:: Birth chapters
:: The start
March 1990. Leonardo Fioravanti was head of Fiat's Style Center, Mario Maioli coordinator of design for the three Fiat Group brands. Pininfarina receives a call for some designwork, starting from an idea by Chris Bangle.
January 1991. First proposals saw the management choose for the Pininfarina designs. These were a bit more common, as opposed to Bangle's more daunting drawings.
Luckily the Fiat designers didn't stop their work and went on. As new management directors found their way to Fiat, these favored the results of the in-house design center. It was Paolo Cantarella who wanted to break away from the classical design and offer a new, innovative product. It was May 1991 and final development was started.
Nevio di Giusto, chief engineer from Januari 1991: "It wasn't a question of choosing the best-looking model or of making comparisons on a purely aesthetic basis. The Pininfarina proposal was linear and very refined, as is the company's tradition, and probably lent itself to interpreting a classic marque like Lancia, for example. We wanted instead something of a bread with tradition, a renewal, and some aggressiveness too, to demonstrate that the coupé could be interpreted in a new way. The 'wing-lid' for instance - a much appreciated element of the car - is a precise message; a decidedly complex functional item that serves as bonnet, wing and fixture for the headlights."
Headlights... the position of them. By using the Tipo chassis, it was more or less an obligation. With the rounded wings, the headlights had nowhere to go but through the bonnet. Concealing them would ruin the aerodynamics, so the bulged design as we now know it was chosen for.
Rear lights... makes you think about Ferrari, although they're not aligned in height and are not sticking out at the back. A model was made for the decision on the design of the back. eIther the lights would go on the upper half of the back, or one pair would end up on the lower bumper.