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Future models - Alfa Romeo - Visconti

First look: Italdesign's luxury Alfa

Familiar: The Visconti has a similar look to the Italdesign Brera around its headlights, but from there the similiarity fades.

Two years after the Brera, Giugiaro pens another Alfa concept for Geneva

Alfa Romeo logo26 Feb 2004

TWO years ago at the Geneva motor show, Italdesign showed off the stunning Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed Brera coupe.

This year Giugiaro’s gone back to Alfa for his inspiration, planning to reveal a two-box luxury car called the Visconti.

While the Visconti has traces of the Brera around the eyes that’s about where the association ends, this car having an appropriately more luxurious and rounded look.

The Visconti is based on the same Premium Platform that will underpin the Alfa Romeo 157, due in 2005 and the production version of the Brera, also due in 2005.

At this stage Visconti is just like Brera when it first debuted - purely a design exercise without any production plans. But no doubt Italdesign is hoping for interest in this car too.

At just under 5.0 metres long and 1.9 metres wide, the Visconti is a bigger car than Alfa’s current premium model, the 166, which is scheduled to be replaced by the all-wheel drive 167 in 2006.

The Visconti goes one better than that, not only fitted with all-wheel drive but all-wheel steering as well.

Visconti is fitted with a V6 bi-turbo 3.2 direct injection petrol engine that produces about 300kW. This engine is probably the new GM HFV6 unit with appropriate Alfa adaptations. The Melbourne-built HFV6 is already confirmed for supply to Alfa.

26 center image Visconti won’t be Italdesign’s only Geneva offering, with the hybrid powered coupe Alessandro Volta also on show.

Powered by the hybrid drivetrain from the Lexus RX400h, the Volta is intended to show that green cars can also be supercars.

The V6 3.3-litre engine is mounted near to the rear axle, while there is an electric motor for each axle as well. Total power output is claimed to be 300kW with a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 4.06 seconds and a top speed of 250km/h.

Italdesign also claims the Volta can cover 700km on a single 52-litre tank of petrol.

All this technology is mounted to a carbon-fibre chassis and housed within a 4.3 metres long coupe body that has some resemblance to the now cancelled VW Nardo supercar project that Italdesign was also involved in.

Unusually, the Volta can seat three rather than the usual supercar limit of two and that’s because the lack of central tunnel required for transmission shafts and exhaust tubes allowed a flat floor.

By the way. the car is named after the Italian scientist who discovered the battery

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