Alfa offers new vintage

Published: 17 September 2007

No new car for Alfa at Frankfurt?

No, but the brand did launch a customisation programme called ‘Unique Alfa’ to make its cars look even better. Three ranges will be offered: Vintage (retro/traditional), TI or Turismo Internazionale (Sporty) and Collezione (fashion and style). One of the ‘Vintage’ options includes adding Alfa’s great old script logo behind the front wheel arch while ‘TI’ additions include lowering the ride height, boosting the brakes and adding high performance tyres.

Isn’t offering ‘retro’ a bit of a dead end?

If all you do as a brand is look back, of course. But A) Alfa is also offering two other custom ranges with modern sporty seats and other 21st century options and B) the brand does have a fantastic past to plunder style cues from and has interpreted them into its modern cars pretty well in most cases – just witness the wood-covered steering wheel and ribbed brown leather seats above.

Didn’t Alfa have a ‘designer 147’ on its stand too?

Yes, a very subtle and pretty forgettable makeover of its 147 called the C’N’C Costume National, plus news of a power boost from 200 to 210bhp for the already-punchy 2.4-litre diesel in the 159 and Brera. But you will have to wait until Geneva 2008 for the exciting new sub-147-sized ‘junior’ Alfa designed to take on the Mini…

By Guy Bird

Contributor, cultural curator, design commentator