The latter is the Berlinetta Lusso which Touring showcased at this year's Geneva Motor Show. A more subtle and elegant take on the visually aggressive Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, the Berlinetta Lusso is rebodied in handcrafted aluminum and carbon fiber and will be offered in a strictly limited run of five examples.
The former, however, dates back a lot long than this past March. It's the 1948 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta, one of the earliest Ferraris and the first (discounting the Auto Avio Costruzioni 815) that Touring was called on to clothe. The 166 Mille Miglia was the first car which Enzo Ferrari made in any serious numbers, but this particular show car wasn't just any example: this one was owned by Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli.
It's a fitting display from the carrozzeria that won the Design Award with the Disco Volante just two years ago, displayed the Mini Superleggera concept last year and has been part of the Concorso since 1931. Sadly for the Milanese outfit, though, the Berlinetta Lusso didn't win the coveted prize this year: that went to the Bentley EXP 10 Speed Six, which also beat out the SCG 003C, Magna Mila Plus, Aston Martin DBX, Lamborghini Asterion and Zagato Mostro.
VILLA D'ESTE 2015
- A rare opportunity to see on stage the acclaimed Touring Berlinetta Lusso and Gianni Agnelli's Ferrari 166MM Barchetta Touring.
- Touring Berlinetta Lusso competes for the Concept Cars and Prototypes Design Award.
- The magnificent Barchetta owned by l'Avvocato enters the "Gentlemen's racers" class after regaining its authentic shape at Touring Superleggera restoration atelier.
Touring Superleggera is embedded in the Concorso since the early editions, having debuted in 1931. The hall of fame includes, among many, the prizes assigned to Isotta Fraschini 8ASS spider, Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider as well as Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Spider Coupe, Pegaso Z102 Berlinetta "Thrill" and recently Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring.
Touring believes the Concorso is the ideal stage to showcase innovative prototypes, give rise to new stylistic trends, surprise and amaze the selected attendance".
This year the Milanese coachbuilder celebrates with the Touring Berlinetta Lusso the legacy born in 1948 with the iconic Ferrari 166 MM Touring. Sharing the Villa d'Este lawns with Superleggera's latest F12-based fuoriserie is the first series-produced, Touring designed Ferrari, and not just anyone's. The 166 MM entering the Gentlemen's Racers class had Gianni Agnelli as first owner.
An evident red thread links the two Touring cars. Essentiality, elegance, polite power, the unmistakeable waistline edge springing from the front wheel arch: the uncountable qualities of the Ferrari 166MM Barchetta were source of inspiration for the Berlinetta Lusso.
The Berlinetta Lusso is a street legal two-seater coupe, hand-built in a limited series of five units. In the wake of its world premiere at 85th Geneva International Motor Show and the unconditioned appreciation of the audience the plant is starting production of the second unit.
Meanwhile, a subtle evolution appears on the first car. Its owner commissioned a new grille with embodied front lamps as a hint to another famous Lusso, the 250 GT. Head of Design Louis de Fabribeckers comments: «This is what bespoke really means at Touring. I worked on the customer's input and realized his idea was witty.»
Touring Berlinetta Lusso
The Touring Berlinetta Lusso is a street legal 2-seater coupe, fulfilment of the desire of a passionate Ferrari collector to have his own F12 dressed up. The tailor-made, lavish coupe in the purest spirit of Italian carrozzeria features a three-box architecture, a statement of luxury in itself. The Touring Berlinetta Lusso takes inspiration from the golden era of Italian fuoriserie with proportions we are not anymore used to.
The opulence is expressed by the apparent separation of volumes: a long bonnet evoking the powerful V12 engine, a cockpit resolutely designed for two, till its muscular rear hosting a discrete trunk for precious luggage.
There are evident Touring traits in the surface treatment, like the waistline edge springing from the front wheel arch and embracing the body till its muscular rear. This shape can only be reproduced through manual hand beating of aluminium sheets.
Chassis, engineering and production process
The Touring Berlinetta Lusso shares the F12berlinetta rolling chassis, whose outstanding mechanical, electrical and electronic equipment and powertrain are untouched.
Before any action in the building phase is taken Touring performs accurate investigations aimed at respecting or improving the original car's performance and quality and obtaining homologation.
