Throughout the 19870’s and ‘80s, cars with a ‘wedge’ type design were taking off. This styling trend usually took form in the shape of supercars, like the Lancia Stratos or Lamborghini Countach, for example, but it was an Alfa Romeo concept car that truly started it all.
As explained by Car & Driver’s Davey G. Johnson, the Marcello Gandini-designed 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo helped eschew the industry of the curvaceous, rounded off styling that defined automotive design in the ’50 ‘60s. Its wedge shape was the result of Gandini’s attempt to reduce lift on the front end, a problem that plagued the one of his other creations, the Lamborghini Miura, but the ‘wedge’ shape was only one of the iconic styling features the Carabo helped popularize.
The concept’s doors opened upwards for easy entry, an idea Gandini later plucked for use on the Lamborghini Countach and that has been used on all mid-engine V12 Lamborghinis since. Its straight, simple lines were also replicated by other automotive designers, including Ferrari’s favorite design studio Pininfarina, and were eventually adopted by more pedestrian cars like the Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed MK1 Volkswagen Golf.
By the 1980s, both American and Japanese automakers caught on to the wedge trend, applying it to cars like the third-generation Chevrolet Camaro and Honda CRX, however its impact was short lived. By the early 1990s cars had softened up a bit, but after taking a long hard look at the Carabo, we think wedge cars are long overdue for a comeback. Don’t you?