TURIN – ItalDesign SpA’s Alfa Romeo Visconti concept car, to be unveiled in Geneva next month previews the front end of Alfa’s new 157, due in May 2005.

Designer Fabrizio Giugiaro says the Visconti – named after a famous Milanese family from whom Alfa borrowed its serpent badge – is another attempt (the most recent being the new Maserati Quattroporte) to create an Italian rival for the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series.

Alfa Romeo Visconti concept car.

The near 16-ft. (5-m) long, 6-ft. (1.9-m) wide sedan features a distinctive, sloping tail that produces a 2-volume profile.

The concept – displayed here as a plaster model – is intended to be built over Alfa’s new Premium platform that forms the basis for the 157, the new Spider/GTV and, potentially, the replacement for the 166.

A 408-hp bi-turbocharged V-6 drives all four wheels, and ItalDesign reveals the Visconti gets an all-wheel-drive steering system that Alfa currently is testing.