Geneva has historically proven an exciting show because of its ‘neutral’ ground, Swiss location. Neither the Germans, nor the French or the Americans are on home soil and able to stake a real claim to be in the ascendancy. But since the demise of the Turin motor show, this has been the home show of the Italian Carozzeria.
Yet it’s a sign of how many of these style houses have fallen from grace in recent years, that one now arrives in Geneva with a sense of trepidation – rather than excitement – about what to expect from them.
The Guigiaro Brivido (meaning “Thrill”) doesn’t exactly lay those fears to rest, but nonetheless has some strong qualities – it’s certainly a step on from the Tex and Go! of last year’s show. In its size, form and volumes it feels entirely modern. It’s just a shame the graphics and detailing are a let down.
The most notable (distracting) aspect of the design is the signature DLO graphic, which extends into the lower body side. On its own this could be a powerful element, but it is somewhat undermined by the clumsily handled shoulder section which punctures into it from the front fender. This feature’s heavy volume is at odds with the crisp, elegant surfaces around the rear three-quarters.
The Brivido clearly shows one potential direction for a large VW Group coupe, but it’s hard to see which brand would of the group’s up-scale brands would usefully benefit from Guigiaro’s attention, right now. We wander if Guigiaro couldn’t be allowed a little more freedom in its roll as an internal studio within the VW group. In that context, a car of this type and size might more usefully be a proposition for an extreme, alternate direction for a brand like Lamborghini or Bugatti. Perhaps then, this great name could truly recapture the essence of what made his concepts of the 70s so innovative, shocking and ultimately influential.
By Joe Simpson