Limousines, taxis and drones. The Eternal Return of the Turin Car Design Brands –

from Christian Benna

The large body shops in Turin have been modeling and elevating the shapes of the “targeted” car for a century

Giorgetto Giugiaro claims that car design, that is, the beauty behind the engine’s steering wheel, which is the “chassis” of Turin in the nth degree, has not existed for some time. And if the car designer of the century says so, maybe we should give it some credit. anyway the story of the great body shops in Turin, which for a century have modeled and elevated the shapes of “goal-to-goal” cars, from the first Lancias to the Ferrari and Barchetta, workshops populated by eclectic and ingenious creative, often a little Gascon, sometimes deliberate or ignorant scammers, it is a romance that, even at sunset, seems to never end. And then lost in the scrapbook let’s review Coggiola, which in the 1980s produced custom-built cars for the Swedish brands Saab and Volvo, and which since yesterday has tried to be reborn as a manufacturer of multifunctional taxis. “We will produce 100,000 cars and invest up to a billion euros,” said Mark Ishakov, CEO of Etioca, which took over Coggiola from the ashes of Vercarmodel, the most expensive SUVs in the world, so expensive that they went bankrupt in 2020. . We will see.

But the story is not new. In part, we have seen with the Idea Institute, the model forge founded by none other than Renzo Piano (but he never worked on it) and by engineer Franco Mantegazza, who tried to rise again by announcing the return to production in the “temple” of car design in Caprie, the former Bertone style center with electric limousines. It was 2018. No electric limousines have been seen. Before it took the books to court and after dozens of press conferences, the new Idea blamed the Chinese partners: “They cheated us.” Bertone, who failed twice, with one epilogue worse than the other, could only be reborn in pieces, divided into two: Bertone Design as a Milanese brand from furnishing furniture to boats for an attempt to get back aboard the car in Emilia and with English capitals, aboard Flymove.

It did not go better for Stola and Maggiora, other very Torino brands, than those who from the post-war era onwards took standard chassis and engines to dress them up with futuristic aerodynamic impulses, concept cars and the Lancia K Coupè. Bought from Blutec, they collapsed (along with Blutec) in the latest thundering failure. And now they are trying to be reborn in the old factory with the quadricycles from Mole Urbana. And then the president of Blutec, Roberto Ginatta, made no secret of higher ambitions: to buy Italdesign, the creation of Giorgetto Giugiaro and Aldo Mantovani, which ended up in the hands of Volkswagen. After all, when it comes to manufactured in Turin brands associated with bespoke cars, even foreign investors scapicollano. Six years ago, Mahindra bought Pininfarina, the true “custom-built” car design that today celebrates the first 50 years of its wind tunnel, and then used the brand to produce cars in Munich.

Vw has already been said. But there is also Ford, the second major regret of industrial Italy, for those who dreamed of having two car manufacturers in the country, who bought Ghia and Vignale by Alejandro de Tommaso. The Vignale brand is resisting and today packs in some of Ford’s luxury models. There are very few hard and clean car designers left in the city. The luxury unique from Manifattura Automobili di Rivalta, Roberto Piatti’s design studio, Torino Design. Then Cecomp, who today makes bodies for Renault and produces Microlino. And now the creature Sergio Coggiola is reappearing, another amazing design signature that grew up in Ghia’s talent forge. Who knows what design it will be tomorrow: taxis, quad bikes, drones, boats. Because in the end, you believe in car design, even when you no longer believe in it.

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21 June 2022 (change 21 June 2022 | 10:55)

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