Alfa Romeo Carabo

Posted: by David Sastre

The Alfa Romeo Carabo is a concept car first shown at the 1968 Paris Motor Show. It was designed by Marcello Gandini. At that time Mr. Gandini was working for the Bertone design studio. The Carabo name is due to the Carabidae beetles. This beetle evokes by the car’s iridescent green and orange coloring. But nothing else!

Seems like there is a reason behind the principle of this edgy design, the Lamborghini Miura. Gandini who had two years earlier designed, the Lamborghini Miura, had to face aerodynamic troubles. At high speeds the miura had lift aerodynamic problems. Consequently, the solution was the wedge-shaped profile.

Copyright © 2020 Zdeněk Hromádko

The wedge design came into fashion in the late 1960s. The Carabo is often considered [according to whom?] the winner of the ‘Wedge War’ award in 1968. This concept is considered as the direct predecessor of the Lamborghini Countach. Over the following decade, the Carabbo had a strong influence on many car designs. The main intention behind the Alfa Romeo Carabo was not the production. But it was fully functional and showcased features never expressed in any other car design in its day.

The prototype was based on the race-derived mechanicals of the exclusive Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, from the previous years. The Alfa Romeo Carabo concept had a V8 mid-engined, it made 230 bhp (172 kW; 233 PS) at 8800 rpm, which made it possible to achieve a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).

alfa romeo 33 carabbo

Nevertheless the scissor doors later appeared on the Lamborghini Countach concept car. Also designed by Gandini 3 years later in 1971.

scissor doors carabo countach

Curiosity: A replica, based on a De Tomaso Pantera platform was built by Sam Foose (father of Chip Foose). He tried unsuccessfully to buy the concept from Bertone.


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