At a first glance, the Visconti appears almost a 4-door coupe, albeit the dimensions, which touch upon five meters in terms of length, are those typical of a flagship. The front is extremely plastic and very balanced in its modeling. In the plan view the front-end, weaving from an important wheel-arch, rounds towards the Alfa Romeo grille thereby becoming a characterizing element embedded in a single curve. The front optic units are designed with flowing movement and elegance. The rear fenders are a key element, placing in evidence the modeled upper section which narrows significantly thereby highlighting these majestic fenders. However, this architecture never before seen in the panorama of contemporary production is not entirely new to Giugiaro who, back in 1993 with the Bugatti EB 112, had theorized a great two-volume sports sedan.
The launching pad for the Visconti was the Premium Platform, developed by Alfa Romeo as the basis for the next-generation 156 Sedan, Sportwagon, Coupe and Spider, a quartet of cars all drawing life from the pencil of Giugiaro as evolution of the Brera concept car. Given the flagship characteristics with which the Visconti takes the scene, Giugiaro lengthened the wheelbase of the Premium Platform by 20 millimeters, stretching it out to 2,825 mm, with two almost identical overhangs, 1,064 mm to the front and 1,066 mm to the rear, thereby attaining a total length of 4,955 mm. The width has been harnessed to just under one meter and 90, whilst the height stretches to 1,474 mm, the right compromise between flowing line and flagship ease of accommodation.
The front of a modern Alfa cannot but commence from the ninth power evolution of the Marque's grille. In the Visconti, it grows bolder in size and dominates, even more than in the past, the front end, whether due to the size of the vehicle or its flagship role. In this interpretation, the powerful outline of the Alfa brand identity is crossed, as on the more recent Alfa series, by small chromed strips, which here, however, are more thick and farther away from one to the other. The circular brand log is surmounted by a chromed eyelid that stretches across the engine bonnet pushing through a slender trimming - chromed as well - that runs up to the windshield base.
There are six air intakes on the front-end, two at the fender base, two in proximity to the lower part of the grille (which also house the fog lights), plus two on headlight inside rims. However, more than just a question of aesthetics, these seemingly in excess air intakes are the result of the expertise gained during the industrial development of the Brera, which, in its preliminary definition, did not ensure enough airflow for a Turbo-engine car.
Unlike the traditional 4-door three-volume sedans featuring a tapering engine bonnet, the Visconti has a short and compact front grille, which, rather than transuding grandeur, attempts to transmit a sense of power lying in wait to leap. Also pushing through this front volume layout was compliance with pedestrian-impact new standards, scheduled for enactment part way 2005, which call for more vertical fronts and more raised engine bonnets.
Indeed, from a three-quarter front view, the car looks just like a two-volume. Moving to view from the side, starting however to emerge - between the powerful relief of the high wide shoulder of the rear wheel-arches - is a real and proper boot, albeit presenting a downward curved line. Accordingly, it is from the rear three-quarter view that the boot shows itself not just to be a hint of shadow, but a generous volume of space, allowing 458 liters of carrying capacity. From a historic matrix standpoint, the shaping of the low, muscular and cut-off tail-end reflecting a dash of the 'Fifties' is not so much an absolute novelty as the recapture and modernization of the solutions that made certain Alfa models, like the Pescara 6C, so famous.
For an upper lineage Alfa Romeo, Giugiaro wanted to reflect in the name a symbol of the Milan marque: the 'biscione' that characterizes the marque. In fact, the Visconti ducal coat of arms is represented by a shield bearing a serpent with a babe in its mouth, surmounted by a crown. The Visconti family recollects that - back in year 800 - one of their ancestors had killed in the vicinity of Milan a serpent that poisoned infants just by breathing on them. Yhe other half of the Alfa Romeo logo, the red cross set against a white background, stems on the other hand from the banner of the city of Milan.
Company press release, last updated before 12 / 01 / 2004
This car is surely the way Alfa should go that 405hp V6 and 500lbs of torque!!! the BMW M3 can only dream of catching this car!!!The AWD is what Alfa should do with their GTA line. This car should be the car that they should upgrade to race in the DTM or 24 hour LeMans to compete with the porches vipers ferrari ect. Im pretty sure this car tuned up for raceing could up to 600 to 800hp, but as we all know we can only dream of that ever happening.The BMW M5 is has 100hp more than this car but the this car has 130 more lbs of torque dont have the rpm range for the BMW. But for Alfa to come with AWD 405 hp and 500lbs of torque!! man I think this car will out run the BMW M5 simply because it much more less and has a shorter and if Im not wrong wider track, but its to bad we dont get these cars in the USA, hopefully one day.