Giorgetto Giugiaro. You might never heard of him, but he is one of the most influential car designers in history. Named Car Designer of the Century in 1999, it comes as no surprise that Ferrari allowed Giugiaro to create a one-of-one car to mark the 50th anniversary of his career.
The best car designer of the 20th century
Giugiaro was born on 7 August 1938 in Garessio, Italy. He quickly developed a serious passion for art and ultimately studied art and technical design in Turin. Before one of his teachers told him that his skills would be more suitable in the automobile industry, he had little interest in car design. Without this professor, it’s possible that Giugiaro would never have become the best car designer ever.
Although it’s nearly impossible to pick one “best” car designer, Giugiaro’s contributions to the automotive industry are well-documented and significant. He worked on over 120 cars and is perhaps best known for the DeLorean DMC-12 and the Volkswagen Golf Mk1. Among other car manufacturers, he worked for Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, DMC, BMW, Aston Martin and Bugatti.
Designing his very own car
We need to go back to the 2004 Paris Motor Show where Giugiaro had just finished a conversation with Luca di Montezemolo, President and CEO of Ferrari at the time. Montezemolo gave him permission to create a one-of-one car and they decided to use the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti as the basis. As long as the car would be recognizable as a Ferrari, he received the team’s full blessing. The name of the car was created from his initials (Giorgetto Giugiaro) and the number 50, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his design career.
Giugiaro was very motivated and excited to start this project, so he immediately worked on 1:10 scale sketches. Those sketches were turned into a 1:1 scale model using the Italdesign-Giugiaro VR Design Center in April 2005. Just two months later, a working prototype was finished. Back then, it was a revolutionary design and it would not surprise us one bit if Pininfarina took inspiration from the car when designing the Ferrari FF.
‘’I wanted to make a Ferrari for myself that I could use with my family”
That was Giugiaro’s goal, so he did. Most of the interior design elements are similar to the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, but the outside completely changed. The body is around 10 cm (4’’) shorter and received a differently shaped front, sides and rear. Some tiny updates made a big impact, such as the smaller head-lights, fog lights and front grille. The car looks a lot more balanced than the 612 Scaglietti from the side, mainly because of its sportier design. The roofline changed as well; whereas the 612 makes a big dive into its trunk, the GG50 is a bit curvier and reminds one of Alfa Romeo’s 8C. The back is more balanced as the rear lights and exhaust tips line up perfectly.
As mentioned before, the inside remained fairly unchanged. The steering wheel was replaced with a design reminiscent of old Ferrari single-seaters. Other unique elements include the dashboard and mid-console, which features a Pioneer satellite navigation system, and the rear seats can be folded down to create a space measuring 140 cm (55.1’’).
As this car was purely developed for design purposes, its engine and transmission stayed the same. This means you can find the same 5.7-L V12 under the hood as the 612 Scaglietti pushing about 540 bhp through the 6-speed sequential gearbox.