Giorgetto Giugiaro History

#Fiat, #GT

1984: A growing year: the Saab 9000, its sister-under-the-skin Lancia Thema, the Isuzu Gemini (badge engineered as the Chevrolet Spectrum, too), the Seat Ibiza, three Lancia concepts, and one concept each on Lotus (Etna) and Ford(Maya) platforms.

1985-86: So busy with production models for Hyundai, Fiat, Seat, and Renault that there isn't much time for concept cars, other than the Machimoto, Oldsmobile Incas, and the VW Orbit. Oh, and Italdesign did engineering for the Merkur XR4Ti and the Ford Escort cabriolet. Busy indeed.

1987-88: Too many projects and far too little time. Things like the Eagle Premier impress neither critics nor car buyers. Then, suddenly-as this magazine proclaimed at the time, "Giugiaro is back" -- three definitely nonstandard, indeed exciting, Audi-powered show cars appear: Aztec, Aspid, and Asgard.

1989-1991: The Lexus GS300 and the totally unexpected Subaru SVX, a great GT car that was completely outside Subaru's market -- and thus sold poorly -- reach the streets.

1995-1996: More concepts, including the Lamborghini Cala -- a predecessor to the 2004 Gallardo -- and one production model, the Daewoo Lanos, are added to the portfolio. Fabrizio Giugiaro is made styling director of the firm.

1997-1999: Italdesign becomes Italdesign-Giugiaro.

2000: Reputation wanes even as business flourishes with more and more body engineering projects. Word in the industry is that Italdesign would throw in Giugiaro styling free if the company got the engineering contract. Projects came to him, concept and theme included.

2003: Case in point: the Alfa Romeo Brera concept. Not knowing the origin of the project at the time, we call it "a welcome return to form for the Giugiaros and the Italdesign carrozzeria." In fact, the styling is done mostly by Jean-Paul Oyono at Zagato.

2003: Assists on the design of the Lamborghini Gallardo.

2004-2005: The GG50, a Ferrari by and for Giugiaro, is built to celebrate his half century of car design. Italdesign also puts out the restyled Alfa 156 and the Fiat Croma and Grande Punto production cars.

2006: A second Mustang by Giugiaro, mostly by Fabrizio.

2008: The firm celebrates its fortieth anniversary with several concept and production cars, including the 2007 Suzuki SX4.

2010: Lamborghini Holdings, an arm of the Volkswagen Group, buys 90.1 percent of Italdesign-Giugiaro.

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