Tag: Italdesign

By on December 7, 2018

It seems to be a prime week for frightening headlight arrangements. Following all hands being turned to stone after casting their eyes upon the LT-trimmed 2020 Silverado HD, we learn this Italdesign creation will be entering production next year.

Dubbed the “Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign,” it’s obviously based upon the R35 GT-R. In addition to its alarming front fascia, the company has also upped the power ante to 710 horses.

And, oh yeah – it’ll set you back a cool million.

(Read More…)

By on June 21, 2018

The flying car repeatedly proves itself as the dumbest idea since the industrial revolution kicked off. With the exception of takeoffs and landings, aircraft don’t need roads and automobiles aren’t really engineered for the sky. They’re typically far too heavy and have aerodynamics intended to keep them on the ground. A good car does not make for a good plane, and vice versa.

While a few flying cars do exist, they’re really just airplanes modified to allow for car-like earthbound driving. Functional, but not particularly effective on the road. That’s why the industry is shifting toward designs more akin to helicopters. The newest trend is to supersize drones and affix them to the top of lightweight self-driving automobiles.

That appears to be the direction Audi is headed in its partnership with Airbus. But surely this is engineering at is most masturbatory. If you’ll excuse the pun, these kinds of projects never really get off the ground. We see concept designs, hear some lofty promises, and then nothing ever comes of it. Moller International has been working on its SkyCar for decades and now the company is trading at a penny per share with nothing to show for itself but a concept capable of covering a couple feet from the pavement.

What does Audi have that’s so different?  (Read More…)

By on December 1, 2016

1971 Lamborghini LP500 Prototype, Image: Bertone

Though it may seem hard to believe, we’re only a month away from celebrating the 50th anniversary of the start of the Wedge Era in automotive designs.

To those of us who still think of the Countach as a sharp enough design to be considered cutting edge, this is a sad reality. Yet the prototype of what would become the 1980s poster child was first shown in a hard-to-conceptualize 1971.

The influence of the angle extended far beyond the Countach in the 1980s. It also started before the scissored doors opened on the stand in Geneva in 1971 and was seen in many more marques than just those wearing the Raging Bull. Even more impressive than its age is the reach of these designs, some of which are still being refined today. So, let’s take a look at some of the interesting and influential doorstop shapes and where they later found a home.

(Read More…)

By on November 4, 2016

1978 BMW M1 (E26), Image: BMW

It should come as no surprise that some of the most iconic automobile designs have interesting associations in their geneses. Where those associations come from, though, can sometimes be surprising, as companies leapfrog the globe trying to find the talent, technical expertise, and productive capacity to build a new or unique model.

These stories seem to pop up more often when there’s a shift in a company’s priorities or an attempted to redefine its direction or mission. Large organizations can be slow to adjust to these changes, and so often these major manufacturers turned to small teams to produce what have often become standout models from already legendary lineups.

Often, but not always, as we see in this montage of odd couples.

(Read More…)

By on April 10, 2016

Alfa Romeo Disco Volante Spyder, Image: Touring Superleggera

The Italian coachbuilding industry took a massive hit during the latest global recession. Storied marques such as Bertone disappeared into the ether under the crushing pressures of debt and a shifting automotive industry that had become more self-sufficient.

Now, some eight years after the beginning of the recession, the Italian coachbuilding industry is making a fantastic comeback — albeit, at a cost.

(Read More…)

By on May 25, 2010

Last week we told you that Volkswagen could announce this week that they would buy Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Italdesign. Sure enough, they did. At a joint press conference held today in Turin, both companies announced that Volkswagen Group will take a 90.1 percent stake in IDG. That buys them the company lock, stock and barrel, including the brand name rights and patents. (Read More…)

By on May 19, 2010

When I did my first copywriting jobs for Volkswagen in 1973, I heard to my great amazement that the Passat wasn’t designed in Wolfsburg. It was designed in Turin (“Isn’t that where Fiat is?” “Don’t ask stupid questions, Schmitt”) by someone called Giorgetto Giugiaro. Lo and behold, the Golf thereafter looked a little bit like the Fiat 128, but nobody cared. Volkswagen and Giugiaro‘s Italdesign worked together ever since. Now Volkswagen will buy a controlling stake in Italdesign, if industry sources who whispered it to Automotive News[sub] are not totally mistaken. If the deal happens (and an announcement could come next week), Volkswagen will formalize old friendships. (Read More…)

By on January 19, 2010

There’s a lot happening in the world of cars these days, but few stories are as compelling as the emergence of two rival US-based firms created by two former bosses of the Chinese automaker Brilliance. At face value, both Hybrid Kinetic Motors and Greentech Auto are little more than visa scams: neither attempts to hide the fact that their fundraising plans involve a US Visa program (EB-5) which allows citizenship to foreign nationals who invest a half-million bucks in an American business. For additional scam warning points, both firms purport to use mythical hybrid engines and plan factories with annual capacities of a million units. But as easy as it is to simply write these firms as Chinese visa hucksters grifting the good folks of such towns as Tunica, Mississippi and Bay Minette, Alabama, they keep showing up in the news with stories that predecessors like ZAP would have given their stock-price-boosting-press releases for. To wit: the latest news that Alabama hopeful Hybrid Kinetic Motors has signed a half-billion dollar deal with Italdesign-Giugiaro, the largest order in the famed design house’s 42-year history.

(Read More…)

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