Alfa Romeo Brera is 2003 Concept Car of the Year
By Mike Hanlon
January 10, 2003
January 11, 2003 The Alfa Romeo Brera has been awarded "Concept Car of the Year" by influential motor publication Automotive News, which chose the Brera because it represented the leading innovation, production feasibility, production cost and consumer value of all the cars displayed at international motor shows around the world over the last 12 months.The judges said this year's competition was the closest - this was the fifth annual event - with the Alfa Romeo coupe beating GM's Hy-Wire concept by just a single point. Third place in the Concept Car of the Year want to the Renault Ellypse.
The Alfa Romeo Brera, which was styled by Italdesign, also took top honours for the best exterior on a concept vehicle.Following the warm welcome for the Alfa Romeo Brera everywhere it has been displayed, the Italian car maker has confirmed that it will join the Alfa Romeo range as range topping sports cars, boasting a twin turbo V6 engine.
Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and Italdesign, one of the world's leading designers and styling houses, the Brera was first shown at the Geneva International Motor Show in March 2002 as a 300 kW V8 sports coupe with a carbon-fibre bodyshell.The one and only hedonistic concession is represented by the door aperture fitted with fixed windows and operated by a patented rotary and push knob.
When rotated outward, the door is projected upward. The lower centre of rotation (aligned to the lower part of the door) works towards pruning thehigh-opening door, which only protrudes 360 mm from the car's body, a making passenger egress possible in spaces where a conventional hinged door would not.
If the question of classic appeal applies to exterior design, the task of conferring a futuristic design was assigned to the interior, where the aluminium components are made "warmer" and more comfortable by leather padding, control display separation, a prominent central tunnel and a generous console set between the two passengers.
The door panel provides shoulder and elbow space due to the lack of opening side windows. Air intakes are fitted on the door opening and not the dashboard. The seating configuration allows glimpses of the steel structure. All metal parts placed near to the knees or shoulders of the driver or passengers are well protected and padded.Engine power and performance pointed the way to the application of two grab handles per passenger: one on the door and one on the tunnel.
Interior lighting is regulated by an innovative system of sensors that regulate the darkness of the large upper window.One of the highlights of the vehicle is its PICASOUND audio system created specifically for the car by noted Italian acoustic engineer Pierre Piccaluga. Alfa claims the sound quality is significantly better than any existing automotive sound system - heady claims indeed!