Build a segment B coupé-cabriolet with the roominess of a class C car, in spite of the presence of a folding hard roof. That was the challenge facing the Bertone designers in making the concept car based on the Fiat Grande Punto presented this year at Geneva. Hence the Suagnà (painstaking, in Piedmontese dialect). “The entire project developed around three main points: the package, the styling and, last but not least, the roof system”, explains David Wilkie, newly appointed head of design at Stile Bertone.

Thanks to the roof developed with the supplier CTS (Car Top System), the Suagnà also presents a tail that is less chunky than might have been expected. The system is straightforward and efficient: to open up the cabin, the rear screen slips down behind the seats, the hard top folds back in two panels inside the luggage compartment and the rear screen may then be raised again to act as a wind deflector.

An exterior that is all-new and quite original then, while inside, the dash has been lifted directly from the Punto, but with specific instruments and door panel structure. “We wanted to create a cocooning effect, so we joined the lower parts of the dash and door panels”, continues Wilkie, who is also keen to stress just how important colour and trim are. “It is a concept created for a young customer, so we couldn’t use conventional materials.

We looked towards fashion and its ‘cross-culture’ trends, in other words, a cross between different styles and materials, such as the seat upholstery, which
uses interwoven leather and steel fibre. The ‘vintage’ crumpled looking leather is similar to the material used for jackets and bags.”

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 158

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