Photo: Alfa Romeo
Many people regret the fact, that Alfa Romeo won’t make the Giulia Sportwagon. Some say that the poor estate has lost the battle to Stelvio and that it’s a pity. Why? Because station wagons have more sporty potential than SUVs, thank to the lower stance.
It’s true in terms of physics. However, automotive culture isn’t all about car physics. The automotive culture is influenced by everything- technical features, design, market position, historical aspects like famous owners of some car or motorbike, its appearances in books or movies and obviously racing record. Taking all those things into account, we can imagine a SUV as a fighter (like all those cross-country rally racers). And, despite mighty vehicles like Audi RS2 and RS6, Volvo 850R Station Wagon and so on, most of us see estate cars as those which may help us only in two fights. First enemy is the need to take all the contents of our house when we go on holidays. And the second one is our reluctance to reach our commuting destination.
So, is there any hope for those who want something more sporty than SUVs? Yes, there is. Using SUVs as everyday cars, is a fashion trend. And fashions change over time.
To predict, what will be the next fashion trend, you could look at automotive journalists’ social media profiles. From time to time they share pictures created by independent designers. Sometimes they approve the idea, sometimes they don’t. And there are also cases, when they react with a cry of delight.
Those cases are often related with two words. The first one is “shooting” and the second is “brake” or “break”. Together they form a name of car body style that is said to have been a choice of active people when there were no SUVs. “Brake” was the British word for a choach and “shooting” means that such cars were used for hunting. The term “shooting brake” was used for three- or five-door “boxy-yet-sporty” cars, usually made by coachbuilders. As the terms “estate” and “station wagon” emerged, meaning of “shooting brake” narrowed to “three-door car with estate-like trunk”.
This is, probably, exactly the body style that we need. We are always in hurry, so we like sports cars. We want to be active, so the trunk is important. And, as our families tend to consist of a couple with one or no children and a cat or dog, we really don’t need the second pair of doors so much.
So, well, it may be a conspiracy theory, but some automotive journalists, may, consciously or not, be involved in market research conducted in order to set a new trend.
Today there is only one production model which can be called “a shooting brake”. It’s Ferrari GTC4 Lusso. However, when we say “Ferrari”, it’s just one small step to Alfa Romeo.
Really: who could be a better choice to start the “shooting-brakes-for-everyday-people” movement?
The way is simple: Giulia Sprint (a traditional coupé), then the Giulia Shooting Brake, and then … the madness that will drive us to a duel between Fiat Tipo Shooting Brake and a Škoda Rapid Shooting Brake.
by Andrzej Szczodrak