In this concluding piece, we consider the Lybra’s appearance and ponder its ultimate fate.
So much for the underpinnings. The dealers’ main worry had been the styling, which had been a fraught process throughout. At the start of the project, proposals from the Enrico Fumia-led Centro Stile, Leonardo Fioravanti, and the I.DE.A consultancy had been evaluated. Team Fumia’s 1992 design was thematically similar to – if visually richer than – the outgoing Dedra, also marrying obvious cues from the forthcoming 1995 Y supermini. Elements of the design also reflected the Fessia era, but in a broadly contemporary manner. Overall, it was an attractive proposal, somewhat reminiscent of Peugeot’s subsequent 406, if perhaps a little derivative in certain respects. Continue reading “Tilting the Scales (3)”
Fiat gained the credit, but the 164 was a genuine Alfa Romeo, despite what some might suggest.
During an FCA presentation in 2014, the designated Alfa Romeo CEO, Harald Wester had a point to make about what he saw as the marque’s latter day decline. The visual metaphor he chose to illustrate this with was the Alfa 164, Wester going on to state that because it was driven by the front wheels, it had somehow traduced the heritage carmaker’s bloodline.
But not only was Wester quite wrong in his assertion, he also demonstrated both a disdain for his forebears and a blind ignorance of history. Dismissing the 164, perhaps the most accomplished and rounded product the troubled Milanese carmaker had produced since the 1960s, not only made Alfa’s then CEO appear foolish, it belied and diminished its achievement, particularly given the privations surrounding its birth. Continue reading “When the Poets Dreamed of Angels”
Alfa Romeo really ought to have made these lovely Pininfarina concepts – well maybe not…
By the mid-1980s, Italy’s Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale had run out of the two crucial components necessary for their ongoing custody of Alfa Romeo: patience and money. Having come bitingly close to selling the ailing motor company to Ford in 1985, Fiat swooped in and made the Italian government agency a far more palatable offer, both financially and politically. With the storied marque now a part of the sprawling Fiat empire, carrozzeria Pininfarina were quick to see the potential, and for the 1986 Turin show, prepared twin concepts for a new coupé and spider derivative, called Vivace. Continue reading “Transitory Twins – 1986 Alfa Romeo Vivace”