The Turin auto show will feature only two production car world debuts: the Alfa 147 hatchback and the replacement Hyundai Elantra. But Italy's designers will show 13 stylish new concept cars.
One highlight will be the Pininfarina's Rossa, a two-seat barchetta based on the Ferrari 550 Maranello. The Italian automaker may show the Maranello in October at the Paris show; the vehicle later will enter limited production. Rossa mixes design themes of two of Pininfarina's masterpieces for Ferrari: the original Testa Rossa in 1958 and the Mythos concept car in 1989. Rossa is a running prototype.
The Stola Group will show a concept car designed by the master of Italian exotic cars, Marcello Gandini. This rakish two-seat coupe is said to be a modern interpretation of one of Gandini's masterpieces, the radical Stratos HF of 1971.
A third sports car will come from Leonardo Fioravanti, a leading designer. Called F100r, it is a roadster derived from the F100 coupe that Fioravanti unveiled at the 1998 Turin show. As with many concept cars, the F100r features aerodynamic styling themes, this time related to the comfort of the passengers of an open top car. Fioravanti will have a second concept car called TRIS, a simple compact vehicle aimed at developing countries.
Italdesign will have two proposals, too, but you only can touch Touareg, an offroad vehicle built with a steel space frame. Touareg will be a 'back to basics' vehicle with an old-fashioned carburetor engine. Italdesign's second proposal will be virtual, to show the capabilities of the new virtual-reality center the company just opened.
Ghia, the Turin advanced design studio of Ford Motor Co., will show a new interpretation of the Ka. This year, it has created a coupe/spider.
DSN, a Turin network of small companies, will unveil Thesi Uno, a sporty hatchback with some cues from the Ford Focus.
You can e-mail Automotive News Europe Correspondent Luca Ciferri at [email protected]