In the automotive world, the design work that is done behind closed doors inside the automakers' styling centres is a well-kept secret. The reality is that we get to see only a tiny portion of the sketches created during the development of a car, and that is after the unveiling takes place.
Although we understand the strict confidentiality required in their profession, we asked a few automotive designers to create and present their dream cars to CarAdvice readers, so we get the chance to enjoy fresh and beautifully styled ideas from the people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
Note that all of the sketches published in this column are independently created by automotive designers during their free time and have no relation to the depicted brands.
Designer’s Profile: George Koukos is a successful automotive designer from Athens, Greece, currently based in Turin, Italy, where he works as the Exterior Project Chief Designer for Changan’s European Design Centre. In his career, he has designed numerous models for Toyota, Lexus, Subaru, Suzuki and Bolloré, while working with acclaimed designer Sotiris Kovos.
This modern reinterpretation of the Bertone-designed Alfa Romeo GTA coupe (1965–1971, below) is designed to remind us what purity looks like.
Commenting on his creation, George Koukos said: “Purity is vanishing. We have to look back in order to go forward. Cars are becoming larger and as a consequence the term ‘styling’ was born. Styling is sculpting the surface in order to make it more interesting, but there’s not a necessary function on it. Pure ‘design’, though, is when the ‘form follows function’.
"Cars from the past had more design and less styling. GT Junior had a purity and its beauty was hidden in its simplicity. This is what design can create between two lines, just because everything is not about brainless styling but wise proportions. And this is what this naive sketch of mine is trying to remind us.”
The car features a carbon-fibre body characterised by simple lines and an aggressive stance thanks to the short wheelbase and small front overhang. Details like the round headlights, the side window line, the overall proportions, and the characteristic intake on the hood are reminiscent of the legendary GTA from the ’60s.
The sculptured front bumper that follows the curvature of the traditional 'scudetto' grille, the narrow floating A-pillars, and the large-diameter golden wheels bring the design to the modern era with respect to Alfa Romeo’s heritage.
Finally, the deep-red colour shade complements the curves of the body, and the triangular quadrifoglio symbol on the side panels indicates that this car has a racing pedigree.
Concept: Alfa Romeo GTA Junior
In the additional conceptual sketches, we can see the muscular rear fenders fading into the low boot of the Italian sports car. The design of the rear end has a classic GT flavour, replacing the original car’s rectangular tail-lights with round units.
A modern Alfa Romeo GTA Junior concept could become a desirable limited-production sports car, combining stunning looks with a compact rear-wheel-drive platform, and possibly fitted with the 4C-derived turbocharged 1742cc engine tuned to produce somewhere in the vicinity of 200kW.
The sub-1000kg weight combined with coilover suspension and a limited-slip differential would make this beautiful Alfa Romeo an instant classic. Hopefully, collectors would drive it on the road so we would be able to admire its beautiful lines.
MORE: Everything Alfa Romeo