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Concept Weekend Edition – Ain’t That Peculiar: 1983 Alfa Romeo Delfino by Bertone

Antti Kautonen April 14, 2013 Weekend Edition 7 Comments


The Concept Weekend continues. We take a side step at the Mazda MX-81 Aria by Bertone, discarding Mazda concepts and continuing up the Bertone stream. The unifying detail with the 1983 Alfa Romeo Delfino here and the 1981 Aria is that they both came from the desk of the same man, Bertone designer Marc Deschamps. It’s actually uncanny, since the Delfino looks like a twin to the Aston Martin V8 Zagato – a product of a rivalling design house. Yet the Zagato and Delfino could have been done by the same man.

And hence the similarity, the soundtrack to this post is Ain’t That Peculiar by Japan, another Sylvian work.


The Delfino has the same kind of forking shoulderline as the Aria, incorporating a smallish window and what must be the door handle.

By the way, I love the above photo. It shows off the clean surfaces of the Alfa’s blade-sharp ’80s design, veiling the lower flanks in mysterious darkness. There’s a hint of escaping a supervillain’s Italian lair in the middle of the night, in the Delfino.


There’s something weapon-like and merciless about the Delfino’s side profile, exaggerated by the mechanical-looking triangle wheels. Those alone would justify a rotary power plant, but the engine is a perfectly sensible 2.5-litre Alfa Romeo Six V6 with a mere 160hp.



The Zagato similarities are especially present in the rear 3/4 shot. Above, a Zagato photo in comparison.



With the exception of the frankly utilitarian steering wheel, the interior looks inviting. All the controls have been mounted on the steering column console, and I wonder if this is where Mitsubishi got some ideas for the Galant/Sigma/Sapporo.


Those leather seats really fit my taste. A touch of Volvo 780 Bertone perhaps?

[Images: Bertone via carstyling.ru, Zagato via Hemmings]

  • eggsalad

    I see a whole lot of Subaru XT here. Was thad designed by Bertone, or did Subaru just steal?

  • CJinSD

    <img src="http://www.leblogauto.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/Joest_O/AlfaRomeo_Arna_83.jpg&quot; width="600">

    The production version looked just as good.

    • Vairship

      Arrgh no! I mean, Arna!

  • Guillaume

    That dashboard looks like my 1984 VCR

  • I would like to see straight lines back in today cars.

  • Marto

    What's going on with those inserts in the seats? Ashtrays?

    Anyway, don't care. This one also rocks.

  • Van_Sarockin

    Another triumph. But let's quibble, shall we? Side view loses a great deal of the magic, and essentially features enormous panel gaps. Plus, the accent line that establishes the operable window, door handle and spoiler looks like Coyote just before he realizes he's all the way out over the canyon. Bank teller slot operable windows simply show that they gave up on functionality early on. The front bumper is abysmal, particularly the headlights, much less the iconic grille. The dash layout is innovative, but would be a practical nightmare. The seats make it look like they actually care about you. Ridiculous. So, where do I send my check?