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30 Years of ItalDesign: the cars of Giorgio Giugiaro

Continuing our celebration of ItalDesign's 30 Years, we look at Giugiaro's cars which made history


The CVG I U G I A R O is credited with designing some of the best-selling cars in the world. He is responsible for much of the creative process, enjoying designing the exterior, while other parts are left to employees. He began the "folded paper" era of the 1970s, where cars took on sharp edges, like the Lotus Esprit, Volkswagen Golf, Hyundai Pony and the Lancia Delta. That the Golf, now in its fourth incarnation, is a rounded-off and modernized version of his original is testament to how the proportions were right back in the late 1960s, when he first prepared it. Much the same applies to the Lancia Delta.
   One can track the trends of automotive design over the past three decades and continue to find Giugiaro at the forefront. He began the trend toward taller cars, in a quest for more interior room, in 1979. Fiat's Panda and Uno reflect this philosophy. In these cases, ItalDesign collaborated successfully with the resources of Fiat. He also began the

Lotus Esprit
The first product of the "folded paper school of design" was first shown as a potential production car in the form of the Lotus Esprit in 1972

minivan craze in 1978, by designing an MPV, the Megagamma, on Lancia Gamma mechanicals, and thus inspiring the Nissan Prairie - the first of the modern MPVs in 1981 - the Chrysler T-115 (Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager) and the Renault Éspace. And his cars began to go round round just as others were catching up: the Isuzu Piazza, first seen as a show car in 1979.
   There is more to automotive design than roundness and squareness. Today, with more advanced body-pressing techniques and innovations in the shapes of car lights and other components, Giugiaro combines elegance with practicality. The Fiat Punto is distinctively Italian with subtle design cues that set it apart from other superminis - with the exception, perhaps, of his own 1993 Seat Ibiza; in the Far East, the Daewoo Leganza, inspired by his earlier Jaguar Kensington concept, lends a presence hitherto absent from the Korean chaebol's Opel-based Nexia, Cielo and Espero models. Some years earlier his Toyota Aristo and Lexus GS 300 did the same for the Japanese giant's luxury division. At the very top end, the EB 112 sedan for the now-defunct Bugatti shows how Giugiaro was able to combine limousine luxury with a powerful chassis and motor, in a form which to some is less awkward than the extravagant EB 110 coupé by his contemporary, Marcello Gandini.

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Giugiaro's designs
Asterisk denotes production model
At Bertone

Alfa Romeo 2000/2600 Sprint*
Ferrari 250 GT Bertone
Gordon Keeble GT*

1961 ASA 1000 Coupé*
Aston Martin DB4 GT Jet
BMW 3200 CS*
Maserati 5000 GT Bertone
1962 Alfa Romeo 2000 Spring
Ferrari 250 GT Bertone
Iso Rivolta 330/340 GT*
Simca 1000/1200 S Coupé*
1963 Alfa Romeo 2600 HS
Alfa Romeo Giulia GT*
Chevrolet Corvair Testudo
Iso Grifo*
Mazda Luce 1000/1500
1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sport Special
ASA 1000 Spider
Bizzarrini GT Strada*
Innocenti 186 GT
Iso Grifo Spider
1965 Fiat 850 Spider*
Fiat Abarth 1000 OTR
Ford Mustang Automobile Quarterly
Mazda Luce 1500/1800*

At Ghia


Fiat 850 Vanessa
Isuzu 117 Coupé*
Maserati Ghibli*
De Tomaso 2000 Competizione
De Tomaso Pampero
De Tomaso Mangusta*
1967 Fiat Dino*
Iso Rivolta Fidia
Oldsmobile Tornado Thor
Rowan Elettrica
1968 Maserati Ghibli Spider*
De Tomaso Mangusta Spider
At ItalDesign


Bizzarrini Manta

1969 Abarth 1600 Coupé
Alfa Romeo 33/2 Iguana
Suzuki Carry L40/L40V*
Suzuki Microutilitaria
1970 Volkswagen-Porsche Tapiro

AlfasudAlfa Romeo Alfasud* (pictured)
Alfa Romeo Alfasud Caimano
Maserati Bora*
Volkswagen Karmann Cheetah

1972 Lotus Esprit*
Maserati Boomerang
Maserati Merak*
1973 Audi Karmann Asso di Picche
Volkswagen Passat*
1974 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT/GTV*
Hyundai Pony*
Hyundai Pony Coupé
Maserati Coupé 2+2
Medici I
Volkswagen Golf/Rabbit*
Volkswagen Scirocco*
1976 Alfa Romeo Alfasud Sprint*
Alfa Romeo New York Taxi
BMW Karmann Asso di Quadri
Maserati Quattroporte*
Medici II
1978 Audi 80/4000*
Lancia Megagamma

Lancia DeltaIsuzu Asso di Fiori (later 1981 Isuzu Piazza*)
Lancia Delta* (pictured)

1980 Fiat Panda*
Fiat Panda Offroader
Fiat Panda 4x4 Strip
Morris Ital*
1981 De Lorean DMC 12*
Isuzu Piazza*
1982 Capsula
Lamborghini Marco Polo
Lancia Orca
Lancia Prisma*
1983 Fiat Uno*
Hyundai Stellar*
Renault Gabbiano
1984 Isuzu/Holden Gemini/Chevrolet Spectrum*
Isuzu Gemini Coupé
Lancia Thema*
Lotus Etna
Saab 9000*
Seat Ibiza*
1985 Fiat Croma*
Fiat Duna/Premio*
Fiat Duna Weekend*
Hyundai Pony Excel*
Hyundai Presto*
Maya II ES
Maya II EM
Seat Malaga*
1986 Machimoto
Oldsmobile Incas
Renault 21/Medallion*
1987 AMC/Eagle Premier/Dodge Monaco*
Yugo Florida*
1988 Asgard
Hyundai Sonata*
Renault 19*
1989 Seat Proto T
1990 Bugatti ID 90
Jaguar Kensington
Seat Proto C
Seat Proto TL

Subaru SVXNazca C2
Nazca M12
Seat Toledo*
Subaru Alcyone/SVX* (pictured)

1992 Biga
Fiat Cinquecento ItalDesign
1993 Bugatti EB 112
Fiat Cinquecento Lucciola
Fiat Punto*
Fiat Punto Cabriolet*
Lexus GS 300/Toyota Aristo*
Nazca C2 Spider
Seat Cordoba/Volkswagen Polo Classic*
Seat Ibiza II*
1994 Firepoint
Lexus Landau
1995 Daewoo Bucrane
Lamborghini Calá

Daewoo Leganza Alfa Romeo Scighera
Daewoo Leganza (pictured)*


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