A mid-mounted V12 engine, Giugiaro styling and a name you’ll almost certainly mispronounce – the 1960s all over again
Although a large number of car manufacturers have taken the surname of their founders, it is no small matter to name a car after the person who created it. Lamborghini still doesn’t have a Ferruccio, nor a Porsche Ferdinand.
And it wasn’t until the Ferrari team was absolutely certain that what they had created would honor (and satisfy) the company’s founder that they attached Enzo’s name to their creation.
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So for the revived and relaunched Bizzarrini to name its first new car Giotto? Well, it better be ready.
But for a fair portion of the automotive world, the first question to be answered will be quite basic: down to scratch with what?
Well, the cars built by Bizzarrini were also styled, designed and tested by Giotto Bizzarrini – yes, he was something of a genius in that regard – with the exception of the Manta concept. The Manta was actually the first order for a newly created studio called Italdesign and its founder, Giorgio Giugiaro. So Giugiaro’s design works historically. Also, it has the pretty solid advantage of… you know, being designed by Giugiaro.
“Having the opportunity to design a completely new car from Bizzarrini is a privilege,” said Giugiaro. “Our two names are united in nearly six decades of history and a series of now iconic designs. With Giotto we honor the past but focus entirely on the future. Designed with purpose and incorporating active aerodynamic technologies, we have created something that is both recognisably Bizzarrini and perfectly suited to a whole new era of this esteemed Italian marque.
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The classic Bizzarrini were damn quick too – as we said, Giotto was a bit of a genius – which means the new one will have to measure up too. This, it seems, will be solved by the implementation of 12 cylinders arranged in a V-shape. That’s a good thing, of course, but also another historical mistake: the original Bizzarrini used American V8 muscle, just like the Iso and Jensen. So what does the V12 deliver?
Well, if the name Bizzarrini made you think of Lamborghini for some reason, you’re halfway there – Mr. B was responsible for the Lamborghini V12, an amazing engine that powered raging bulls for five decades before his retirement. So the V12 also works historically. Also, there’s a pretty solid advantage to having a V12 engine in 2023.
“We are now very deliberately and authentically recreating Giotto’s vision, choosing not to chase acceleration times or lap records, but to develop a car that will appeal to those experienced drivers looking for purity, authenticity and rarity,” said the technical director of Bizzarrini Chris Porritt. “It’s vocal and emotional, mechanical and tactile. But it’s also incredibly practical and luxurious, delivered with the personality and emotion of a bespoke Italian brand.”
Bizzarrini are also terribly rare. Perhaps more by default than design, but that doesn’t change the bottom line – the final build numbers are apparently well under 200. And the new one? Well, it’s supposed to be rare in design – a “limited edition supercar” – but we’re sure a lot of thought went into the final number so there won’t be any build slots left.
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Finally, the last thing the Giotto supercar will need to demonstrate – to live up to the Bizzarrini founder’s name – is some guts and a serious love of cars. We will explain.
In 1964, Giotto Bizarini founded his own supercar company. Quite a bold move for an automotive engineer, even if we’re talking about the same Giotto Bizarini who already had a hand in the Ferrari 250 GTO – and the 250 GT bread van.
OK, so it’s probably fair to say he knew the automotive side of things. But even with a resume like that (which also includes the Iso Grifo and building a class-winning Le Mans car with his name on the front), it takes a lot more to make it in the supercar business, so Bizzarrini as a company was done by the end of 1969 Apparently, when the liquidators came to take the last remains of his company from the factory in Livorno, Giotto dismantled and hid an entire car rather than part with it.
So if the new Bizzarrini love their Giotto as much as Giotto loved his Bizzarrini? I’m sure they’ll be fine.