A typical research involves FEM of the structural subsystems, while aerodynamics is assessed through Computational Fluid Dynamics with special attention paid to maintain the rear train downforce.
In addition, every single part including connections between chassis and body is CAD designed to guarantee quality and lack of vibrations.
Like any car manufacturer, a bill of materials and a detailed manufacturing cycle are filed together with parameters that indicate quality standards. Accurate surfacing and digitally controlled assembly tools are used for three-dimensional positioning of body parts, symmetry and gap measurement. This process allows matching surfaces and ensure less than 2mm tolerance in each single surface point of the finished car.
Aluminium and carbon fibre
Although Touring Superleggera gained recognition for mastering hand beaten aluminium, the bodywork combines aluminium and carbon fibre panels to save weight.
In the preliminary study, early consideration is devoted to the analysis of the ultimate materials in terms of weight reduction, stiffness, quality of surface and ease of repair in the event of damage.
Touring Superleggera chose carbon for the bonnet, front bumper, skirts, tailgate, front splitters and rear diffuser. The structure of the fibres is investigated to optimize the weight/stiffness ratio. For the best accuracy and quality, every element of CFRP is autoclave cured at 120° C, while the bonnet features special pre-preg and treatment to resist high temperature.
Aluminium panels are hand-beaten at Touring Superleggera using a 1:1 manufacturing buck made of epoxy replicating the zero-surface with offset equal to the panels' thickness.
Touring's engineers and artisans devote to each manufactured unit 5000+ hours of highly skilled work. The human touch and painstaking care of each detail will always mark the difference from series production.
The whole process is run in the Touring Superleggera atelier nearby Milan.
The Touring Berlinetta Lusso has received EU type-approval under the EU-Directive 2007/46 EC for small series.
Length: 4692 mm
Width: 2080 mm
Height: 1288 mm
Wheelbase: 2715 mm
Curb weight: 1645 kg Boot volume: 187 litres
Fuel tank capacity: 92 litres
Cylinders/ type: V12, 65°
Cubic capacity: 6262 cc
Nominal output: 545 Kw (740hp) 8250 rpm
Maximum torque: 690 Nm
Emission level: Euro 5
Fuel consumption, EU drive cycle
Urban: 22,5 l/ 100 km
Extra-urban: 11 l/ 100 km
Combinated: 15 l/ 100 km
CO2 emissions (combinated): 350 g/ km
Rear wheel drive, 7-speed, electroactuated sequential gearbox with paddle-shift control and automatic mode.
Tyres: Michelin Super Pilot front 255/35 ZR20 ; rear 315/35 ZR20
Wheel type: Aluminium forged wheels
Top speed (est.): 340 km/h
Acceleration (est.) 0-100 km/h: 3,1 sec
L'Avvocato and his Ferrari 166MM Barchetta Touring
Ferrari 166MM barchetta with VIN 0064M has a notable first owner in its history. It was delivered in August 1950 to Gianni Agnelli, also known as "L'Avvocato".
Enzo Ferrari approached Felice Bianchi Anderloni in March 1948 in search of a striking design for his first model destined to the street. He was already familiar with Touring's elegant pre-war bodies and had used a Touring coachwork on the AAC 815. Now Ferrari wanted to address customers who desired a luxurious and sporting car rather than a pure racing car.
The result was a masterpiece that left its mark on the history of automobile design, to the extent that a new name had to be forged to define it: barchetta, Italian for "tiny boat".
Already a fashion icon, Gianni Agnelli could not escape the halo of the newly introduced Touring design. In the purest spirit of tailor made he personally participated with his exquisite taste to the creation of his barchetta, dictating the graceful two-tone paint and the teardrop rear lamps that make this car one-of-a-kind.
This very special barchetta was later acquired by the Swaters family and guarded as a treasure for 46 years. After a rewarding racing career it was restored, but the then available techniques could not provide enough accuracy in the reconstruction of the front end.
Touring Superleggera was called to put in place a significant intervention to reshape the whole front and grille. It required an accurate research of historical images, access to original blueprints and 3-D scan of the car. The study led to CAD recreation of the authentic shapes and CNC milling of a purposely built model for validation and hand beating of the new body panels.
The car is now dressed up in the authentic lines and volumes that made Gianni Agnelli fall in love.
