Italdesign Giugiaro Brivido combines Italian styling with German engineering

Italdesign Brivido doors openCars often come loaded with national stereotypes. Italian cars are known for being achingly beautiful, and frustratingly unreliable. The reverse is true of German cars: they are designed and built with fanatical attention to detail, but lack charisma. What if you could have the best of both worlds: a German car with Italian styling?

The latest concept car from Italian styling house Italdesign Giugiaro shows what such a car might be like. Called the Brivido, it was unveiled at this week’s Geneva Motor Show. Volkswagen recently bought a majority share of Italdesign, so the Brivido rides on a VW platform.

The Brivido is a four-seat GT car with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Unlike rival Pininfarina, Italdesign did not follow the trend of coupe-like sedans; their car only has two doors. The gull wings make quite a statement, and the roof is almost entirely glass. Italdesign says this design improves visibility while making the cabin more pleasant.

The rest of the car is just as dramatic, with short overhangs, a sleek roofline, and slivers of LEDs for headlights. Instead of side view mirrors, Brivido sports tiny cameras that fold into the fenders. The body is made of aluminum and carbon fiber to make it as light as possible.

The interior design is as clever as the exterior is striking. The driver gets touchpads on the steering wheel to operate the sound system, climate control, and more, while the passenger gets their own instrument panel with trip information and controls for the entertainment systems. The car also has an iPad dock built into the dashboard.Italdesign Brivido rear

Underneath the styling and technology is a VW-sourced chassis with a 360 hp 3.0-liter V6, coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission and an electric motor. Italdesign says the combination is good for a 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) run of 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 171 mph.

The Brivido makes a pretty good case for a future collaboration between Volkswagen and Italdesign. The German company (along with corporate sibling Audi) helped improve the quality of brands such like Lamborghini and Bentley, so the concept has already been applied to real-world vehicles.

Among the German companies, VW could use an infusion of style the most. With the redesigned Jetta and Passat, the company went for sheer mass appeal at the cost of style or uniqueness. The Passat may be the perfect car for most people, but it’s basically a German Camry. It competes against great-looking cars like the Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, and 2013 Ford Fusion. With its bland styling, how can the Passat stand out in this competitive segment?

The Brivido is just a concept car, but it shows what the marriage of German engineering and Italian styling can produce. It could also foreshadow a world-beater from Volkswagen.


Peloton’s tech lets truckers play follow the leader to boost fuel economy

Peloton Technology can help semi trucks save fuel by running close together on the highway. Using short-range wireless communications, the trucks get a kind of super cruise control.

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show: Where new muscle cars, trucks, and EVs convene

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.

The redesigned 2020 Passat proves Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm introduced the redesigned 2020 Passat with a new look and more tech at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Self-driving, electric, and connected, the cars of CES 2019 hint at the future

Car companies remained surprisingly quiet during CES 2018. But they spoke up in 2019. From electric hatchbacks you can buy in 2019 to super-futuristic mood-detecting technology, here are the major announcements we covered during the event.

With 341 horsepower, the WRX STI S209 is the most powerful Subaru ever

The Subaru WRX STI S209 is the latest in a series of special editions that have never been sold in the United States before. The 341-horsepower pocket rocket debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

China’s GAC Motor cruises into Detroit with all-electric Entranze concept

Chinese automaker GAC Motor brought its all-electric Entranze concept to the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. This is the third straight year that GAC has appeared in Detroit, and the company has established a design center in California.

2020 Ford Explorer branches out with sporty ST, efficiency-focused hybrid models

The 2020 Ford Explorer gets two variants never before seen on Ford's stalwart family hauler. The ST focuses on performance, while the hybrid aims for decent gas mileage. Both models will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.