Seems like a million years ago now, but there was a time when minivans were the hottest market segment, with every automaker worth its salt competing for a piece of the pie.
Fiat’s entry into this category, the 1998 Multipla, can be considered the best minivan ever designed.
one of the few cars to have been holistically designed around its intended function
The classic two-seater roadster currently looks like a dying breed, saleswise. But I think this vehicle format may get an unlikely savior…
Sales of open two-seaters in Europe and the USA, their traditional markets, have never recovered from the Great Recession’s devastating blow: even sales of perennial favorites like Mazda’s MX5 are still well below 2007 levels.
BMW Z4 sales between 2016 and 2018 looked like a rounding error on the company’s charts. Munich execs are on the record saying the newly-launched “G29” model will be the last.
Their argument is a subjective one: they fear the “commoditization” of the…
…Still, its existence led to two successful racing programs for Lancia. Funny, given the Montecarlo wasn’t supposed to be a Lancia at all.
The Lancia Montecarlo story started in 1969 when famed design house Pininfarina began working on the Fiat project X1/8. The market for traditional rag-tops like the 124 Spider showed signs of decline, and the X1/8 was to take its place in Europe and the United States. The first prototypes hit the road between 1970 and ’71, after which the project was temporarily suspended.
Work resumed in 1972 under a new codename, X1/20, still as a future Fiat…
I fell in love with the XM since I saw it on magazine covers in 1989, and my admiration for what Citroën achieved with this model has only grown since then.
It was late 1984 when PSA’s management tasked three design studios to submit their proposals for Citroën’s new flagship saloon. But it’s fair to say that the project, codenamed “V80,” was late before it began. …
There was a time in which the French brand sold what’s perhaps the most effortlessly glamorous automobile ever made, the DS Décapotable.
Except it actually wasn’t Citroën’s idea.
Henry Chapron’s atelier was, by the time the revolutionary DS was launched, the last surviving of the great pre-war French coachbuilding firms.
Like pretty much everyone else who saw the DS’s launch at the 1955 Paris Motor Show, Chapron was deeply impressed by the new Citroën’s otherwordly appearance.
Unlike everyone else, though, he thought he could improve on it by making it into a convertible, and he presented it at the 1958…
In September of 1967, The Italian government green-lighted Alfa Romeo’s project for its new compact family car, to be built in a brand-new factory near Naples, whose construction started on the 29th of April 1968.
Every nut and bolt in the Alfasud was new, designed under Austrian engineer Rudolf Hruska’s direction. The flat-four engine configuration was chosen to lower the center of gravity and the car’s bonnet line, thus improving handling and aerodynamic performance.
This story starts in the late 1960s, a time of success and confidence for Alfa Romeo. With the Alfetta and Alfa 6 on the drawing board, a brand new engine was needed, especially for the larger saloon. The engineers wanted a compact, lightweight unit, leading to an aluminum 60° V6 engine, with a more modern and efficient cylinder head design than the firm’s existing twin-cam fours.
On the new V6, the two valves per cylinder had a much tighter angle between them to reduce thermal losses and have straighter inlet tracts. …
By the time of its presentation to the international press at the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este, the Alfa 6 had been in gestation for over a decade, and it very nearly didn’t happen. Despite the boastful claims made at the launch event, it’s believed even Alfa’s own president doubted the model’s chances of success.
After all, Alfa Romeo sold most of its cars in Italy, where the market for over-two liters cars, subjected to heavy taxes, was already dominated by foreign manufacturers. …
The Nuova Giulietta came out in 1977 to replace the much-loved Giulia, which by then was in its fifteenth year of production.
What I love most about the Giulietta is its peculiar shape: much like its predecessor, it’s not conventionally beautiful, but it certainly original and has personality in spades, like all the best Alfas.
When it launched, its striking wedge profile and short, stubby tail divided opinions
The 1977 Giulietta was the first production Alfa fully designed under Ermanno Cressoni, a great Italian designer who I think should get more recognition than he does. Holding the reins of Alfa…
Any discourse about the Lancia Fulvia must begin from engineer Antonio Fessia, Lancia’s technical director from 1955 up to his untimely death in 1968. Fessia was an early proponent of front-wheel-drive, spearheading its adoption at Lancia with the mid-size saloon Flavia, launched in 1960.
The 1963 Fulvia was Lancia’s replacement for the Appia, whose three series had done pretty well commercially for the Turinese company.
Given the Appia was powered by a V4 engine, many enthusiasts think the Fulvia’s engine is a direct evolution of the Appia one, but that’s not actually the case. In fact, the choice of a…