The Concorso di Eleganza di Villa d’Este, is the prestigious event that for years has been honouring the world’s finest historic vehicles, in addition to bestowing awards on the most appealing prototypes through a public referendum in the Villa’s gardens.
And in the “Concept Cars & Prototypes” class the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring Superleggera distinguished itself this year. This two-seater coupé was crafted by the Milanese atelier on the base of the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione and shares its chassis and engine (the latter a 450 HP, 4.7-litre V8 with 480 Nm of maximum torque).
The car pays homage to the Alfa Romeo 1900 C52 “Disco Volante”, a coupé that sees its 60th anniversary this year. Designed by Carrozzeria Touring in 1952, the C52 made a great impact in the collective imagination of the time and earned itself the nickname of ‘Disco Volante’ (Flying Saucer).
The new Disco Volante features a mid-front engine, transaxle gearbox and rear-wheel drive: this layout offers a 49-51% load distribution between the front and rear ends. It features double-wishbone suspension, with forged aluminium uprights and supports and additional strut at the rear for toe-in control.
This is the second time in a row that Alfa Romeo has earned the ‘Design Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes’ from the Concorso di Eleganza di Villa d’Este: in the 2012 edition, the public bestowed the accolade on the Alfa Romeo 4C.
Thousands of visitors had travelled to the shores of Lake Como for this year’s event. The jury and assembled galleries crowned the “Days of Elegance” by selecting the prize-winners from the numerous examples of historical automotive art. The jury awarded the Trofeo BMW Group for “best of show” to clothing magnate Ralph Lauren’s Bugatti 57SC Atlantic from 1938; the car also won the Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este prize decided by public referendum.
“The competition entrants and the special exhibitions at this year’s event have taken it to a quite extraordinary level,” explained Dr. Ralf Rodepeter, Director of the BMW Museum and member of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2013 Selecting Committee. “We’re therefore delighted that more than 6,000 visitors came along to experience the event on the Sunday alone.”
In all, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2013 brought together 50 cars and 35 motorcycles from widely varying eras in automotive history. In addition, six concept vehicles and prototypes went on show, each representing their own distinctive perspective on future automotive design. Away from the competition, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este also provided the setting for the world premiere of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé and the BMW Concept Ninety motorbike.
The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este was held for the first time back in 1929 in Cernobbio, northern Italy. Since 1999 the event has taken place in the grounds of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este and Villa Erba under the patronage of the BMW Group. This year the Concorso di Motociclette, launched successfully in 2011, adopted the “90 years of BMW Motorrad” anniversary as its focal point. A special exhibition at Villa Erba featured over 30 of BMW’s motorbikes, including the BMW R 32 – the company’s first motorcycle – presented in 1923.
Source: Alfa Romeo/BMW
Video: Vincent Montreuil