When, in 2015, he controversially walked away from any more involvement in the Italdesign business that he sold to the VW group in 2010, many thought he'd finally put his feet up. But within that same year he announced a new car-design firm called GFG Style – named after him and his son Fabrizio, who runs the day-to day business – and at the 2018 Geneva motor show, GFG Style presented its own exhibition stand for the first time. Autoblog leapt at the chance to catch up with Fabrizio and Giorgetto to discuss their latest elegant electric concept and learn about their new business plans.
The 2018 GFG Sibylla concept unveiled in Geneva really was shaped by Giorgetto, as son Fabrizio (who speaks the better English) explains: "The drawings [under perspex on the stand] are real drawings by my father for this concept. He has 55 years of this kind of experience; nobody at this show has that much. Yet the front of this concept looks like a design by a young designer. It's really fresh."
GFG has collaborated with Envision – China's second largest wind turbine company that manages 100 GW of energy assets worldwide – to create a beautiful design to promote the idea of "beautiful energy." In this case, it's Envision's EnOS electricity system concept, in which EVs integrate into a wider energy eco system by contributing power to domestic houses and the grid at peak times and drawing back from it at lower usage moments (similar to what Nissan has proposed).
The elegant 16' 9" (5,141 mm) design is a classically voluptuous Italian car design – well-proportioned, full-volumed and curvaceous – but also features graceful technology, including a movable, wraparound clear roof dome where the windscreen, rear window and doors all slide to allow greater ease of entrance, and a device GFG says has never been proposed before – a stop signal in the grille area, to assure pedestrians it's safe to cross. The concept's specification sheet lists 400 Kw of power via four 100-Kw electric motors, a 280-mile range and a 4.5-second 0-62-mph time, but there's no production talk for this car.
However, Fabrizio says two SUVs will launch in 2019 in the Chinese market for a Chinese brand, and GFG plans to open an engineering company with an EV-specialist partner in Shanghai by the end of 2018, to complement its existing styling and modeling prototype capability based in Turin, Italy.
With a circa $12 million turnover from the GFG Style car-design division alone (alongside separate architecture and industrial design divisions), the Giugiaros would again appear to be a force to be reckoned with, and Giorgetto is in no mood to retire.
"Fabrizio still 'lets me' do a lot," he says with a chuckle, "but I don't do that much. I had a big team in Italdesign, but now it's different. The decision-making is much faster."