Alfa Romeo and Italian design go hand in hand. It’s no surprise then that the automaker has decided to display a concept from its glorious past during the Milan Design Week. It is the 1968 Carabo prototype we are talking about, which was brought to one of the four most prominent fashion capitals of the world to celebrate the opening of a new Larusmiani fashion boutique.
The Carabo concept was originally designed by Marcello Gandini and built by Bertone – a design match made in heaven, based on the underpinnings of the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale. Still an impressive sight even today, the prototype is less than 1 metre (39 inches) tall and features sharp lines and a very sporty silhouette. Don’t forget about the scissor doors, too, which later appeared on the Lamborghini Countach, which was also designed by Marcello Gandini.
Gallery: Alfa Romeo Carabo concept at Milan Design Week
And what about the Carabo name? For its name, the concept first shown during the 1968 Paris Motor Show took inspiration from Carabus auratus, a brightly metallic-coloured beetle. Similar hues can be seen in the vehicle’s exterior finish, which features extravagant colours and special paintwork techniques for the time.
The 33 Stradale platform brought proven Alfa Romeo mechanicals. Power was provided by a 2.0-litre V8 mid-mounted engine, mated to a six-speed manual transmission. With a peak output of 230 bhp (172 kilowatts) at 8,800 rpm and 148 pound-feet (200 Newton-metres) of torque at around 7,000 rpm, the concept was capable of reaching a top speed of about 155 miles per hour (250 kilometres per hour).
“I’m sure that the inclusion of our futuristic Carabo here will arouse great amazement among the participants in Milan Design Week. And I’m just as sure that an item of such great stylistic value will in itself serve as an invitation to all enthusiasts for Made in Italy to visit the fascinating Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese, the home of extraordinary cars that have written indelible chapters in automotive history,” Raffaele Russo, Managing Director of Alfa Romeo’s Italian division, comments.