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Touring Superleggera Disco Volante revealed in production guise [video]

Based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione

Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera has unveiled the production version of the Disco Volante concept that debuted at last year's Geneva Motor Show.

Described as a "unique combination of craftsmanship, quality [and] innovative design," the model draws inspiration from the 1952 Alfa Romeo C52 Disco Volante that pioneered lightweight construction and aerodynamic design.

Based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, the Disco Volante has an aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) exterior with a prominent grille, a panoramic glass roof and a distinctive rear end that clearly echoes its predecessor.

The interior is instantly recognizable but features leather and Alcantara upholstery, LED ambient lighting and an Alpine infotainment system. However, every model will be built as a one-off so customers can order virtually anything their heart desires.

Power is provided by a 4.7-liter V8 engine that churns out 450 HP (331 kW) and 480 Nm (354 lb-ft) of torque. It is connected to a six-speed sequential transmission which enables the car to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4.2 seconds, before hitting a top speed of approximately 290 km/h (181 mph).

Carrozzeria Touring declined to say how much the transformation costs but they did reveal each model will be built on demand and production takes approximately six months to complete.

Source: Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera

Touring Superleggera presents the Disco Volante production model

Following the introduction of the full-scale styling model in 2012, Touring Superleggera is proud to
present the first production model of the iconic Disco Volante at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. As
from now, the Disco Volante will be available to the discerning customer.

After the striking successes in the recent Geneva shows, the Disco Volante is another testimony of
Touring's capability as a creator and manufacturer of bespoke-designed cars coach built in very
limited runs to world class quality standards.

In just under a year’s time, the Disco Volante has developed from a prototype to a production
model; ready to be enjoyed by a clientele appreciating its unique combination of craftsmanship,
quality, innovative design and automotive history. Among them will be collectors, sporting drivers
and design aficionados.

The Disco Volante is a two-seater Gran Turismo. It 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.

History
The lightweight and ultra-aerodynamic Alfa Romeo C52 'Disco Volante' was considered a design
icon almost right from the start, when it saw the light of day in 1952. The briefing at Carrozzeria
Touring in that year mentioned the need for a shape that was ‘insensitive to wind’.
The unique basic design was even registered as ‘design patent’. Using Alfa Romeo 1900 C
elements, the car received a new tubular chassis, and a lightweight, striking and efficient
aluminium body.

Initially aimed at sports car racing, the C52 Disco Volante is one of the best examples to illustrate
the credo of Touring’s founder Felice Bianchi Anderloni “Il peso è il nemico, la resistenza dell'aria è
l'ostacolo" (weight is the enemy, air resistance the obstacle).

Exterior Design
The present Disco Volante celebrates the myth of the 1952 style icon. The new design briefing
required to blend ingredients as innovation, emotion and aerodynamic properties into a timeless
and essential shape.

Keywords are: bold, innovative, refreshing, daring.
During the development stage, Head of Design Louis de Fabribeckers and his team cooperated
with the engineers on an almost daily basis. "We focused on the preservation of the design
essence. – says de Fabribeckers – Once the design frozen, we had to understand the
manufacturing problems and solve them right away without compromising the design."

Many elements were changed in this stage, like a slightly higher bonnet needed for the engine bay
ventilation. Still, the original proportions were retained, so these changes will be hardly noticed.
The final result is even more dramatic and impressive than the styling study that was presented
last year.

Interior Design
In consistency with the car's design philosophy the interior has a ‘science fiction’ feel to it.
Part of this ‘spaceship’ atmosphere was created by elements like the red LED interior light profiles.
Also, aeronautics has been the inspiration for parts like the dashboard, instruments and seat
adjustment lever.

As for the upholstery, leather hides were bespoke manufactured to reproduce the exterior colour
shade. These are matched with black Alcantara™.

Of course, personalisation of the interior design to meet customer’s preferences is part of the offer,
in line with Touring's personal commissioning philosophy.

Rolling Chassis
The Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione chassis was chosen for its light and rigid structure and its
outstanding dynamic properties. Therefore it forms the perfect basis for the coach-built bodywork
of the Disco Volante, integrally conserving the rolling chassis and drive train.

The Alfa Romeo 8C’s steel space-frame and other structural elements were retained to guarantee
torsion stiffness, high performance and the quality standard. The frame members and the central
carbon cell remained unchanged. Elements of the underpinning and the body, such as the engine
bay and firewall, the windscreen and cowl, the a-pillar and the locks and hinges have been
retained too, just as the dashboard and instruments, the pedals and the steering wheel.

