SEAT Panda
SEAT Marbella
Seat Marbella front 20071012
Manufacturer SEAT
Parent company Volkswagen Group
Production 1980-1986 SEAT Panda
1986–1998 SEAT Marbella
Assembly Navarra, Spain
Barcelona Zona Franca, Spain
Successor SEAT Arosa
Class City car
Body style(s) 3-door hatchback
Related Fiat Panda Mk1

The SEAT Panda was a badge-engineered Fiat Panda produced by SEAT from 1980 to 1986, in the company's Landaben plant in the Spanish city of Pamplona-Navarra (from February 1980 until April 29, 1983 when its production ended in that plant) and also in the firm's Zona Franca plant in Barcelona.[1] After the break in the partnership between SEAT and Fiat, the SEAT Panda model had to be restyled and renamed.

Its restyling, the SEAT Marbella (1983-86 "Mark I" model) was produced by SEAT from 1986 until 1998 in the company's Zona Franca plant in Spain, signalising by the end of its own production in 1998 the end of vehicle production in that specific factory.[2] The SEAT model didn't receive the mechanical and cosmetic tweaks (such as the loss of front window quarter-lights) applied to Fiat Pandas (making them "Mark II") from 1986 [3].


Seat Panda 1985

Initially the car was badged as the SEAT Panda.

The obvious differences between a Panda and a Marbella are at the front and back of the car where head and tail lights and boot panels are different, the Marbella gaining a pronounced slope to the front panel.


Mechanically, the Marbella borrowed heavily from the Fiat "parts bin", using engines and transmissions from the Fiat 127. The engine is an in-line 4-cylinder with 40 PS (29 kW) and 903 cc. This proved adequate for this light car which weighed in at about 700 kg. Due to the long development history of this engine, these models are said to be almost unbreakable in normal use.


Several differently labelled models were produced during the lifetime of the car, with few corresponding significant changes in specifications. Models included L, Special, GL, and GLX. It sold well in Spain, which is where SEAT originate from.


Commercial versionEdit


SEAT Trans, front view.

Seat Terra rear 20080131

SEAT Terra, rear view.

SEAT TerraEdit

A van version of the Marbella, called the SEAT Terra, was produced in Spain until 1995 when this model was replaced from its successor, the SEAT Inca. The SEAT Terra shared the underpinnings and front of the Marbella, but its back was replaced by a large, high metal box; there was also a load rack above the cab roof. It was very popular in Spain, and was also available in export markets.

SEAT TransEdit

Before this, a van based on the Marbella's predecessor (the SEAT Panda) was also available. In much the same configuration as the Terra, it was called the SEAT Trans and was extremely similar to the Fiat Panda's commercial version [1].


Seat Panda 1980-1985 Papamobil Madrid 1982 frontright 2008-03-28 A

SEAT Panda Popemobile

In 1982 SEAT produced in its plant in Zona Franca a popemobile car, a modified version derived from the SEAT Panda, which was used during the Pope's John Paul II 1982 visit in Spain. That specific vehicle was an 'all-open-air' car with a grab handle in front so that the Pope could stand still to greet the crowds, while the vehicle was in motion.[4] In that car the Pope entered the FC Barcelona Camp Nou soccer stadium[5] driving through the assembled crowds celebrating mass for a congregation of over 121,000 on 17 November 1982.

Emelba derivativesEdit

Emelba elba 5 puertas interior

Emelba Elba 5-door

Emelba pandita 4x4

Emelba Pandita 4x4

The Spanish company Emelba produced several derivative models from the SEAT Panda among others:

  • Emelba Elba Cinco puertas (5-door), the sole 5-door version of the SEAT Panda
  • Emelba Pandita 4x4
  • Emelba Chato/903
  • a SEAT Panda equipped with a Daihatsu diesel engine
  • Emelba 127 Poker

Concept carsEdit

In the 1991 Frankfurt Motorshow, SEAT presented the SEAT Marbella Playa concept car.[6]


SEAT Panta sport

The SEAT Panda driven by Joaquim Doménech for the 'Black MotorSport' racing team.

The SEAT Panda/Marbella has taken part and won podium positions in various race events.


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