Ramaciotti says the concept cars shown at the major auto shows in 1996 indicated that the 15-year dominance of one design philosophy was beginning to wane and a new style was about to be born.
"The so-called bio design had already peaked, therefore many creative people already were trying to respond," Ramaciotti says. "At the Detroit show in January 1996, a number of concept cars represented the first attempts to express a new trend, which would later become known globally as the new-edge design."
Great examples of the competing design philosophies were on display that year in Detroit.
The Chrysler LHX and the Dodge Intrepid ESX exemplified the bio design, which was characterized by curvy, almost sensual, shapes.
Ideas from the LHX were used in production versions of two Chrysler models, the Concorde, launched in January 1997, and 300M, which debuted in January 1998. Only the 300M was sold in Europe.
Styling cues from the ESX found their way into the Dodge Intrepid, which debuted in January 1997. The car was not sold in Europe.
The first examples of the more aggressive, more imposing new-edge design were the Lincoln Sentinel and, to a lesser degree, the futuristic Ford Synergy 2010.
Ford -- which would coin the term new-edge design -- completely switched to the new look.
Production vehicles such as the Ford Ka and first-generation Focus are examples of Ford's interpretation of new-edge design.
Competitors such as Mitsubishi and Nissan followed Ford's lead. Some of the resulting models were the Nissan Primera, which debuted in September 2001, and the Mitsubishi Grandis, which was launched in May 2003. Cadillac also switched to new-edge design with the introduction of the XLR coupe cabriolet in January 1999.
But the birth of new-edge design didn't kill bio design.
"Some companies, Chrysler in particular, but also many in Asia, are still connected today in one way or another to bio design," Ramaciotti says.
Examples of bio design live on in current models such as the Lexus GS and SC and the Mazda RX-8.