5 Coachbuilt Italians in Geneva

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Italy's carrozzeria pulled out all the stops for this year's Geneva show, bringing a mouthwatering array of concept cars.

The Geneva Motor Show is always packed with loads of new supercars, luxury automobiles and concepts. But one of the highlights is always seeing the creations which Italy's coachbuilders work up. And this year's show, exceptional though it was, was no exception. Though Zagato had nothing to show us this year, Pininfarina, Bertone, ItalDesign, Touring and the IED each had an enticing vision of future Ferraris, Aston Martins, Lamborghinis and Alfa Romeos to display.

Arguably the most exciting of these coachbuilt specials was the Pininfarina Sergio. Honoring the company's late chairman, the Sergio is based on the Ferrari 458 Italia but remade as an extreme roadster. Its Barchetta bodystyle takes a similar form to the Lamborghini Aventador J (and Aston Martin's anticipated CC100) with no roof or windshield whatsoever – just an open cockpit with an integrated roll bar and a pair of crash helmets. With the 4.8-liter Ferrari V8 channeling 570 horsepower to the rear wheels, the Sergio is quoted at a 3.4-second 0-62 time and a 199mph top speed.

While the other carrozzeria focused on Italian marques, Bertone arrived in Geneva this year with a pair of rebodied Aston Martins, both of them packing the British automaker's signature 6.0-liter V12 and an extended-roof "shooting brake" wagon body-style. The Jet 2+2 is based on the Rapide, with more headroom in the tight rear quarters and an extra measure of cargo room to make the four-door coupe a more versatile proposition. Joining it on stage was a reworked version of the previous Jet 2, itself based on the previous V12 Vanquish but rebuilt to Lilli Bertone's specifications.

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Having presented the Disco Volante as a mockup at last year's show, Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera came back with a fully functional version, and announced its availability for public consumption. Based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione and recalling the eponymous 1950s classic, the new Disco Volante repackages Alfa's 4.7-liter V8 into an even more exclusive form. Pricing wasn't revealed, but you can bet the transformation will cost a pretty penny...on top of the price of a donor 8C. Touring will only make 500 of them, but that's alright: Alfa only made that many 8C Competiziones in the first place.

Now sharing the same Volkswagen Group corporate umbrella, ItalDesign rolled into Geneva with a pair of high-riding sports-crossovers based on the Lamborghini Gallardo. A decidedly different approach to Lambo's own Urus concept, the ItalDesign Parcour is a two-seater with the Gallardo's 5.2-liter V10 mounted amidship. Celebrating its 45th anniversary and building on a portfolio that includes several previous Lamborghini designs, the house that Giorgetto Giuigiaro built came with two versions of the Parcour: one red coupe and one white roadster, plus a third one in grey with Tricolore racing stripes.

Each year the grad students in the transportation design department at the Istituto Europeo di Design pick another Italian marque to represent in a class project. Previous years featured Maserati, Abarth and Cisitalia, but this year it was all about Alfa Romeo. Collaborating with the automaker's own design department, the students crafted a mid-size four-door sedan concept called the Gloria. With a decidedly modern shape bestowed with some retro touches, the Gloria concept imagines what Alfa's version of Maserati's upcoming Ghibli sedan, packing a twin-turbo engine of either V6 or V8 configuration.

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