Alfa Romeo BAT 5

The BAT family (acronym for Berlinetta Aerodynamica Technica), was born in 1953 when the BAT 5 was presented at the Turin Motor Show. It immediately came to be considered a milestone in the architectural evolution of the car.

On the chassis of the Alfa 1900, Bertone mounted a highly streamlined berlinetta, with huge overhangs, full wing fairing, and the rear enclosed between two inward-tapering tail fins. The car is the result of meticulous aerodynamic research even if, with the means available then, it remained at the purely empirical stage.

In 1954, again at the Turin Motor Show, enter the BAT 7. This took certain themes expressed in the previous model to extremes, primarily the rising movement of the tail fins which now completely enveloped the rear volume. The third member of the family, the BAT 9, again debuted at a Turin Motor Show, this time in 1955. A number of the formal research themes, taken to extremes in the two previous models, were sized down here in favor of a more sober, compact volume, characterized by smoother flanks, and by tail fins that are barely hinted at.

To grasp their underlying theme, it may be meaningful to attempt a unitary reading, rather in the fashion of a triptych, of these three vehicles, however different they might appear in the graphic spirit and personality: namely a courageous and quite unparalleled exploration of “extreme” aerodynamic shapes.

Source: Wikipedia, 2011

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