by Shraddha NairMay 26, 2021
The Alfa Romeo USD Barchetta is the newest concept car by Netherlands-based automotive design studio Ugur Sahin Design, led by designer Ugur Sahin. This is Sahin’s modern interpretation of the Italian classic Alfa Romeo car in today’s times – its separated cockpits for the driver and rider might be a nod to the existing social distancing norms. One look at the stunning renders and you wish you could take this beauty out for a spin! “Hopefully someone will fall in love with it and we can start production!" exclaims the Dutch designer.
The roofless speed demon is inspired from the magnificent Alfa Romeo TZ1 Spider and several other Barchetta models of the past, like Giulietta Barchetta 1981. The contemporary take on the iconic Barchetta style cars that Alfa Romeo hosts in its rich history, delivers an attractive mobility design. The Alfa Romeo USD Barchetta achieves a fine balance between the brand’s past and present, by “carefully isolating classic elements and translating them into modern lines and surface treatments.” Sahin believes that this concept car will be a great addition to Alfa Romeo’s current styling philosophy.
The Italian word barchetta translates to little boat – it originally referred to a small skiff (a light boat for one person) used for recreation. Barchetta also denotes a type of automobile styling, a class of open-top, two-seat sports cars. “USD Barchetta is my interpretation of how a modern Alfa Romeo Barchetta should or can look,” says Sahin.
The Alfa Romeo USD Barchetta’s aesthetic is a subtle mix of futuristic styling and the classic sports car look – its front fascia has a slim grille and a ventilated V-shaped hood. Slim LED headlights sit above its vertical air intakes, and drift toward the back of the Barchetta. Adding on to the sports car aesthetic is its streamlined bodywork, the wraparound glass and ultra-stylish rollover protection system with carbon fibre accents.
Its carbon fibre diffuser also integrates an F1-inspired third brake light. Towards the USD Barchetta’s rear you can find a stacked four-tailpipe exhaust system and a full width LED brake light that accentuates the car’s classic-modern look. Its sturdy wheels are affixed with the logos of Alfa Romeo and Ugur Sahin Design.
It takes about two to three months for Ugur Sahin to create these impressive concept cars. It starts with an idea that is backed by tons of research, sketching, 3D modelling, and then finally followed by design visualisation. Asked if there were specific reasons for the concept’s various colour schemes, Sahin says, “Not really. I always find it more interesting to present a design in several different colours and specs to maximise the visual impact and variation.”
The dual cockpit forms the most distinctive element of the Alfa Romeo USD Barchetta. It is meant to direct the air through the middle towards the back, “which then is met with a classic spoiler that helps with the stability of the rear,” as explained by Ugur Sahin. “To be honest, social distancing was not on my mind when designing it. The main inspiration for the dual cockpit setup came from Lamborghini Concept S that was presented in 2006, designed by Luc Donckerwolke. What an amazing design it was,” Sahin reminisces.
Sahin goes on to add that Alfa Romeo has perhaps one of the richest and most vibrant design histories of all the car brands out there, and their understanding of ‘Italian design’ creates a visceral reaction for countless people around the world, even the ones who don’t really understand automotive design. “I am one of those people and I would very much love to see Alfa Romeo use more styling cues from their historical cars than they currently do. Those voluptuous shapes and organic, sensual curves really need to make a comeback into their current design philosophy,” he says.