Italdesign Giugiaro Quaranta | CAR Magazine

Italdesign Giugiaro Quaranta

Published: 10 March 2008 Updated: 26 January 2015

What’s new on Italdesign Giugiaro’s Geneva Motor Show stand?

The Quaranta concept. It celebrates 40 years of Italdesign and its founder, Italian car design legend Giorgetto Giugiaro, the man behind the VW Golf Mk1, BMW M1 and the original Alfa Romeo Brera concept.

The 2008 Quaranta is another incredible looking Giugiaro vehicle combining old school super car proportions and shark-gill styling cues with 21st century Toyota hybrid technology.

The Quaranta shared the stand alongside its inspirational forebear, and Giugiaro’s first design under the Italdesign banner, the 1968 Bizzarrini Manta. While it is similarly mid-engined, unlike the Manta the Quaranta offers 268bhp via a 3.3-litre V6 petrol engine. The concept also also a front-mounted electric motor with batteries between the engine and the cabin charged by roof-mounted solar panels.

The three-plus-one seating puts the driver centrally upfront with two passengers set back on each side and a baby seat behind the driver. The layout is possible because the floor is flat – an electronic control system regulates power distribution by the electric motors to the wheels, making a clutch-gearbox-transmission block unnecessary.

Throw in a massive front-hinged windscreen/wraparound door opening – with sensors to stop it crashing into your garage roof – a four-second 0-62mph, 40mpg, 180g/km CO2, variable ride height, on-demand four-wheel drive, a luggage compartment able to take two golf bags and a 60-litre fuel tank good for 600 miles and it all seems too good to be true. And it is right now, but maybe in the future…

CAR highlight

That silhouette, those gills and that front-hinged windscreen.

What were they thinking?

Great design thoughts (again) …  

In a nutshell

Built in-house, the Quaranta demonstrates all Italdesign’s abilities – styling, research and engineering – and should help attract lucrative future work with car companies. With Toyota helping out considerably on the mechanicals and electronics maybe there’s some serious production intent behind the concept’s hybrid layout too.


By Guy Bird

Contributor, cultural curator, design commentator