The platform is the same as the Alfasud’s, with a shortened wheelbase and an inclined steering column to grant a stretched-out driving position and a lower profile. You enter the vehicle through a big, transparent cupola hinged to the base of the front bonnet, which opens by rotating forward. The car has no side doors; nonetheless, there are small ventilation inlets at the height of the passengers’ chest. The rear roll bar is also a spoiler, adjustable in four different positions.
Bowl-shaped seats and a cylindrical dashboard characterize the interiors: visualization takes place through two graduated cylinders whose rotation determines the horizontal line of reference.
The 1286cc, 86bhp engine is front-mounted, longitudinal, with four opposing cylinders, cast iron cylinder block and light-alloy heads, and one camshaft per head operated by two timing belts.
The Caimano was the creation of Italdesign Giugiaro, which was founded in 1968 under the name SIRP (Società Italiana Realizzazione Prototipi – “Italian Company for the Creation of Prototypes”), specifically for the Alfasud project. It would become one of the most active players in the automotive industry, both in terms of style and engineering.
Giorgetto Giugiaro, the founder, established the company’s creative guidelines and became one of the most important names in the car design industry. It was still a very young Giorgetto who, under Nuccio Bertone’s supervision, drew the immortal lines of the 2000 Sprint and, above all, of the Giulia Sprint GT. Once he was “independent” with Italdesign, the success was overwhelming: the production volumes of the vehicles designed in Moncalieri suffice to measure the company’s capacity.
From the Alfasud to the Alfetta GT, from the dream cars of the 1970s to the Breras and 159s of the new millennium, Italdesign Giugiaro and Alfa Romeo traveled a long way together.