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Brera Concept
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  Alfa Romeo Brera Concept

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:2002
Numbers built:1
Introduced at:2002 Geneva Motor Show
Designed by:Italdesign
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionOver the last century, Italian designers have proven that they have mastered the art of automotive design. It thus came as no surpise that an Italian was picked as designer of the 20th century. This designer is Giorgietto Giugiaro, who, after working for Bertone in the 1960s, started his own 'design-house', dubbed Italdesign, in the 1970s. His best designs were Alfa Romeos, like the Giulia Sprint and recently the Scighera concept. At the 2002 Geneva Motorshow, an Alfa Romeo designed by Giugiaro once again stunned the visitors.

The Alfa Romeo on display was the Brera concept. Unlike many concepts launched these days, the 2+2 GT is a fully workable and driveable car. It is based on Maserati Spyder/Coupe mechanicals, which is also designed by Italedesign / Giugiaro. The 400 horses, developed by the V8 engine, are transmitted to the rear wheels through a six speed sequential transaxle. The large, but subtle wheels are shod with Michelin's Pax System tires to ensure maximum safety at high speeds.

On the Maserati-based chassis a carbon fibre body is mounted. Although it is made from some of the most advanced materials available, the body's design draws inspiration from previous and current Alfa Romeo models. The front fascia is dominated by a large V-shaped grill on either side flanked by the headlight units. These are made of three seperate lights, growing from small on the inside and large on the flanks, adding to the overall V-shape. The long doors open unconventionally by a patented rotary and push knob. When rotated outward, the door is projected upward. The rear end design very much inspired by Alfa Romeo's 147 hatchback.

The interior just oozes class and luxury with its voluptuous leather seats and clean aluminium accents. The dashboard is dominated by two large dials, one to display the speed, the other to display the revs. The passengers are seperated by a large central tunnel and console set.

As mentioned earlier, the Brera is a fully working prototype. It has been entered in various events in 2002 like the Paris Louis Vuitton Concours d'Elagance, the Supercar rally and the Goodwood Festival of Speed and its has been entered in a number of road tests. Its 2001 Geneva predecessor, the Aston Martin 2020, has received similar treatment and has covered well over 30,000 km within a year. This underlines that Italdesign does more than just design very beautiful cars, but is quite capable of building incredibly reliable one-offs.

With the Brera, Giugiaro proved that he has far from lost his touch that earned him the title 'Designer of the 20th century'.

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  Article Image gallery (24) Specifications User Comments (29)