Fiat Bravo: online design story

Production Cars 27 Dec 2006
Fiat Bravo: online design story

To celebrate the new Bravo model, Fiat has set up a Blog that documents the development process of the car. The daily updates include design sketches, interviews and comments by designers and engineers.

The microsite named "Quelli che Bravo" ("Those around Bravo") is a blog where people involved in the Bravo project give their testimonials.

Below we report some design sketches and translated excerpts from interviews to Head Engineer Gianfranco Romeo and Head Desginer Frank Stephenson.

The Design Process

Fiat Bravo - Design sketch

The design process took just 3 weeks from 2D to the first three proposals, and then other 3 weeks until the final 3D full-scale model.

It was a very tight deadline, since this process usually takes from 6 to 12 months.

Gianfranco Romeo interview

Gianfranco Romeo, Fiat Engineering & Design, is the Head Engineer for ‘Project 198’ (the codename for the new Bravo). He coordinates all the main vehicle departments: trim (interior), exterior and body structure, electronics, chassis, powertrain and cost management.

Fiat Bravo - Design sketch

"Everything started from the "wish list" developed by the Styling Center.

"The management’s request was to create the most beautiful car in the C segment. Designers, led by Frank Stephenson, were asked to draw a beautiful and emotional car, without considering technical problems.

"In this way originated the wish list, which visualized a wide track vehicle with a low stance, sloped windscreen that confere a dynamic and passional look to the car.

The whole project was developed in just 18 months […]."

The new Bravo is based on a well tested platform, which was further developed in partnership with Magna Steyr engineering company, almost totally using virtual reality tools.

Frank Stephenson interview

Fiat Bravo - Design sketch

Frank Stephenson is Design Director for Fiat and Lancia. He worked for BMW Group, where he created the design for the Mini and the X5 SUV. The new Bravo is his first project since he joined the Fiat Group.

"We know that design is subjective, you cannot say it is right or wrong. You may like it or dislike it. We always try to create a car that will appeal to at least 75% of people.

"The problem is that in order to achieve this in such a short time, you have to be sure about what we want since the very beginning.

Fiat Bravo - Interior sketch

"You need a small, well-defined team that is very talented and can work together well. You don’t have the time to make mistakes.

"The process of developing the basic idea is always carried out by hand drawing […] and this is especially important for Italian cars, since they have to look like they are designed by hand.

"There are no straight lines: they’re like a sculpture."

Fiat Bravo - Interior sketch Fiat Bravo - Interior sketch
Fiat Bravo - Design sketch Fiat Bravo - Design sketch

Interview with Frank Stephenson (in Italian)

Additional information and images are available on


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