(from IDEA Institute
Press Release) I.DE.A. INSTITUTE PRESENTS A NEW SEDAN
presents the all-Italian SOFIA sedan at the Geneva International
Following last year’s
success, I.DE.A Institute returns to Geneva for the 80th
Show to present a 4-seater sedan designed to be powered by a hybrid
This concept car is
symbolic of I.DE.A Institute’s continued drive to renew the company,
which began in 2007. The styling by the new Design Center and the
workmanship of the model makers and show car builders have together
created this new “all-Italian” model, aptly named “SOFIA” The
sedan’s lines and shape reflect how the car is related to its
forerunner, ERA, presented in Geneva last year. SOFIA is also
inspired by the female form: its flanks, glance and elegance are
emphasised by a glamorous red dress.
SOFIA is a concentration
of sportiness and elegance. The curves are graceful, the lines
smooth and supple, the shape and profile are as enchanting and
alluring as a female figure. The front and rear light clusters
convey a captivating and inviting look.
Sculpted lines emphasise
the front and rear wings with the bird’s eye view showing off the
This latest concept car
is Italian to the core: its shape, its look, its elegance and name
instantly recognised as being synonymous with Italian styling and
The mechanical layout is
designed for an 8-cylinder engine with front or rear-wheel drive.
A hybrid configuration with an endothermic engine combined with an
electrical alternator/actuator is also possible.
I.DE.A Institute and its history
Founded in 1978 by the
entrepreneur Franco Mantegazza, I.DE.A Institute rapidly grew into a
company which could supply a whole range of services to the
automotive as well as to other industries. With its modern
headquarters in Turin, the company has expanded onto global markets
to respond to the needs of its customers and now has branches in
Europe, Asia and South America.
Since 2000, I.DE.A
Institute has been part of the Swiss multinational Rieter Group with
a 2009 sales figure of 1.95 billion Swiss Francs.
I.DE.A Institute was
created with the aim of providing a technological partnership to car
manufacturers and never to impose its own signature on the cars it
designed. I.DE.A Institute’s true trademark is the innovative spirit
that it has embodied in its approach to design and engineering for
over thirty years. It is this spirit that, at some point in their
professional careers, attracted figures of the calibre of Renzo
Piano, Walter de’ Silva and Ercole Spada.
Over the years, I.DE.A
Institute has contributed to the design of many cars for the world’s
carmakers as well as working with manufacturers in other fields such
as motorcycles, household
appliances and furniture.
The process of renewal
and international expansion launched by the company’s Chairman,
Pietro Lardini, means that I.DE.A Institute now offers its clients a
complete range of services. Its optimised working methods fully
respond to the market demand for a flexible, integrated workflow.
I.DE.A Institute’s services cover the entire product development
process: from the initial concept, through design, engineering, the
construction of 1:1 scale models and running prototypes, right up to
start of production.
characteristic of I.DE.A Institute is its systematic application of
a Cost Engineering
methodology to every phase in product development. This achieves the
best possible balance between technical aspects and cost in order to
fully meet project targets.
During its history,
I.DE.A Institute has worked with the world’s major carmakers
supplying design, engineering and prototyping services as well as
complete turnkey projects.
The Fiat VSS (sub-system
vehicle), Fiat Tipo, Nissan Terrano II and Daihatsu Move are just a
the many vehicles that have been designed by I.DE.A Institute. In
more recent years, in addition to its major European clients, the
company has also worked with rapidly growing carmakers from China,
such as Changan and Hainan. I.DE.A Institute has also been a key
partner in the development of the most important low cost cars on
the world market today.
The company has also
worked with well-known names in other fields of activity such as
Hoover/Candy, Bialetti, Ariston, Indesit, B&B and Nordica, to name
but a few.
With the expansion of
I.DE.A Institute onto new markets and the opening of a new branch in
Brazil, the company is currently engineering cars for important
manufacturers in South America. The development of the Design Centre
in Turin has seen more young designers joining the company and
investments being made in Computer Aided Styling technologies. This
means that the company can now respond more dynamically to the
requirements of the market by further shortening development times.
The team of designers is also working on concept and show cars which
will soon make their debut at major Car Shows around the world.
The new organisation at
I.DE.A Institute is centred on a new management team of young,
motivated people. The ideas of the young designers, modern
technologies, the competence and
technical skills of the company’s expert “historical” modellers are
the strengths of the new I.DE.A
Institute. Activities begin with the concept ideas, drawings and
computerised renderings through to surface drafts, engineering and
feasibility studies, right down to prototype construction.
The expansion of the
Design Centre and investments in state of the art Computer Aided
Styling mean that the team now focuses not only on Design and
Styling but also on benchmarking, trend analysis and advanced
design. The company’s focus is on providing its clients with a
comprehensive package, not just styling or a model but a complete
service. In addition to vehicle design, I.DE.A Institute is also
working on projects for other industrial products and on interior
Industrial design and interior
experience extends also to other fields of industry. The company’s
design services and skills are available to manufacturers of a wide
variety of everyday objects. The Design team reinterprets function
and takes a new look at shape while paying close attention to
ergonomics and recyclability.
In the home furnishings
sector, I.DE.A Institute is working on projects with world-renowned
names such as B&B Busnelli, Alcantara, Bialetti, Ariston and Indesit.
I.DE.A Institute also takes part in international competitions in
interior design and architecture.