Added June 3, 1999


Italian designers unveil concept cars

The BellaThe Bella from Italian designers at Bertrone puts a spin on the 2+2 sport coupe. Based on research that shows people who buy four-seat sport coupes put passengers in the back seats only 3% of the time, they installed back seats that easily convert to an all-luggage cargo space.    
The PicksterUnderneath the impressive body work, the Bella is based on the Alfa Romeo 166 coupe. The car is designed to carry the Alfa Romeo 3.0-liter, 220-hp, six-cylinder engine.    
Concept Car 3Italian designers at Betrone took some cues from the U.S. for its Pickster pick-up truck. But this truck is more for racing than hauling supplies or off-road excursions. Its BMW 6-cylinder engine puts out 320 hp and the 21-in.wheels carry Michelin PAV tires. Two seats pop up out of the rear bed for carrying extra passengers. And the interior is said to "reflect the transgressive and dynamic spirit of the outside styling. It's an environment inspired by technical-functional minimalism of the streamlining with high-tech materials upholstered in soft leather to ensure comfort is not compromised."

Concept Car 4

The IDEAone is a sedan designed at Italy's I.D.E.A. Institute that could find its way to mass production. It's based on a space-frame structure of extruded aluminum elements welded together. This gives it less weight, a rigid, safe structure with good handling, a quiet, double-walled floor, and low manufacturing costs for the low-volume vehicle. A 3.3-liter V8 engine with four overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder is mounted under the hood and drives the rear wheels. High-pressure, direct fuel injection and two turbochargers and intercoolers boost power to 355 hp. Steering is provided by a power-assisted rack-and-pinion system.