In its catalogue, Alfa Romeo has numerous impressive concept cars that, for one reason or another, never made it to production. The vast majority of them didn’t get past management because they were too complex and complicated, but the Alfa Romeo Bella was a different project.
Alfa Romeo’s comeback plan got off to a good start in 1996. The 156 model that they introduced at that time became a bestseller and won several awards. After that, Alfa Romeo’s development plan was straightforward – build cars that were just as successful.
The Alfa Romeo 166 came out in 1999, followed by the Alfa Romeo 147 in 2000, and the Alfa Romeo GT in 2003. According to the initial plan, the 2002 model range was supposed to be supplemented by one more car. The vision for this car – the Bella – was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 1999.
At that time, Alfa Romeo had already come to an agreement with the renowned design studio Bertone. The specialists from the two companies wanted to create a luxurious, 2+2, higher-end coupé. You could say that Alfa Romeo wanted to have a flagship for the model range that would properly represent the brand name around the world.
The project budget was relatively modest. The classic Alfa Romeo coupés, traditionally associated with rear-wheel drive, made a switch to front-wheel drive when the iconic Italian brand was acquired by the Fiat Group. Consistent with this change, the Alfa Romeo Bella, designed on the basis of the Alfa Romeo 166 platform, was also a front-wheel drive vehicle.
Beneath its striking, forward-looking exterior, the vehicle essentially embodied an Alfa Romeo 166 sedan. Even the interiors were nearly identical. Nestled under the extended hood at the front, though, was the renowned 3-litre V6 petrol engine capable of generating an impressive 225 horsepower.
At the Geneva Motor Show, Alfa Romeo granted a privileged few the opportunity to take the new coupé for a spin. A significant number of observers genuinely anticipated that the Bella would be quickly transitioned into production. However, these plans were unexpectedly shelved a few years down the line. The reason behind this decision remains an enigma to this day.
Amazing But Forgotten Concept Cars 1999: Alfa Romeo Bella