In what felt more like a panel talk than a press conference, Alfa Romeo launched its B-Tech series at the Centro Stile (design center) of its Turin headquarters. The host was Roberta Zerbi, head of the brand in the EMEA markets, and her guests included Klaus Busse, Head of Design for Alfa Romeo (as well as Fiat, Abarth, Lancia and Maserati); Claudio Nervi, the Head of Product Planning; photographer Giovanni Castel, who shot the unusual campaign; and COOL HUNTING’s co-founder and Executive Editor Evan Orensten. The discussion moved from art to design, and performance to photography, all of which suited the topic at hand: where design meets technology and how Alfa Romeo can now offer that to its customers more easily.
B-Tech stands for black plus technology, but it also references overall technological savvy. The new trim package is offered in the EMEA on the brand’s three most popular cars, the Stelvio, Giulia and Guilietta. Unlike with many other brands, you can get the B-Tech pack on any color you want—you aren’t limited to a “blacked out” style in a single color.
The B-Tech pack starts with an entirely new black color that Rossella Guasco, head of color and trim for the group, says is totally unique and will be exclusive to the brand. This was a requirement, as existing options for matte or piano black were not what the design team was looking for. This new finish, called Myron, starts with a glossy, very dark grey base; a layer of aluminum flakes are then added, and finally a clear top coat. This new black is how all of the B-Tech components are treated.
Klaus Busse notes that the core form of the cars is something he’s very happy with (and he should be, considering the prestigious Compasso d’Oro that his team recently won for the design of the Giulia), but that the image many people think of an Alfa Romeo is a red car with chrome trim. While that has served the brand well, he says that “there was a part that was inside me that needed to come out, which is a more pure form.” Thus, they took away some elements to create a simpler, more lifestyle-oriented look. The depth and richness of the finish is “almost like a purification of the car’s shape. You know, the car becomes a canvas where you can do other things to it, it was something we wanted to add to our lineup of sensual, emotional colors because you always think of race tracks and the Nürburgring and racing records when you think of Alfa Romeo, but we felt it was important to address this lifestyle aspect too.”
The B-Tech pack also includes the company’s latest driver assistance technologies, highest end audio as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. This playfulness between performance, tech, design and lifestyle is where photographer Giovanni Castel’s clever photos come in. He explained that the idea behind them was to show how great the cars look on their own, but also how well they suit those who are drawn to tech, design and fashion.
Visit Alfa Romeo to learn more about the B-Tech package. For readers and fans in the US, let your dealer know you’d like to see it offered.
Images courtesy of Alfa Romeo