Michalak Cilindro: IAA 1989 Design Revelation

Michalak Cilindro: IAA 1989 Design Revelation


In a surprising departure from their typical passenger car designs, Michalak Werkstudio from Wiesbaden unveiled the Cilindro, a small yet striking barchetta, at the IAA 1989. This non-roadworthy marvel aimed to showcase the prowess of Bernd Michalak's automobile design and development company.

Diverging from conventional industry practices, Michalak positioned itself as a nimble partner for the automotive industry. Bernd Michalak, the German car designer, emphasized that the rigid structures of large manufacturers often hindered the swift transformation of innovative ideas into prototype reality. The Cilindro, a self-initiated project, served as a bold statement, garnering notable attention within the automotive industry.

Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, the Cilindro boasted a unique design, deviating from traditional norms. The open two-seater featured a distinctive low all-round window encircling the cockpit, reminiscent of classic racing sports cars. Its dimensions were tailored to accommodate a longitudinally installed Ferrari V8 mid-engine.

The Cilindro's standout features included an exceptionally compact shape with minimal cuts around the cockpit and engine room. Front and rear overhangs were practically nonexistent, and the front wheel covers ingeniously swiveled with the wheels. The functional and aesthetically pleasing side air vents on the flanks, along with those on the back cover, added to its distinct charm.

The front of the Cilindro sported small-format headlights embedded under glass algae, flanking a radiator grille reminiscent of the iconic Ferrari. The rear, left open under a tear-off edge body finish, offered a captivating glimpse into its mechanics. Devoid of spoilers and wings, the Cilindro sacrificed practicality for aesthetic allure, lacking an actual trunk. Despite its limitations as a utility vehicle, the Cilindro captivated as a display piece and likely held allure as a thrilling "driving machine."