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These 6 new millennium Italian concept cars should have been built

The dawn of the 2000s was a creative decade for auto design in Italy, and we picked 6 concepts that should have been built from Piotr Degler‘s must-have book.

Alfa Romeo Pandion Concept

Designed by Bertone and unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, the Pandion was Alfa Romeo’s 100th birthday present to itself, and what a gift it was! With a theoretical top speed that scraped 200 mph and a 4.7-litre V8 borrowed from the 8C Competizione upon which it was based, the Pandion ticked all the supercar boxes, and then there was the design. The batmobile-esque rear is pretty impressive, but this car’s real party piece is its transparent doors, which stretch from the front to rear wheels and open 90 degrees backwards. Top that, Lamborghini.

Maserati GS Concept

When Zagato and Maserati get together, good things usually happen, and the Maserati GS Zagato is no exception. Based on the Maserati GranSport and commissioned by furniture mogul Paolo Boffi, this one-off broke cover at the 2007 Villa d’Este Concurso d’Eleganza. Compared to the GranSport, the GS dropped almost 140kg and 180mm from its wheelbase, while gaining a beautiful all-aluminium body inspired by the Maserati A6G of the 1950s. It may not have the most outrageous design, but this coach built wonder certainly boasts style in spades.

Lancia Fulvia Concept

The effortlessly elegant Fulvia is undoubtedly one of Lancia’s all-time greats, so when this retro-modern Fulvia concept was unveiled at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show, the logic made perfect sense. After all, the Mini and VW Beetle had just been revived with great success, and this 1990kg, Mk2 Punto-based sports car looked poised to be next in line, but unfortunately Lancia’s coffers simply couldn’t fund the Fulvia’s triumphant return. What a shame!

Alfa Romeo Brera Concept

While we sadly missed out on the Fulvia above, Alfa Romeo made good on the promise set by this beautiful Brera concept designed by Giugiaro’s Italdesign studio. However, the concept was an entirely different beast to the production version, and featured an all-carbon body, a 400 horsepower V8, and wild Koenigsegg-style dihedral doors. Today, the Brera concept looks just as sharp as it did two decades ago, so it’s no surprise that it was awarded the 2004 Compasso d’oro design award.

Stola S81 Concept

Arguably one of the greatest concept cars ever, the Stola S81 was created to celebrate Stola’s 81st anniversary, who commissioned Marcello Gandini — the original designer of the Lancia Stratos — to reinterpret his masterpiece for the 21st century. First shown at the 2000 Turin Motor Show, Stola and Gandini unfortunately were unable get get Fiat’s backing for the project, and it was unveiled under the badge ‘MG’. However, they still managed to include a subtle nod to the car’s Lancia heritage in the fabulous wheel design.

Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta 

Boasting a design as beautiful as its name is perplexing, the Pininfarina-designed Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta got our hopes up in 2010 with the promise of the iconic Duetto Spider’s revival. A 1750cc turbocharged inline four-cylinder connected to a six-speed manual coupled with a beautiful design had us dreaming of Alfa’s return to form. However, this 80th birthday present to Pininfarina would never see the mass market to the dismay of Alfaholics worldwide.

Made in Italy - The Book

If the six concepts above have worked up your appetite for Italian automotive design masterpieces, then there’s no better way to satiate that craving than with Piotr Degler’s ‘Made in Italy’ book. As a photographer, writer, designer and classic car devotee, Degler worked tirelessly with a variety of Italian car museums, design centres and car collectors from all over the world in order to create this must-have literary work of art. Inside, you’ll find over 100 high-quality images, 80% of which have never been seen before, and were shot exclusively for ‘Made in Italy’. These jaw-dropping images, combined with intimate stories from some of Italy’s finest designers, makes for what Degler describes as a “a visual experience”. If you’re looking for a holiday gift for yourself or an automotive-obsessed loved one, you can hardly do better than this.