For those who don't know, Syd Mead is one of the most famous industrial designers of our age. His design work on Bladerunner, Alien, Aliens, Tron, Star Wars, 2010, etc. is stuff of legend. Google image his name for some great examples. He's an absolute genius.
I thought I'd ask him what he thinks of the 916 (which was never available in the US).
I asked him:
I'm an amateur design enthousiast and a great admirer of your work. The following production automobile was never introduced into the United States, if you have a free moment, could you see the design and offer a few sentences on your opinion?
My sincere thanks to you.
PS: The car is a (relatively inexpensive) 1995-2005 Alfa Romeo 916 Spider. Were you familiar at all with this car?
I have seen this roadster before.
I particularly (this is in regard to overall exterior) like the headlight treatment. It has the small ‘holes’ aligned with the lights behind. This is really nice; it gives great scale to the front end on a small car.
I hate the current practice of extending those horrible PLASTIC covers halfway up to the Apillar!
The instrument cluster, the console shift and hand brake, the controls for the radio, player, etc. and the air conditioning outlets are really nice.
One of the really startlling and DIFFERENT features of the exterior is the separation lline under the tonneau area. This gives the relatively small body a lot of articulation, suggets a separate ‘top’ element and makes a very dynamic alignment from mid vehicle to up and around the back of the cabin/seating pocket.
A nice car.
I am anticipating that with the exterior continuing in a metallic/carbon color grey, the interior could keep the bright color accent on the seats into other chromatic series, like a brilliant yellow, a fierce green, an electric blue, like that. I wish you the best and thanks for the additional pix.