Once known for their beauty, a bleak and resolutely right-angled 1980s meant that Alfa Romeo’s designs were looking rather un-Alfa-esque by the mid-’90s. The brand badly needed a more modern look, and more modern cars too.
Aiming to rectify this, Alfa began working a pair of new small cars in the early ’90s, hiring Chris Bangle (of later and rather more controversial BMW fame) as lead designer.
The resultant Alfa Romeo 145 and 146 were revealed in the mid-’90s, and began the brand’s return to the European automotive mainstream. Of course being Fiat-derived Alfas they weren’t exactly cutting edge, carrying over the interesting-but-ancient flat-4 engines used since the ’70s, and still wearing an element of cubism that was necessitated by the 1980s platform underneath.
Still, around half-a-million 145 and 146s were sold before being replaced by the far more successful (and much prettier) Alfa Romeo 147, and previous bloggee Fuku Saku is one of the few that remember the slightly odd mid-’90s hatchback, paying homage via this rather good Lego recreation.
The hatchback and doors open, whilst some neat techniques cleverly capture the Bangle design, and there’s more of the model to see at Fuku’s ‘Alfa Romeo 145’ album on Flickr. Click the link above to make the jump and see mid-’90s Alfa at its most mid-’90s-ish.