The car that Alfa should have built
|Luca Ciferri is chief correspondent at Automotive News Europe.|
After nearly a decade of rumors about its existence, the world finally got to see a car that Alfa Romeo really should have built: the cabriolet version of the GT coupe.
Italian design house Bertone created the fascinating four-seat softtop concept for Fiat's sporty subsidiary in 2003 but kept it hidden from the public until April 6.
The car, which was revealed this week as part of Bertone's first media event since the company was reorganized in late 2009, is a bitter reminder of what could have been for both Bertone and Alfa.
Bertone designed and engineered the Alfa GT coupe, a brilliant mix of the Alfa 147's the front end, the 156's central portion and front seats and the 159 wagon's rear end and reclining rear seats.
The company desperately wanted its carmaking arm, Carrozzeria Bertone, to produce the GT coupe, but Fiat decided to build it at its plant in Pomigliano, central Italy, alongside the 147 and 159.
Bertone then tried to convince Fiat to let it make the GT cabriolet.
"[Former Alfa CEO] Daniele Bandiera told us they loved the car and that we were going to build it," Lilli Bertone, who is the company's chairman and widow of longtime company boss Nuccio Bertone, told me this week.
But that never happened as Alfa decided instead to build the Alfa Spider, which was based on the Brera coupe.
You can reach Luca Ciferri at email@example.com.