Scared off by the financial consequences of extreme design, and more concerned with putting its mainstream car business on the right track, Fiat wasn’t really interested in the surprise and delight market as the 1980s turned into the 1990s. This simply wasn’t good for Fiat’s new boss however, Paulo Canterella was a passionate car enthusiasts, who thought that the company should have more passion and be building enthusiasts’ cars. The first result of this was the extraordinary Fiat Coupe, styled by Chris Bangle. Although the chassis of Alfa 155 saloon lurked under the body, it was impossible to guess it. It looked like no other car before from the giant slash marks that creased the bonnet opening and tops of the rear arches; the Coupe was brutal and uncontrolled in its details. The headlamps bulged upwards from under clear cover, and the alloy fuel filler cap was perched on the rear wing. The rear view was a plain, flat expanse punctured by for large, round light units sunk into the tail. The coach building firm Pininfarina designed the interior, which was equally radical, using a strip of body matching metal across the dashboard to house the instruments designed to recall racing cars of decades gone by.
Fiat went to great lengths to ensure the car’s chassis was first rate, as it needed to be with an extremely was the first as it needed to be with an extremely powerful turbo engine in the top model. After a couple of years, the Fiat got new five cylinder engines for even greater pace. It styled at the top of the coupe tree for many years.