Coachbuilder in 2015
Touring Superleggera's credo to respond to an increasing need of distinctiveness, customization and exclusiveness coming from all over the world is "tailor made, hand made". Today, creativity is not enough to design and coach build beautiful body shapes: Touring Superleggera grants immediate feasibility beyond the limits of the large scale series-production allowing the design department to be free, obeying only to what the customers desire.
In order to be produced, even a fuoriserie needs to meet the standards for quality, safety and functionality of every other mass produced car. Actually, it shall exceed these terms aiming at excellence in every single detail, exuding quality in design, execution and materials.
This is nowadays possible thanks to state-of-the-art engineering techniques allowing accelerated design and test on parts, accessories and systems. Even the most skilled hands cannot perform at the level we require if not supported by computer technology, tooling and modern processes.
Touring Superleggera stands out in the industry landscape for its unique capability of completing the whole cycle from the initial sketches till the delivery of exclusive cars under the same roof. Exposed to the vibrant atmosphere of Milan, it epitomizes the design and luxury values of Made in Italy.
Touring Superleggera believes that coachbuilding adds great value to nowadays' automotive industry if it respects its rigorous needs and requirements.
The History of Touring Superleggera
Touring Superleggera is recognized worldwide as one of the iconic names in Italian car design and coachbuilding. Founded by Felice Bianchi Anderloni and Gaetano Ponzoni in 1926, the company started to produce custom built automotive bodywork with two distinctive features from the very beginning: sporting elegance and lightness.
Early customers were reputed car makers as Isotta Fraschini and Alfa Romeo. It would mark the start of a flamboyant period, also culminating in the "Flying Star" period with several spectacular spider coachworks
Touring Superleggera also gradually researched the streamlining process. The marriage between this, and their Superleggera construction system using aluminium body panels over a light but rigid tubular steel frame, resulted in some extremely elegant masterpieces such as the 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C2900 Touring spider, which today have become icons of automotive design and body construction.
In 1945, the excellent Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni joined his father at the company, which soon started to receive its first orders from Enzo Ferrari. The Ferrari Tipo 166 Touring Barchetta of 1948 formed a new milestone for light, elegant and effective design on a competition chassis.
Under Carlo Felice, Touring saw its industrial customer basis grow in the mainstream of the expanding automotive industry in Italy and Europe. A number of niche models were designed and built on Alfa Romeo 1900, Lancia Flaminia and Maserati 3500. Another new inspired car manufacturer from the Bologna area relied on Touring's skills: Lamborghini, that commissioned its first GT, the 350. In the same period Touring created another iconic automobile: the Aston Martin DB4, followed by the DB5 and 6, manufactured in Newport Pagnell with a license for the Superleggera bodywork system.
Since 2008, Carrozzeria Touring is an all-round supplier of automotive design, engineering and body manufacturing.
Design services range from style features body engineering, CAD feasibility studies, FEM/FES analysis, CFD/aerodynamic analysis, virtual crash test.
The manufacturing department provides style models, show cars, rolling concepts, street legal one-offs and limited production series. Recent models include the Bellagio Fastback based on Maserati Quattroporte and the concept two-seater A8GCS Berlinetta winner of the "Best Supercar of the Year" award in 2009.
They were followed by the acclaimed Bentley Continental Flying Star (2010), manufactured in limited run with the endorsement of Bentley Motors, and the Gumpert Tornante by Touring (2011), a superfast Grand Tourer commissioned by the excellent German sports car manufacturer.
In 2012 Touring celebrated a masterpiece from its rich heritage, taking inspiration from the Alfa C52 Disco Volante of sixty years before. The innovative, breathtaking Alfa Romeo Disco Volante, built by hand in a limited run of up to eight units, won the coveted Design Award at Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2013.
In 2014 in collaboration with MINI, Touring Superleggera designed and built an elaborately crafted, unique concept car to explore new design languages for the iconic British brand. Exhibited at Villa d'Este as the BMW Group's annual design statement, the MINI Superleggera™ Vision blends the tradition of classic coachwork construction with the MINI's authentic British styling to create timeless aesthetic appeal.
This year the Touring Berlinetta Lusso won the public appreciation at the Geneva Motor Show.
The company aims at perpetuating the core values of Touring design: purity, integrity, proportions, simplicity, resulting in timeless sporty elegance.
Design, manufacturing and restoration activities are run in the company premises nearby Milan.