Stola Gruppo's latest concept, unveiled last week at the Turin auto show, underscores why the Italian coach maker is sought after for its engineering expertise rather than its styling. The two-door coupe, called the Abarth 98 Monotipo, is a car of too many contrasts: huge, black-painted hood; spectacular doors; ski-slope roof line and rear deck. Underneath, it is a Fiat Barchetta powered by a Lancia Delta Integrale 2.0-liter turbo that produces 330 hp. For other news and photos from the Turin show, see Page 60.
The 67th Turin motor show is not only the last of 20th century, but also the last to be held in the spring. Judging from the limited number of debuts, the industry had little interest in giving the show a big sendoff.
In 2000, the biennial show will be moved to the summer to distance it from the annual Geneva show, which takes place at the beginning of March. In the last 10 years, the Geneva show has progressively overshadowed Turin, which is Italy's only international auto show.
Only three production cars debuted at this year's Turin show: the Fiat Multipla, Kia Clarus station wagon and Hyundai Sonata Mark III.
Bentley delayed the unveiling of its new Arnage until Monday, April 27, keeping the car hidden in a crate for almost one week of the show.
Mercedes-Benz introduced an SL with updated engines and a sporty A class, and Volkswagen previewed a racing version of its new Lupo minicar, which will have its formal debut in October.
Display of the Bentley Arnage was delayed. Rolls-Royce Motors Ltd. was scheduled to introduce the Arnage today, April 27, in Le Mans, France, so the car at Turin was covered for almost a week.
The Arnage is Bentley's version of the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph, which was launched at Geneva. It is powered by a BMW twin-turbo V-8 tuned by Cosworth Engineering.
Daimler-Benz AG unveiled the Mercedes-Benz Turin, a concept of a sporty A-class model.
The Turin is a preview of the sporty version of the baby Benz that will be equipped with the 1.9-liter four-cylinder engine. The main differences from the regular A class are the bigger and more-sculptured bumpers, which end in wheel arches about 1 inch wider front and rear, plus 18-inch alloy wheels.
'The Dardo is pure, basic research,' said Industrie Pininfarina S.p.A. Chairman Sergio Pininfarina. 'In this business, you cannot say never, but the Dardo is not intended for production. Most likely, you will see only some elements of the Dardo in the next Pininfarina cars.'
Based on the Alfa Romeo 156, the Dardo is a compact two-seat spyder that is 172 inches long and 71 inches wide. It is not at all another retro-mobile.
With this Spider, Pininfarina tries to imagine the look of the Alfa Romeos of the 21st century. And Pininfarina had a great influence on the Alfas of 20th century; he designed nearly 100 Alfa production and concept vehicles.
Leonardo Fioravanti's F-100 concept, created for the 100th anniversary of Enzo Ferrari's birth, is a possible shape for a compact Ferrari coupe.
Fioravanti has a long history at Pininfarina, where he shaped many Ferraris, including the Daytona and the BB. With the F-100, he tried to design a small two-seat coupe that he believes could have a V-10 engine as its ideal powerplant.
The compact F-100 is 173 inches long, 75 inches wide and 45 inches high. Wheelbase is 100.4 inches.
Volkswagen AG will introduce its new VW Lupo in October.
The two-door four-seater will compete in the mini class against the new breed of city cars like the Renault Twingo and Ford Ka.
A racing version was introduced a week ago at the first of a dozen one-class races. The stripped version of the car was shown last week at the Turin auto show.
The Lupo shares a platform with the Seat Arosa; their length is 139 inches. The Lupo will offer 50-horsepower and 75-hp gasoline engines and a 60-hp diesel.
Volkswagen has not announced pricing. A VW source said a base model will sell in Germany for about $9,800.
ItalDesign celebrated its 30th anniversary with the Structura, its first 'naked' car after many 'naked' motorcycles, in which the structural aluminum frame become part of the design and decoration of the outside.
The concept does not have a B pillar, and all doors have fixed glass, which allows a stiffer and lighter construction.
The Structura is based on the Audi A8 aluminum platform, completed with suspension and quattro system.
Power is provided by VW's 420-hp V-12 engine.
The Turin show was covered by Richard Johnson, William Diem, Luca Ciferri, Beatrix Israel, Wim Oude Weernink and Georg Auer of Automotive News Europe