TURIN -- Giorgetto Giugiaro, one of the world's leading car designers, intends to revolutionize Alfa Romeo's lineup for a second time.
Giugiaro created a showstopper at the Geneva auto show two years ago with his Alfa Romeo Brera concept.
Now he has penned a potential new sporty flagship for Alfa Romeo that will be unveiled at next month's Geneva auto show.
Giugiaro's Visconti concept car is a large sedan that would rival Audi's flagship A8 or BMW's 7 series.
Alfa does not have such an upper-premium model in its future product plans. But the Brera was not in Alfa's plans until its sleek, elegant design, which harks back to cars of the 1950s, turned heads at Geneva in 2002. It won a host of accolades including the Automotive News Concept Car of the Year Award.
Currently, all upper-premium cars are three-box sedan designs. The Visconti concept has a rear that is closer to a coupe.
"I wanted to get away from the traditional three-box sedan and create a sporty two-box car with a clearly descending trunk line," Giugiaro said.
His Brera concept so impressed Alfa that it used the design to create replacements for the GTV coupe, Spider and 156 sedan and wagon that will appear starting in late 2005.
The Visconti would have a 405hp 3.2-liter V-6 twin-turbo engine with gasoline direct injection, plus an automatic six-speed transmission and full-time four-wheel drive.
Other Italian design houses will have concepts at Geneva.
Fioravanti will present a concept car named the Kite, a coupe that tries to overcome some traditional coupe problems: limited accessibility and modest trunk capacity.
The Kite's tailgate is similar to a station wagon's to increase its load-carrying capacity.
A very long wheelbase -- 2720mm in a 4440mm long four-seat coupe -- helps to increase accessibility, as does the car's unusual roofline.
Normally the roofline descends after the front passenger head area in a coupe. In the Kite, the roofline goes up by 35mm after the front passenger head area to increase headspace and accessibility for the rear passengers.
Stola will show its S85 concept, a limousine version of the Thesis, Lancia's flagship. Only one Thesis limousine has been built. Fiat gave the car to Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi in June 2002.