FACTfile - Alfa Visconti (concept)
Giugiaro pens stunning concept for Alfa
The world's leading car designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro, has revealed at the Geneva International Motor Show (2 March 2004) his view of what a new flagship luxury Alfa Romeo should look like and, as the man already tasked with producing the replacement for the award-winning Alfa Romeo 156, he is in a unique position to be able to propose what Alfa's competitor for the top of the market could look like.
This is further emphasized by the fact the Alfa Romeo Visconti is built on the new Alfa Romeo Premium Platform that will also carry the replacement for the Alfa Romeo 156 and the production version of the Alfa Romeo Brera that stunned the world 18 months ago. Under the bonnet is the first sighting of a new Alfa Romeo V6 engine, a twin turbo 3.2 litre V6 with the lean burn JTS heads used in the 2.0 litre engine in the present 156. This is not a derivative of the 3.2 litre GTA engine, but the first of an all new family of V6 power units that will up to more than 400 bhp and 680 Nm of torque.
"Alfa Romeo is a marque that made a strong impression on my career as a designer," explains Giorgetto Giugiaro, who was voted Designer of the Century by his peers around the world. "The first series-produced car I designed was the Alfa 2000 Sprint. Italdesign itself was created to give life to the Alfasud project. Over now what must be almost a career span of fifty years, I found myself designing cars on more than one occasion for the "Biscione" Carmaker, sometimes by way of contract, and sometimes just for the sheer pleasure of designing a new Alfa Romeo."
"For the 2004 Geneva Motor Show, I decided to develop the shape that I felt more fitting for an Alfa flagship. Not a traditional 4-door three-volume sedan, but an almost two-volume great sports car, with a downward sloping shaped tail." The outcome is known as Visconti, a name chosen in honor of a Milan family ancestry, the coat of arms of which represents the Alfa Romeo marque. Almost a coupe five meters long - at first glance, the Visconti appears almost a 4-door coupe, albeit the dimensions, which touch upon five meters in terms of length, are those typical of a flagship.
The front is extremely sculptured and very balanced in its modeling. In the plan view the front-end, weaving from wheel-arch to wheel arch, rounds towards the Alfa Romeo grille thereby becoming a characterizing element embedded in a single curve. The front optic units are designed with flowing movement and elegance. The rear guards are a key element, placing in evidence the modeled upper section which narrows significantly thereby highlighting the majestic shape.
However, this architecture never before seen in the panorama of contemporary production is not entirely new to Giugiaro who, back in 1993 with the Bugatti EB 112, had theorized a great two-volume sports sedan. Explains Giugiaro: "The EB 112 was a true source of inspiration for the tail shape. However, as time passed, the design became so intermeshed with Alfa Romeo that any train of thought to the Bugatti disappeared, thus becoming a coherent evolution of the lines and spirit of the Brera".
"The proportions of the Visconti are indeed substantially diverse, as is the mechanical arrangement, a V6 rather than a V12 engine. Placed clearly in evidence is a more advanced interior compartment than on the Bugatti, with the windshield base becoming almost level with the center of the wheel. The downward sloping tail-end becomes one to itself, all-embracing and underscored by the powerful strength of the mighty rear guards."
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