21 May 1997

Design Trophy: Alfa 156

"What a beauty!" There can be no doubt that the Alfa 156 is the best looking car of the year. This model hasn't just settled for the standard elegance of the prestige saloon, but has that extra touch of class that is as secret as Latin glamour itself. A scintillating front section combines a cleverly ribbed bonnet with an unusually imposing radiator grille for an Alfa; sleek sides are barely marked by a midline groove that only emerges at the ends; rear door handles are hidden away in the quarter light pillars to give a coupé look. All these features make the 156 one of the most successful creations to come out of the hands of Walter de Silva, Alfa Romeo Design Chief since 1986. We have all dreamed of an Alfa to match the peerless beauty of the best Giulietta versions and now De Silva and his Milanese team have made our dream come true.
Walter de Silva had already designed the GTV and the Spider in partnership with Pininfarina. He also supervised the creation of the splendid Alfa 145 and the romantic Nuvola. The replacement for the 164 (early 1998) will also be one of his. "An Alfa Romeo designer needs a sound engineering grounding, a genuine passion for the brand and above all extensive European experience". And Walter de Silva knows exactly what he's talking about.

The Trophy was presented to Roberto Testore, Managing Director of Fiat Auto SpA and to Walter de Silva, Chief Designer of Alfa Romeo.

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