanish attitude to car ownership; which seems to be characterised by a lack of brand snobbery and a strong belief that a car is a purchase to be amortised over a lengthy period of time. Whatever the reason, it isn’t that unusual to see cars from the 1980s and ’90s in daily use, this mid-90s Ibiza being a case in point.
To its left, bedecked in blossom is its latter-day equivalent. While the Typ 6K was based on the platform of the 1994 VW Polo, it nevertheless (and in no small part to its designers) retained a distinct visual identity of its own. Today’s Ibiza however, while being an entirely well executed, sober and clean limbed shape, now looks more like a Polo than a Polo does.
Actually, I may need to rethink that comment, given the mess Volkswagen appear to have made of their latest Polo offering. These were not in evidence as yet during my Costa del Sol sojourn, but I have it on the reliable authority of Auto-Didakt’s resident styling commentator and critic that it’s a horror.
The other striking aspect of the latter-day Ibiza is its physical size, (which dwarfs its forebear), its higher beltline, (largely a consequence of safety regulations) and its dramatically smaller useful window area. The ’90s car is a veritable fishbowl by comparison. But that’s probably enough watery analogies for one day.