SIX CONCEPT CARS will debut at the Turin show, plus a pair of commercial variants of the Fiat Seicento from the Italian design house Maggiora. Here is a roundup:
Bertone: The Carrozzieria has no new concept, but will show the Pickster pickup truck that was first seen at the Geneva auto show.
Fiat: Fiat has sponsored three Italian transportation design schools to produce one full-sized model each - one interior and two exteriors. They will be displayed on the Fiat stand.
Two of the schools are in Turin: the Istituto di Arte Applicata will show a compact multi-purpose vehicle; and the Istituto Europeo di Design will present a mid-sized vehicle that can be switched from coupe to pickup.
The Istituto Superiore Industrie Artistiche in Rome has created a futuristic interior called 'Luoghi in Movimento,' meaning literally 'rolling places.'
Fioravanti: Leonardo Fioravanti, formerly at Pininfarina, Ferrari and Fiat, will unveil his fourth concept as an independent designer. No details have been released.
His previous concepts were the 1994 Sensiva sports car, 1996 Flair (a coupe version of the Fiat Barchetta) and 1996 NYCE small sport-utility.
Ghia: The Ford-owned coachbuilder will unveil a sporty-looking, compact station wagon derived from Ford's Ka mini.
Italdesign: To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Italdesign will unveil a sporty sedan concept with Quattro four-wheel drive and Volkswagen's W-12 engine. Although no taller than a sedan, its radical shape will be closer to a minivan. Neither Audi nor VW have committed to producing the car.
Italdesign will also organize a workshop called 'Creativity and New Technology: Expectations from the Motor Industry' on 20 April at its Moncalieri headquarters.
It will be chaired by Keith Crain, publisher of Automotive News Europe. Participants will include Italdesign's Marco Mantovani, Fiat Chairman Paolo Cantarella and Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech.
Lancia: Lancia will show the Dialogos, a huge sedan concept more than 5000mm long. It was designed by Lancia styling center director Mike Robinson and his team. The car is a preview of the Lancia K replacement due in 2000.
Maggiora: Two Fiat Seicentos adapted for commercial use will be shown. One is CNG-powered, the other based on the Elettra, the electric version of the Seicento.
Pininfarina: The Dardo, a stylish spider based on the Alfa Romeo 156, will be shown. It combines design themes of the Ferrari Mythos research prototype and the Pininfarina-designed Alfa Romeo Spider. It will not be built.
Stola: The design house will show its second prototype coupe based on the Fiat Barchetta. The car carries an Abarth badge, and resembles a US muscle car. Aldo Brovarone, a former Pininfarina chief designer, did the styling work. Brovarone designed the first prototype, the 1996 Stola Dedica.
Pharmaceuticals makers CIBA Specialty Chemicals contributed some of the composite materials used for the unnamed coupe. The car is expected to weigh under 900kg.