Lamborghini-Powered Giugiaro Parcour Concept
To mark 45 years of automotive design, famed Italian design studio Italdesign Giugiaro has revealed the Parcour GT concept car at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.
Based around the concept of a SUV, the Parcour draws its inspiration from the sporting discipline “invented” by Frenchman David Belle in the 1980s.
“Parkour was devised as a new way of living and experiencing a metropolitan route creatively”, states Fabrizio Giugiaro, “The purpose of parkour is to move around as efficiently as possible. By efficiently I mean: simply, quickly and safely, which are characteristic features of our car.”
The Parcour is essentially a two-seater with four-wheel drive, fitted with a 550 HP Lamborghini V10 5.2-litre mid rear engine capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds. Parcour was designed, engineered and produced in the Italdesign Giugiaro plant at Moncalieri in Turin.
With a practical control device fitted in the dashboard, the driver can in fact literally adapt the car to its surroundings, choosing from four different settings, one designed for comfortable driving, one for off-road driving, one for winter conditions and, lastly, one for high-speed driving on a race track. The electronic system is triggered to modify the ride, the height above the ground and the engine setup.
“Every time we approach a project for a research prototype, we always start with the same question”, explains Fabrizio Giugiaro, “what is missing from the world of cars today? These days, we demand a car that is a comfortable and high-performance vehicle, irrespective of its use and of the type of terrain, which is how the SUV came about: it is a vehicle that guarantees driving comfort even on rough and challenging terrains. We teamed this with the setup of the ideal mid-engine sports car, being able to count, as always, on Audi/Volkswagen group technology. In addition, we wanted to pay tribute to the historic Lamborghini brand, which this year celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, using their 10-cylinder engine.
The result is the Parcour, a mid-engine sports car with minimum overhangs and broad ramp angles that’s ideal for all-track driving.”
This new setup is also apparent in the styling, with an exterior design that metabolises the specific features of a SUV, of a Crossover, of a Gran Turismo and those of a mid-engine sports car, combining them in an architecture that at the same time aspires to be robust, slimline and light-weight. The tyres, fitted with 22” wheels, set the style of the car, raising it considerably from the ground (from 210 to 330 mm depending on the selected setting) while the surfaces were designed to reflect a sports appeal, while keeping in careful consideration all the aerodynamic requirements.
There are two distinguishing traits of this aluminium and carbon-fibre body: the A pillar is detached from the windscreen and also acts as a deflector. In addition to having an architectural role, it conveys the air onto the roof and sides of the car. The rear pillar on the other hand is designed to direct the air over the bonnet and towards the rear retractable spoiler. This helps with stability during driving and also cools the 550 HP V10 engine.
The internal passenger compartment is inspired by an urban style and is designed to be enveloping; the driver and passenger are therefore seated very close together and also to the windows. Carbon-fibre butterfly doors, like those fitted on endurance cars, swivel open upwards and inwards; as a result, getting into the car is more convenient, since the door structure includes a portion of the roof. The cameras replacing the door mirrors are fitted on the upper frame of the doors, where they cross with the A pillar. A third camera, which replaces the rear view mirror, is installed above the bonnet.
In the plan view and the 3/4 view, the two long carbon slits along the entire length of the car stand out. This is an aesthetic trick employed by the designers to lighten the optical perception of a two-metre wide car, separating the sides from the body of the car.
The technical approach to the style of the Parcour also guided the design of the front bonnet and rear boot. The front view emphasises the three large air intakes which form the grille. Each duct conveys the air required to cool down the three large radiators. The minimised overhang, which is unusual for a mid-engine car, grants a very wide ramp angle, which is ideal for the all-track nature of the vehicle. A small boot was obtained underneath the bonnet at the front, enclosed between the two vertical carbon air intakes.
Similarly, the design of the rear was dictated by aerodynamics: two light clusters tower over a large air intake. The engine, encased between two large pillars-come-spoilers, is set beneath a glass bonnet that is in turn inserted into a carbon structure featuring a style marked by the three large horizontal slits and the two vertical air intakes.
To maximise the interior space, the two seats are fitted as far back as possible and are fixed; the driver can nonetheless adapt both the steering wheel and pedal unit, which are both electronically adjustable. Three bags can fit inside the compartment behind the two seats.
The inspiration for the suspension geometry comes from the so-called pushrod archetype that is used on street supercars, GT cars and Formula racers. On such suspension types, a rod, connected to a whishbone, pushes the spring through a rocker. The Parcour concept, however, incorporates a coilover instead of a rod. In fact, it features 8 on-board coilovers (2 per corner). When driving on a track or on an urban street, only 4 coilovers are actually employed; so the car behaves as a standard double whishbone GT vehicle. By means of a hydraulic system the ride height can be changed and the rocker may be unlocked so that in offroad conditions all of the 8 shocks start working together, thereby reducing the suspension stiffness. This enables the Parcour to absorb heavy bumps and road roughness.
The Parcour also has a drop-top variant. “A car with a decidedly sporty setup, as a mid-engine car, but designed for all weather conditions, for all situations, could not fail to have an open-top version”, explains Fabrizio Giugiaro. “The setup is very similar to that of a coupé but in this case the style has been redesigned starting with the engine, to enhance the sporty spirit even further; in fact, in this version there is no interruption in the continuity between the passenger compartment and the engine compartment, we could go so far as to say they are a whole”.
To make up for the absence of a roof, the front and rear pillars have been strengthened with carbon-fibre; they not only play an aerodynamic role but also act as a roll-bar, to guarantee the safety of occupants if the car overturns.