The great Marcello Gandini passed away recently. His most famous designs include the Lamborghini Miura, the Lamborghini Countach and the Lancia Stratos. They were created during his time as head designer at Bertone. From 1980 he was an independent car designer.

Now, however, we were able to admire a previously little-known design by the great Italian master at the "Car Design Event" in Munich. The study was designed by Gandini in 1985 as a kind of preliminary study for the Countach successor. A real interior is missing, as is an engine. However, Signore Gandini felt that Lamborghini was too slow in realising it, so he offered the design to Cizeta.

Gallery: Cizeta Design study (1985) by Marcello Gandini

Cizeta... what happened? The now relatively unknown manufacturer was founded at the end of the 1980s by former Lamborghini test driver and engineer Claudio Zampolli, with the famous composer Giorgio Moroder later becoming a financial backer. The aim at the time was to develop an unprecedented super sports car.

The result was the sixteen-cylinder V16T, of which only 10 were produced and which had some rather interesting features for its time. Does the look remind you of anything? If you're thinking of a Diablo, you're right. Gandini himself sees the V16T as a kind of prototype of the Countach successor.

Lamborghini Diablo celebrates its 30th anniversary

Lamborghini Diablo

Rumours persist that Gandini's final Cizeta design was actually intended for the Diablo and that Lamborghini's owners at the time, Chrysler, considered the design too brutal.

After three years of development, the ready-to-drive prototype was presented at the 1988 Geneva Motor Show. Even before the Cizeta-Moroder went into series production, Giorgio Moroder left the company, leaving Claudio Zampolli in sole charge. The only model that was still produced under the name Cizeta-Moroder V16T was a prototype and remained in Moroder's possession when he left the company in 1990. This pre-production model impressed in various tests and driving reports above all with its sheer power output of 542 PS.

1988 Cizeta-Moroder V16T

Cizeta-Moroder V16T (1988)

This week saw the second Car Design Event, to which automotive designers, journalists and design students were invited. They met at the exclusive Business & Drivers Club in Munich to discuss current and future trends in the automotive world. Topics included future cars and prototypes, creativity and storytelling, the influence of AI on transport design and the potential of drones.

Participants at the event included Achim Badstübner (Mercedes-Benz), Andreas Bovensiepen (Alpina), Ulrich Hackenberg, David Hilton, Marcus Holzinger (Hote/Elegend), Won Kyu Kang (Kia), Felix Kilbertus (Pininfarina), John Krteski (Genesis and Supernal), Andreas Mindt (Volkswagen) and many other leading designers and executives. Over 50 high-calibre international journalists and an equally large number of automotive designers took part in the event.

Cizeta Design study (1985) von Marcello Gandini

Cizeta Design study (1985) von Marcello Gandini

There were several important premieres at the event. The vehicles on show included the Volkswagen ID.2all, the Kia EV5 (European première), Kia PV 1 and PV 7 (European premières), the Supernal concept (European première), the Genesis Speedium Giro concept (world première), the new Hyundai Santa Fe, the Bentley Bentayga Mulliner, the Pagani Huayra Codalunga (German première), the Hopium Machina (German première), the F. A.T. 919 Snowcat concept (German premiere), the Mercedes-Benz Concept One-Eleven and the Cizeta-Moroder concept by Marcello Gandini.

The car design event was organised by Jens Meiners and Des Sellmeijer. Sellmeijer says: "Building on the success of last year's Car Design Event, this year's event fills the gap between the manufacturers' mono-brand events and the large-scale multi-brand events, such as the Legacy Motor Shows. It brings together over 50 designers from around the world in a relaxed atmosphere."

Meiners adds, "We are very pleased with the response from the media, academia and the automotive industry. I believe we have succeeded in bringing together real top talent in every field."