Anyone can draw a car. “It is unusual,” says his biographer Giuliano Molineri, “to find a designer whose first approach is not beauty but the production solution. 1988 Italdesign AZTEC Concept Car designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro This model debuted at the Turin show as an innovative show car and the original prototype is now preserved eternally as a part of the Giugiaro Collection. The Wedge Era in car design was characterized by angular aesthetic, such as the world-famous Lamborghini Countach, and Giugiaro pioneered this technique with his “ origami period “, dominated by sharp and edges. Back then, the city lived with the rhythm of car production lines, and new ideas flew back and forth. The engineers shared the common German opinion that Italians — particularly Italians like this one, who had designed a lot of flashy sports cars — could draw pretty vehicles, but couldn’t be relied on for serious projects. We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article. The car was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and stood out for its gull-wing doors and brushed stainless-steel outer body panels. It developed into a sleek international behemoth — “the greatest design house ever” according to at least one motoring magazine. But arguably the firm’s greatest achievement was the Delta hatchback. Italdesign would also produce radical concepts for reinventions of New York taxis, double-decker cars and the boxy Lancia Megagamma of 1978, which pioneered the idea of the people carrier years before Renault popularised it with its Espace. “People have to be excited by something new,” he says. 17 Mar 2015 Car Designer Giorgetto Giugiaro on Comfort, Curves and Drawing Tools “Lights is a kind of identification for the car, and LED is a revolution in lights, so... the front part of the car is changing completely.”. He walks me around it, and the enthusiasm and the hands move into top gear. It’s big — 5m long — and, like the Testudo, has a glass dome roof that slides forward to let you in: Giugiaro once said of his concept designs that “dream cars are the best”, and the Sibylla is proof. In manufacturing terms, as he knew, it’s easier and cheaper to join two straight edged components than two curves, so straight edges save time and money. In its purest form, though, the rust-prone 'Sud – and its pretty coupé iteration, the Sprint – was a truly inspired design that Alfa would struggle to better. He’s less sure about the idea of democratised design these days, though; he learned that the hard way in real life, rather than the good, cheap design of a Panda: “many people would rather spend money on a third-hand BMW”. In fact, he’s sceptical about most things people in marketing say, because he thinks men buy cars for psychological reasons marketeers cannot measure. Fast-forward 44 years and the legendary stylist was named Car Designer of the Century, with a remarkable portfolio containing some of the most iconic automotive shapes ever created. One of the best-selling cars in automotive history, with 33m sales under its fan belt, the VW Golf (renamed the Rabbit in the US and Caribe in Mexico) would help the engineers of Wolfsburg to become the biggest carmakers on the planet. The Ghibli's 4.7-litre V8 provided massive low-end torque and remarkable refinement, as well as astonishing pace: the factory claimed a top speed of 174mph. Or swan in, chuck some ideas about and let other people do the work? The engineers protested, but he reeled off more figures, and when they were checked, he was correct. Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro has created some of the most successful and influential cars in history, in an impressive career that spans over six decades. Bizarrely, once its glamorous motor show career was over, the Tapiro was reputedly sold to a Spanish industrialist and subsequently burnt out when his employees set fire to it. Italdesign would, claims design writer Tony Lewin, “set the car industry’s design agenda for the next 40 years”. Launched in 1963, it was intended to be a coachbuilt special, but when Nuccio Bertone showed the car's shape to the Milanese bigwigs they were determined that it should go into volume production. Italdesign had achieved serious scale: in the Noughties it created Juventus’ new Turin stadium, and the furnishings for the International Space Station. That principle was applied more and more until the Seventies when the Middle East oil crisis tanked the West’s economies. “Yes, quite a success in the end,” says Giorgetto Giugiaro, leaning forward on a deep, traditional white sofa in the offices of his architectural practice in Moncalieri, just south of Turin. Look at the rear seats, like two extra passenger seats, because with an electric car the floor is flat, so you can give more room! In 1983, he went into pasta, inventing a new shape for Barilla (a large, double-pipe ridged penne with a tube to hold plenty of sauce; apparently no longer available). Engineers then have to do the hard work to turn it into something viable, which is one reason they typically despise designers and stylists. In fact, four of the six had been by designed by one man, the affable but nervous, somewhat intellectual 31-year-old who now sat before 15 stern German engineers. This website is about the car design. At Bertone, he began to experiment with different looks for Alfa Romeos, concentrating, like other designers at the time, on the lights (“at the time, the engineers were discovering how to make different shapes of lights, which created new options; if you look, all the changes in design from the Sixties onwards really came from being able to put lights in different places”). Launched in 1967, the coupé was perfectly cast as Mafia transport in the 1969 movie The Italian Job: discreetly elegant from the outside, it could pass unnoticed through a crowd, only to deploy its 2.4-litre 180bhp V6 when a 130mph punch was called for. While the extra weight of the panels blunted the performance of the DB4GT's 3.7-litre engine, use of steel suggested the design might have been conceived with series production in mind. He learned to do freehand portraits from his dad, and his grandfather taught him to paint clean lines on different surfaces. The chassis is said to take inspiration from buses and … It was very, very low: its headlights were embedded in the bonnet (he thinks the upward tilt of the lights is what prompted the UFO scare) and there were no doors, just a glass half-dome cockpit that hinged up to let you in. So the style will matter more, not less.”. Body design had become important to cars almost as soon as they went mass-market in the Twenties and Thirties, as manufacturers realised they could create a fashion cycle of near-constant updates without re-engineering the whole car. Launched in 1971, the Alfasud represented a whole new direction for Alfa Romeo: not only was it the Italian firm’s first foray into the compact front-wheel-drive market, but the car would also be built at a state-sponsored factory near Naples – hence the name (sud is Italian for south). Alas, it wasn’t to be: just one look at the young Italian’s watercolours in 1955 led to a job offer from Fiat. Many of you undoubtedly know of the many cars included in Giorgetto Giugiaro’s portfolio. As for the shell, Giugiaro once described its shape as being an evolution of many cars that he had designed previously but, given present company, that's no bad thing. He chose the commercial life, after some solid advice from his father, who was suspicious of art for art’s sake, and thought modernist painters just couldn’t draw properly. Are Apple’s New AirPods Max Worth The Wait? The most famous commercial application of this “folded paper” style would be the Volkswagen Golf Mk1, but the effect is visible in all the angular car designs that followed. But the car is still something that shows who you are. When I ask about the sensuous shape of the Mangusta, for instance, he explains how with it he had the idea of fixing glass windows to steel using rubber seals instead of chrome, so chrome became a luxury touch, not a necessity. Sure, it suffered a reputation for fragility – largely a result of its Maranello motor – but few mass-produced cars have ever matched its low-key sophistication. In fact, there has been a revival both in his work and in interest among fans. “But they also must be able to see what you are evolving from. What young Giugiaro came up with was certainly interesting: when he took it out for a test drive in the Alps one night in 1962, it prompted calls to the police from villagers who thought it was a UFO. Is The Citroen Ami The Future Of Urban Driving? Fiat Panda. At the 2002 edition of the Geneva International Motor Show, Giorgetto Giugiaro unveiled the Alfa Romeo Brera, a two-seater plus room for two children coupe, with bodyshell entirely in carbon fiber and a power- ful 90° V-shaped mid-front eight-cylinder engine of more than 4,000 cm3 delivering 400 HP. 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