Concept Cars of the Week: The ItalDesign ‘M’ Cars (1978-82)

HERO Lancia Medusa

Sleek, smooth and enormously influential concepts from Giugiaro including the Lancia Megagamma, the 1978 ItalDesign M8, Lancia Medusa and the Lamborghini Marco Polo, we trace the connections

There is a long history of aerodynamic research in automotive design. From Paul Jaray and Wunibold Kamm, to Saab engineers, to the Toyota Prius; there’s quite a rich legacy of aerodynamic experimentation, which has only accelerated with the emergence of advanced computer modelling.

But rarely has aerodynamic research been combined with attempts at packaging optimization. It is as if aerodynamics and a comfortable passenger compartment have been considered by some to be mutually exclusive. 

But in the late 1970s, ItalDesign, under the leadership of Giorgetto Giugiaro, undertook a project of optimizing the volume and practicality of the passenger compartment, combined with advanced aerodynamics. The result was a remarkable series of concept cars, all with names that began with the letter ‘M’.

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