Seat Ibe

The basic form of this car is almost as attractively pudgy as the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Zagato of long ago, but the IBE has been ameliorated and pointed up -- literally and figuratively -- with sharp, clear lines that provide visual interest and disguise its front-wheel-drive proportions. Not spectacular, it was nonetheless one of the best concepts at the recent Paris show.


1. The roundness of the basic form is easily observed by looking across to the opposite side or by standing behind and looking at the profile falling away.

2. The break line in the hood is just right, simply the intersection of two volumes, with no raised or lowered section involved, often referred to as "like the crease pressed in trousers."

3. The slight joggle in the upper windshield perimeter line provides visual interest with no loss of visibility for the driver.

4. Yes, this concept is an electric car, but this grille opening is big enough for an internal-combustion engine's extreme cooling needs.

5. This diagonal strut provides a nice counter to multiple lines running the opposite way, providing two triangular openings that could cool the front brakes.

6. The headlamp cluster expresses the central decorative design of the IBE-sharpness juxtaposed to what is finally a rather soft basic form.

7. The hard surface break line derived from the outboard edge of the headlamps turns toward the center, softening slightly to a radius below the symbolic grille.

8. Notice that the biggest spaces in the wheels are defined as curved-edge triangles, completing the theme on the side view.

9. These softly rising lines are basically parallel and are in opposition to those above and below them.

10. Parallel horizontal lines, one the base of the body, the other a surprising rib, serve to make the body seem longer than it is.

11. Also purely horizontal is the rib that grows out of the rear quarter panel, providing a shoulder above it and a shadow beneath, all around the back end of the body.

"GM's infamous Fortune cover cars"???I'm not familiar with this infamous reference. Can someone enlighten me? I have searched the covers of Fortune magazines from the '80s and can't find anything regarding GM.

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