ITALDE­SIGN: 50 YEARS OF IN­FLU­ENCE

Autocar - - INSIGHT -

con­sul­tancy that would chal­lenge the Ber­tone and Ghia car­rozze­ria that Gi­u­giaro had pre­vi­ously worked for, as well as Pin­in­fa­rina.

Italde­sign’s first job was to de­sign the Al­fa­sud for Alfa Romeo. Un­usu­ally, the brief was to en­gi­neer the en­tire car too, this turnkey project vin­di­cat­ing the pair’s de­ci­sion to pool their tal­ents and of­fer a ser­vice that ran far deeper than styling.

That ex­per­tise would en­able Italde­sign to shape the look of much of the road traf­fic vis­i­ble on Euro­pean streets dur­ing the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s through the Fiat Panda, Uno and Punto, the Volk­swa­gen Golf, Scirocco and Pas­sat and count­less other mod­els. Italde­sign’s in­flu­ence ran fur­ther than that, too, with many of its con­cept cars prov­ing hugely in­flu­en­tial.

Th­ese in­clude the Lan­cia Me­gagamma, which repack­aged its oc­cu­pants to sit them more up­right, re­leas­ing more us­able in­te­rior space within a given cabin length – a tech­nique adopted by var­i­ous MPVS and the Fiat Uno.

An­other land­mark was the Isuzu Pi­azza, a pro­duc­tion coupé that was a near-to­tal re­pro­duc­tion of the 1979 Ace of Clubs con­cept. This car melded Gi­u­giaro’s in­ge­nious so­lu­tion to the usu­ally messy butting of doors to wings, ‘A’ pil­lar and bon­net while hid­ing the drip rails, the re­sult cre­at­ing a smooth whole. That may not sound much, but it was fiendishly com­pli­cated to en­gi­neer and is pos­si­bly the most con­sis­tently copied so­lu­tion he has pro­duced, be­ing widely ev­i­dent to­day.

More re­cently, Italde­sign has engi­neered both the Audi Q2 and Q3 for pro­duc­tion. This is the kind of highly de­tailed, turnkey work that is the op­er­a­tion’s bread and but­ter.

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