Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 26th September 2018

Italian car manufacturer Italdesign is responsible for developing some of the greatest motors of the last fifty years. Legendary designer Giorgetto Giugiaro had a keen eye for detail and the company has celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special exhibition at the Turin Auto Show. It featured thirty cars that Giugiaro developed himself. Not only did Giugiaro have a good eye, but many of his designs were built to tackle issues that modern car manufacturers are grappling with.

The exhibition featured a few lesser-known cars that were designed to address a number of issues. The designs “offered solutions to the already pressing traffic problems in city centres” and one motor was “designed for car sharing long before the term was invented.” We’re taking a look at some of these cars.

1992 ItalDesign Biga

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1992 Biga

The Biga concept car was developed for the 1992 Turin Auto Show. A compact, electrically powered vehicle, the Biga was intended for sharing in overcrowded urban environments. The car could fit four people, even though the shape was unusual. The driver could sit in the traditional seat, while three passengers looked towards the central axis.

The Biga had a single door, meaning you would have been able to park perpendicular to a street. This would have allowed passengers to enter and exit the Biga as if they were entering a building through a big door.

1978 Lancia Megagamma

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1978 Lancia Megagamma

The Megagamma was a concept vehicle that served as the inspiration for the modern minivan. Shown at the 1978 Turin Motor Show, the Megagamma was a van with a spacious interior. It inspired several other minivans, such as the Renault Espace, Plymouth Voyager and Dodge Caravan.

1982 Italdesign Capsula

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1982 Capsula

During the ‘70s, Giugiaro experimented with vehicles that increased interior space. He eventually settled on a concept car called the Capsula that employed a modular design. The idea was for the vehicle to encompass any many functions as possible.

The Capulsa had a front-mounted Alfa Romeo engine and interesting interior. There was space for luggage between the wheels that could be accessed by a pair of small doors. This was similar to a bus. The car also had a capsule cabin that could be changed, meaning it could shift from a regular passenger vehicle to an industrial vehicle.

Although these cars never made it onto the road, they had a lasting influence on automotive design. Giugiaro is a visionary and his work will continue to be felt for years to come.

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