Concept Car Of The Day: 1976 Alfa Romeo Navajo - AllCarIndex

Concept Car Of The Day: 1976 Alfa Romeo Navajo

Apr 19, 2024

The ‘Navajo’ marked the beginning of a new era in cooperation between Bertone and Alfa Romeo, a partnership that had already produced numerous world-famous cars. Models like the Giuletta Sprint, Camguro, Giulia GT, Carabo, and Montreal are now considered milestones in the development of sports cars.

Despite its intentionally extremist design, the ‘Navajo’ was a concrete idea for a sports coupe based on the prestigious mechanics of the Alfa 33. The original tubular frame was extended and modified to accommodate two passengers, while the resin body and frame ensured the prototype was lightweight and high-quality.

Bertone gave the ‘Navajo’ a highly aggressive layout that aligned with Alfa Romeo's engineering, focusing on aerodynamics and wheel grip rather than just speed. The front of the car was tapered to minimize lift, complemented by a newly designed rear spoiler. An automatic and manual device controlled the spoiler based on the car's speed, with rear panels supporting a variable inclination airfoil to ensure excellent rear wheel grip at high speeds.

Inside, Bertone designed innovative instrumentation for the ‘Navajo,’ consolidating all vital information for the driver in one dial. Engine revs were related to power distribution and torque, while speed was correlated with braking distance in various scenarios. The dial also displayed the position of the front spoiler and acceleration levels in “G” units, in addition to standard information like water temperature and oil pressure.

Unique features like retractable headlights that opened horizontally added to the ‘Navajo’s’ appeal as a cutting-edge concept car. Bertone’s commitment to pushing boundaries and exploring new ideas continued with the ‘Navajo,’ reflecting the company’s dedication to innovation ahead of its time.

The name ‘Navajo’ was a nod to the Red Indian tribe known for their physical attributes and elegant dress, as well as their expertise in weaving. With Pirelli P7 tires, specific dimensions, and a weight of 870 kg, the ‘Navajo’ stood out as a captivating and forward-thinking automobile concept. It exemplified Bertone and Alfa Romeo's shared vision for pushing the boundaries of automotive design and performance.

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