I.DE.A Sofia concept

Turin-based IDEA Institute presented its Sofia showcar at the Geneva show, showcasing a new design direction for a hybrid-powered four-seat sedan. Shown as an exterior only model, the Sofia is a streamlined study with a sculptured hood, fenders that rise above the beltline and a dynamic shoulder leading to a pronounced rear diffuser.

At the front, a gaping grille leads to slender twin LED strips to give the car a strong, immediately identifiable DRG, slightly reminiscent to that of a current Aston Martin. The outer concave areas of the hood lead off below the A-pillar to become the shoulderline of the car, which continues to widen until it reaches the C-pillar, where it rises to disappear into the DLO. It is this intersection that appears particularly contrived, as the shoulder becomes convex and seemingly pinched beneath the C-pillar. It does however give definition to the rear haunch.

Otherwise, the model seems fairly sedate for a concept car, though it does feature interesting details such as the wraparound panel concealing an air inlet aft of the front wheelarch and a boneline that rises between the doors to underscore the DLO. This element is carried over from the top of the front fender and disappears into the side window surround. Upon closer inspection, the lightlines on the vehicle are not dissimilar to the six passenger Tesla Model S, and the Sofia is also nearly identical in its proportions.

At the rear, the visual mass of the high deck has been reduced through the implementation of a large rear diffuser and plastic expanse above. This lends a layered appearance, with the contrasting red body seemingly floating above, and elegant LED taillamps nestled into the far corners beneath recesses.

The Sofia is a large vehicle - measuring 5097mm long, 2006mm wide and 1381mm tall - that seemingly contradicts its environmental credentials in its demeanor, with an aesthetic more suitable to a sports car than a sedan. But as the Fisker Karma and aforementioned Model S have proved, perhaps this is the aesthetic required for the alternatively propelled vehicles of the near future.

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