The Alfa Romeo BAT (or Berlina Aerodinamica Tecnica) are a series of Italian concept cars. The cars originated from a joint collaboration project between Alfa Romeo and the Italian design house Bertone that began in 1953. Three cars were built: the BAT 5 in 1953, the BAT 7 in 1954, and finally the BAT 9 in 1955. All three cars were designed by Franco Scaglione.
Alfa Romeo contacted Giuseppe “Nuccio” Bertone of the Bertone design house and commissioned three concept vehicles to research the effects of drag on a vehicle. The idea was to create vehicles with the lowest possible drag coefficient.
All the cars featured large rear bumpers and curved fins. They were built upon the Alfa Romeo 1900 chassis. Each of the three cars was presented at the Turin Auto Show, in 1953, 1954 and 1955 respectively.
The lowest of the three cars’ drag coefficient was 0.19, an achievement even by today’s standards. For each of the cars, Alfa Romeo provided a five-speed gearbox and a powerful four-cylinder engine that produced more than 90 horsepower (67 kW), good enough to propel the car to a top speed of 125 mph (201 km/h).
All three original BATs have been restored. They make appearances at car shows such as the Concorso Italiano and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The cars have been on display at the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, CA, from 2005 until July 2017. In 2020, RM Sotheby’s sold all three cars as one lot at their auction for US$14.840 million, including buyer’s fee.
photo courtesy by author