Parts like doorframes, the roof frame and the c-pillar have been modified to match with the new
shape.

The layout of a front-central mounted engine, a transaxle transmission and rear-wheel drive offers
an optimal weight distribution of 49-51% between the front and rear axles. To ensure excellent
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 lightweight and compact 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. Together with a limited-slip differential and a state-of-the-art braking system with large
diameter, ventilated discs a precise, dynamic and proactive drive is ensured.

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).

Engineering
All new and modified components of the Disco Volante have been CAD designed. In this process,
which covers feasibility, safety, homologation, aerodynamics and structural analysis, the most
advanced IT tools and simulation techniques have been used.

Since torsion stiffness and noise reduction are of critical importance, special attention has been
paid to the under-body structure and its elements, like the tubular frames supporting the rear wings
and bumper, and the roll bar joining the c-pillars. Other complex design issues were the tailgate
hinges, the 3d-cambered door window, and the front wheel covers.

The Disco Volante was then submitted to a CFD aerodynamic study to enhance the airflow and
ensure optimal downforce in the rear section. After that, FEM calculations were run to assess
resistance and rigidity of all parts subject to homologation.

Manufacturing Process
Touring Superleggera is synonymous with the manufacture of lightweight bodywork. The weight
advantage of aluminium is one of the assets of Touring Superleggera's construction methods.
Nowadays however, the craft of hand-beating aluminium panels is combined with the use of
carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP). For the Disco Volante, Touring decided to use this
combination of aluminium and CFRP. This has been the result of a study conducted to define
optimal use of materials for the bodywork in terms of weight, resistance, precision, finish and
quality, and ease of repair in case of damage.

The CFRP is used for specific components like the front bumper and grille, the bonnet, the skirts,
the boot lid and the integrated rear-window frame. The bonnet and the boot lid are sandwich-built
with Nomex filler in-between to obtain a better stiffness/weight ratio and to dampen vibration and
noise.

The aluminium panels are hand-beaten using an epoxy mould. Since the inner frames of most
parts of the bodywork are made of CFRP, this requires gluing of aluminium on carbon fibre. This
technique adds to the rigidity as the glue has structural properties.

The body panels are pre-assembled on a laser measurement platform using a jig. This ensures
that the strict tolerance required is respected. After adjustment, the panels are either welded or
glued. The body-in-white is then used to preassemble and fit all trim components, brightware and
moulding.

To ensure constant and repeatable quality, the entire production process is documented and
digitally logged. Like in series production, there is a quantified manufacturing cycle and a Bill of
Materials. Tolerances, measurements and other quality standards are quantified.

Quality Assurance
The quality control process includes static as well as dynamic test runs before the car is signed off.
The static-test protocol requires compliance to high standards in interstice and surface alignment,
paint and coating quality, interior trim and assembly.

A functionality test is run in a climatic chamber. The dynamic test takes place on the proving
ground. Beside routine checks on absence of creak, rattle and other noise, it concentrates on
handling, braking and all other functionalities. It includes high-speed runs, cornering and other
handling tests on several types of surfaces.

Type Approval
The Disco Volante has received EU type-approval under the EU-Directive 2007/46 EC for small
series.

Price and Availability
The price of the Disco Volante is on demand.

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Comments (9)

 schizo schizo
Very nice. Classic looks...wouldn't mind taking this thing for a weekend trip with the wife. Just take that carbon front spoiler off the front...it looks like the car has a stubbly beard...and it will be perfect. Now if only someone would make a proper modern re-iteration of the Giulietta...that one might be within my reach...
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March 7, 2013 1:03 am
 rogers rogers
This car is just gorgeous and it's reminiscent of the vintage Italian cars. So what if it looks like a boat?! The Veneno looks like a fighter jet and nobody's complaining.
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March 6, 2013 10:59 am
 Joao Oliveira Joao Oliveira
Looks like a boat
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March 6, 2013 9:40 am
 EnzoTinyu EnzoTinyu
I think Homer Simpson designed this car! Bubbledome!
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March 6, 2013 5:54 am
 EnzoTinyu EnzoTinyu
1 word for this car: FUGLY
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March 6, 2013 5:50 am
 16000rpm 16000rpm
599 headlights? Really?
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March 6, 2013 5:44 am
 hunker7 hunker7
it looks like boat.
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March 6, 2013 5:38 am