The world was introduced to the Alfa Romeo Dardo at the 1998 Turin Autoshow. It was designed by the legendary design studio, Pininfarina and was shared its design inspiration from the Alfa Romeo 156. It was a research project that highlighted several of the finest qualities of Italian cars: sportiness, imagination, technology and performance.
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2008
Designed by Pininfarina, the Alfa Romeo Dardo is a conceptauto of the Italian autohuis Alfa Romeo from 1998. Based on the Alfa Romeo 156, the conceptauto was a convertible with a 2.5 liter V6 engine. Unveiled at the Concorse d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, the Dardo is a spider with a powerful impact whose source of inspiration was the Alfa Romeo 156.
Unveiled at the 67th annual Turin motor show, the Alfa Romeo Dardo was a pure formal study, a spider with a powerful impact. Named as 'Car of the Year' in 1998, the Dardo was meant to be a tribute to a trademark, Alfa Romeo. The Alfa Romeo Dardo was a combination of the finest of Italian car qualities, imagination, technology, sportiness and performance.
The word Dardo is the Italian word for dart, and the Pininfarina Dardo show car was a beautifully painted and finished model of a front wheel drive, two-seater, roadster that was conceived with the mechanical and powertrain of the Alfa Romeo 156. Dart, a slender shaft of wood or metal with a sharp point, a swift, aerodynamic object whose strongest element is the triangular, pointed front end, the name very aptly describes the Alpha Romeo model. The Dardo was not just an automobile, but a communication tool that manifests Pininfarina's passion for automobile design. Along with Pininfarina's commitment to research innovation forms of expression adapted to specific brands and products.
The first element that attracts the buyer to the Alfa Romeo Dardo is style, following closely by a particularly strong character and image. The Dardo was born out of a Pininfarina initiative in the spirit of the long tradition of co-operation with Alfa Romeo. This initiative began in the early 1930's with the construction of one-of models for individual customers.
The Dardo itself was not inspired by vehicles of the past, but instead interprets the Alfa Romeo ‘spider' theme that reiterates the sporty spirit, class and the particular personality of the Portello brand. The Dardo had a two-seater ‘barchetta' body that measured at 438.5 cm long and 179.5 cm wide and 125 cm high. The Alfa Romeo logo was prominently displayed at the front, while the bonnet resembled the point of an arrow. Reiterating the dominant theme of the triangle, the play of lines on the waistline and sides accentuated te body. The Dardo also featured extra-large wheels and the light clusters of new design.
The patented Baroptique technology for the dipped function of the headlights was created jointly by Valeo Eclairage et Signalisation. This technology reduced the dimensions of the headlights significantly compared to conventional headlights and gave the car ‘eyes'.
Free from industrial constraints, the Dardo relates in a spirit of pure stylistic research that is projected aggressively into the future, free from the classic legal and industrial constraints that standard cars are subject to.By Jessica Donaldson