I’m not really into campaigns, but I reckon Autocar readers might be able to influence one of the great decisions pending in a car company in-box.
At some point in the next few years, Alfa needs a new Spider, Duetto or whatever you call it — a lightweight agile, two-seater, preferably rear-drive.
And at Geneva, Italian coach-builder Pininfarina served up the perfect design – the beautiful Duettotantta — several design bosses’ choice of best car at Geneva.
If there’s any justice on the world, the Duettottanta will pass unhindered from concept to production as fast as Alfa Romeo’s engineers can manage. The exquisite proportions and subtle body surfacing surely demand that?
Pininfarina talks about the Duettotantta as a “single volume”, which seems to me to be shorthand for an incredibly fluid beltline that flows seamlessly from the rear haunch into the centre section and on to the minimalist Alfa shield grille.
Pininfarina’s own pictures don’t really show the scalloped detail on the body side, but it’s the same feature that made the Ferrari Scaglietti so distinctive. Scaled down on the smaller Duettotantta, it just looks right.
If there is a weak area on the new Duetto, it’s the rear decklid. No doubt the built-in spoiler is an aerodynamic requirement, but the execution needs refining to balance the elegance of the rest of the car.
The Duettottanta is rear-wheel drive, of course, so if Fiat’s takeover of Chrysler creates the chance for Alfa to switch to rear-drive with cars like a new Spider for Alfa, all the effort and grief will definitely have been worth it.
History, though, proves that speculative designs like this rarely make production.
Think of the handsome Keith Helfet-designed Jag F-type, created without a specific platform in mind. And then scuppered from making production by a myriad of minor obstacles that added up to a giant ‘not possible’.
Pininfarina even created a classically-inspired two-seater for Honda some years back when the S2000 was in the melting pot.
Called the Argento Viva, it combined flowing curves and exquisite proportions, but was sidelined in favour of the edgier design that’s only just gone out of production about 15 years later.
Despite referring back to the great hand-crafted era of 1950s sportscars, I reckon the Duettottanta is sufficiently up-to-date to remain fresh in 15 years time.
We can only hope Alfa’s management agree and more importantly, Fiat boss Sergeo Marchionne, does, too. So how about it Autocar readers — let’s turn history on its head and show Alfa what we think the Duettottanta is brilliant new design and hopefully we can help usher its design into reality? Over to you readers.