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2001 Geneva Show, Part II


2001 Geneva Motor Show

2001 Geneva Motor Show

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Sponsors of TCC's 2001
Geneva Motor Show coverage

Giugiaros and Piech

Giugiaros and Piech

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SWISS SHOW. With no auto industry of its own and a very healthy market, Switzerland is an important target for manufacturers across the world. Even U.S. brands not known for their exporting activities sell to wealthy Swiss customers, who like variety and quality in their car purchases. That makes the annual Geneva Auto Show one of the great events on the calendar not only for the salesman, but also for the top brass of the world’s manufacturers. In the country that has developed the art of neutrality to a fine art, industry bosses can take a look at what the opposition is up to, and they do. It’s no surprise to see executives on the competition stands here – in fact it’s almost expected that at some time during the press preview days, most of the industry bosses will stroll round the show to see what’s new—occasionally finding an opportunity to set in motion projects that could see light at some future Geneva show.  Could there be more than casual conversation in a meeting between VW boss Ferdinand Piech, and Italian designers Giorgetto Giugiaro and son Fabrizio? 

FILO DOUGH. With no show in Turin this year, the Italian designers have taken the opportunity of the show closest to their home territory to show off concepts such as the Bertone Filo--the Italian word for wire. The thinking behind the name is that the car is a showcase for the next step in automotive technology, the adaptation of aircraft-style ‘fly-by-wire’ technology to the automotive scene. Built in collaboration with SKF, the engineering company, Filo’s brakes, throttle and steering are controlled by means of electronics rather than a mechanical linkage.The traditional steering-wheel is replaced with an aircraft-type yoke connected not to a traditional steering column, but as an extension of the front seat arm-rest that curves round in front of the driver.  

2001 Aston Martin Vanquish concept

2001 Aston Martin Vanquish concept

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PERFECT VISION? Will we be seeing Twenty-Twenty in the near future. Certainly, that’s the hope of ItalDesign, the Turin styling house that grew from the design genius of Giorgetto Giugiaro, Working on the base of an Aston Martin DB7 Vantage, Giugiaro and his son, Fabrizio, have created a smooth convertible that looks true to the roots and traditions of Aston Martin, but which utilises an innovative construction system, with a visible aluminum framework that supports the body panels. Aston Martin collaborated by supplying components for the car, but the company insists that this is not a lead to how a DB7 replacement might look. Giugiaro also showed an unusual 4x4 concept. It’s based on a design exercise that was shown at the Turin show last year, but it has been modified in line with one of the oldest traditions of the coachbuilders’ art, that of the custom-built vehicle. The customer in this case is famous photographer Helmut Newton, who has created a calendar for Italdesign in his own inimitable style.  

2001 Fioravanti Vola concept

2001 Fioravanti Vola concept

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AVANTE FIORAVANTI. Less well-known internationally, but destined to join the top design ranks is Leonardo Fioravanti, who cut his teeth in the Pininfarina studios. Now he has his own company, and his stand at Geneva shows a car that could be unexpectedly mainstream. It’s a two-seater sports car based on an Alfa Romeo platform, and named the Vola. Clean and elegant, it features an unusual hardtop, that pivots forward from its position atop the trunklid.  

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