SEAT Ronda

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SEAT Ronda (022A)
Seat Ronda Front.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer SEAT
Also called SEAT Málaga hatchback
Production
  • 1982–1986
  • 177,869 produced
Assembly Spain
Body and chassis
Class Small family car
Body style 5-door hatchback
Related SEAT Málaga
Fiat Ritmo
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,448 mm (96.4 in)
Length 4,011 mm (157.9 in)
Width 1,650 mm (65 in)
Height 1,400 mm (55 in)
Chronology
Predecessor SEAT Ritmo
Successor SEAT Ibiza
SEAT Ronda 100 Crono, side view

The SEAT Ronda (codenamed 022A) was a small family car produced by the Spanish automaker SEAT from 1982 to 1986, and styled by Rayton Fissore in collaboration with the Technical Centre in Martorell. The Ronda was also briefly sold in the United Kingdom as the SEAT Málaga hatchback. 177,869 Rondas were built in total.[1]

The SEAT Ronda was a restyled SEAT Ritmo which in its turn derived from the Fiat Ritmo, however the Arbitration Chamber of Paris declared in 1983 that differences between those cars were important enough so as not to consider the Ronda as a rebadged Ritmo. The most visible external design differences between a Ritmo and a Ronda are rectangular headlights on the Ronda in place of the round ones featured on the Ritmo, different tail lights and panels, and changed door handles. Mechanically, there were also some differences.

The Ronda featured a boot capacity of 370 litres which could be increased to 1,250 litres by folding rear seats.[2][3] It was introduced with locally built engines from the 124 series or a larger twin cam 1.6 (Crono 100), as well as a 1.7 liter diesel unit. Later, a version of Fiat's two-liter engine with a Porsche-developed head was also installed in the rare Ronda Crono 2.0 model. Only 800 of these were built.[1]After a fall 1984 facelift, the Ronda received the same "System Porsche" petrol engines as did the Ibiza. The car was now called the Ronda P and carries a stylized "P" on the rear side.

Powertrain[edit]

The engines were:

Ronda[4] (Petrol, 1982-1984)

  • 1.2 1197 cc 64 PS (47 kW) 92 N·m (68 lb·ft)
  • 1.4 1438 cc 75 PS (55 kW) 113 N·m (83 lb·ft)
  • 1.6 1592 cc 95 PS (70 kW) 124 N·m (91 lb·ft)
  • 2.0 1995 cc 120 PS (88 kW) 175 N·m (129 lb·ft)

Ronda P (Petrol, 1984-1986)

  • 1.2 1193 cc 63 PS (46 kW) 88 N·m (65 lb·ft)
  • 1.5 1461 cc 86 PS (63 kW) 116 N·m (86 lb·ft)

Diesel (1982-1986)

  • 1.7 D 1714 cc 55 PS (40 kW) 98 N·m (72 lb·ft)

The dispute with Fiat[edit]

SEAT Ronda, rear view

1982 saw the end of almost 30 years of co-operation between SEAT and the automaker Fiat. In order to conform with the end of partnership agreement signed by the two automakers, SEAT had to quickly restyle its entire model range to be able to offer its models on sale, distinguishing its cars from those of the Italian firm. This was marked by a change in SEAT's brand logo and the first car launched without Fiat involvement, the SEAT Ronda, appeared that same year.

Emelba also built a boxy commercial van version of the Ronda

The launch of that model though sparked a lawsuit from Fiat against SEAT, as the former claimed the car was still too similar to a car in Fiat's own range, the Fiat Ritmo. In defence of SEAT, the then president of the company, Juan Miguel Antoñanzas, showed a Ronda to the press with all the alterations from the Fiat Ritmo painted bright yellow, to highlight the differences. An El País journalist who covered the trial claimed that the result was spectacular.[5]

The case was eventually taken to the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Paris which in 1983 declared that differences between the cars were sufficiently substantial for the Ronda not to be judged as a rebadged Ritmo, ending the dispute in favour of SEAT. This also meant that SEAT was free to export the Ronda, although the car never sold particularly well outside of Spain.[5] Rumour at the time had it that Fiat was angry because the Ronda restyling was in fact too close to their own planned restyling for the Fiat Ritmo, which they had to scrap.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Der Porsche-Seat" [The Porsche-Seat] (in German). Stern.de. 2013-10-01. Retrieved 2014-03-23. 
  2. ^ SEAT Ronda P http://www.uniquecarsandparts.com.au/car_spotters_guide_europe_1984.htm
  3. ^ SEAT Ronda 1.2 GL http://specificaties.autotrader.nl/CarSpecifications/Details?modelId=1047&versionId=1534
  4. ^ Lösch, Annamaria, ed. (1983). World Cars 1983. Pelham, NY: L'Editrice dell'Automobile LEA/Herald Books. pp. 214–215. ISBN 0-910714-15-0. 
  5. ^ a b Glon, Ronan (2011-03-01). "The custody battle for the Ritmo". www.ranwhenparked.net.