Touring Superleggera Unveils Production-Ready Disco Volante GT
Following the introduction of the full-scale styling model in 2012, Touring Superleggera has revealed the first production model of the iconic Disco Volante at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
In just under a year the Disco Volante has developed from a prototype to a production model. A two-seater Gran Turismo, the car is based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione coupé with its front-central mounted 4.7 litre V8 engine and a transaxle rear drive with unmodified specifications. Each unit, of which the construction requires 4,000 hours of manual work, will be built only on demand.
The Alfa Romeo C52 ‘Disco Volante’ was originally manufactured in 1952 by Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring. The credo of Touring’s founder Felice Bianchi Anderloni at the time was “Il peso è il nemico, la resistenza dell’aria è l’ostacolo” or “weight is the enemy; air resistance the obstacle”. The Disco Volante’s shape was therefore designed to be insensitive to wind and was even registered as a design patent. Constructed using Alfa Romeo 1900 C elements, Anderloni’s design incorporated a new tubular chassis, as well as a lightweight aluminium body.
The present Disco Volante aims to celebrate the myth of the 1952 icon. Touring Superleggera’s current Head of Design, Louis de Fabribeckers, set out to capture and preserve the essence of the original design.
However, compared to the styling study that was presented last year, certain elements have been changed; one example being the slightly higher bonnet, which was needed for the engine bay ventilation. Still, the original proportions have been retained, so these changes will largely go unnoticed.
Louis de Fabribeckers implemented a ‘science fiction’ feel to the interior design. Also, aeronautics has been the inspiration for parts like the dashboard, instruments and seat adjustment lever.
In terms of the chassis design, the layout of a front-central mounted engine, a transaxle transmission and rear-wheel drive offers a weight distribution of 49-51% between the front and rear axles. To ensure better handling the front and rear double-wishbone suspension scheme is combined with hub carriers of forged aluminium and additional trailing arms for the rear suspension.
The 4.7 litre V8 engine delivers 450HP and 480Nm peak torque. It is coupled with a six-speed sequential transaxle gearbox with electronic control and paddle-shift gear selection. The Disco Volante can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 4.2 seconds and has a top speed of about 290 km/h (181 mph).
Source: Touring Superleggera