Alfa Romeo’s design director, Marco Tencone, and his design team star in the above video highlighting the new Giulia sedan, which will be making its official debut at next week’s Frankfurt motor show. The company claims the new car is the “perfect balance of heritage, speed, and beauty”, but we’ll just have to wait until we see it in the metal — or better still, on the roads — before we make our final judgment.
One thing that is true, is that Italians have a sense of style like no other. The company’s rich history has seen numerous beautiful cars emerge from their (former) studio in Milano and the fabled Italian design houses have also had a hand in designing some of the company’s more exquisite models. The fact that the Guilia is claimed to be the “highest expression of Italian style in the automotive world”, is no surprise. It is said to encapsulate three particularities of Italian design: a sense of proportions, simplicity, and care for surface quality. But these are also values that BMW could also claim to possess…
The new Giulia’s proportions are based on the technical architecture of the car: for Alfa Romeo, the key elements were the 50/50 weight balance and a long-awaited return rear-wheel-drive (finally!). The Giulia’s engine and the mechanicals have been arranged between the two axles for optimum weight distribution and the car is also heralded as the fastest Alfa Romeo production car.
With a long hood and front fenders, the Giulia’s retracted passenger compartment ‘settles’ onto the drive wheels and muscular rear fenders, visually marking the point where power is unleashed onto the road. The Giulia also has very short overhangs, and a very generous wheelbase — said to be the longest in its category — contained in one of the most compact bodies. These proportions draw the dynamic shape of an ellipsis in plan view. Furthermore, the rounded angles and the enveloping pillars convey momentum to the car creating a ‘teardrop-shaped’ profile which is reminiscent of the Giulietta Sprint, one of the most beautiful cars ever made.
A second aspect of the Italian style is ‘simplicity’ which enshrouds what is, in fact, the most complex creative processes in industry: designing a car. It is up to design to conceal the long, complex work behind a simple, natural line which enhances elegant shapes and sophisticated Italian taste. This approach permeates the entire history of Alfa Romeo expressed by means of clean, taut lines. For this reason, the new Alfa Romeo boasts a strong identity drawn in few simple strokes: a line gouged along the sides which marks the doors and envelops the handles and, the legendary trefoil nose, possibly the most famous and recognizable signature in automotive history.
Finally, Italian style is characterized by a high-quality surface finish which means creating rich, harmonious reflections across the volumes. The end result, says Alfa Romeo, is the new Giulia, a sculptured shape reminiscent of a big cat just about to pounce. The same inspiration is found inside the car. Everything is clean, essential and centers around the driver, such as the controls grouped on the small steering wheel designed to adapt to all driving styles. The driver’s position was ‘cut’ as a fabric with a diagonal tunnel, a slightly undulated dashboard and cleverly oriented instruments that convey the impression of a tailor-made suit with hand-crafted care and premium materials: carbon fiber, wood and fabrics are chosen for their visual and tactile pleasantness and assembled in such a way as to make the human touch visible.
We’re looking forward to seeing the car for ourselves next week, but until then, enjoy the video preview.