Based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Carrozzeria Touring is a two-seater Gran Turismo coupé, itself inspired by the original 1950s Alfa Romeo Disco Volante. Since its epic unveiling at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the Touring Alfa Romeo Disco Volante was highly anticipated and now, four years later, the Disco Volante is now available to a select group of discerning consumers (limited edition and built only on demand).
Emblematic of Carrozzeria Touring’s reputation as a creator of bespoke supercars, the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante went from prototype to production model at a pace exemplary of the two-seater sportive coupe’s own century sprint – super fast )more on that in a bit).
Alfa Romeo C52 Disco Volante Heritage
Disco Volante, or translated from the Italian, Flying Saucer, was an apt name considering that back in 1952, at the height of UFO hysteria, the Alfa Romeo C52 Disco Volante was a series of experimental sports racing cars produced between 1952 and 1953. The collaboration between Alfa Romeo and Milanese coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring was an exercise in space-age (as they imagined in the 50s) styling.
“Il peso e nemico, la resistenza all’aria l’ostacolo” – Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni, Touring’s founder
According to Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni, Touring’s founder, “Weight is the enemy, air resistance the obstacle.” Thus, the C52 Disco Volante was distinguished by streamlined, wind tunnel tested bodywork or as the briefing at Carrozzeria Touring that year described it, the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante needed a shape that was ‘insensitive to wind’.
Using Alfa Romeo 1900 C elements, the C52 Disco Volante received a new aluminium crankcase, a new tubular chassis, and a very light, striking and efficient aluminium body: the result was a unique design which featured an oval cross section and even registered as ‘design patent’.
Initially aimed at races in the Sport category, the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante became a design icon which influenced the history of automotive design at Touring for decades.
“We focused on the preservation of the design essence. Once the design frozen, we had to understand the manufacturing problems and solve them right away without compromising the design.” – Louis de Fabribeckers, Head of Design
Coach built in the Touring atelier, Milan, the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring is a limited series production model for collectors and discerning drivers – Each unit will be handcrafted, requiring 4,000 hours of manual work and will be built only on demand.
Beginning with the 1952 style icon as a template, the latest Touring Disco Volante was re-interpreted with a a slightly higher bonnet needed for the engine bay ventilation while retaining the original proportions. What results is an aggressive and modern look, launching the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante 2017 into the pantheon of supercar design icons.
The newest Touring Alfa Romeo Disco Volante is very much a contemporary descendent of its legendary 1950s predecessor but equipped with modern electronics, mechanics and aesthetics – an Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione supplies the rolling chassis and drivetrain with the electrics and electronics systems.
Equipped with a front-central engine of 4.7 L of displacement and a limited-slip differential transaxle rear drive with unmodified specifications, the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring by sequential six-speed gearbox delivers 450 PS (331 kW; 444 hp) and 480 N·m of torque. The Gran Turismo Coupe is able complete its century sprint and accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.2 seconds; it can reach a top speed of 290 km/h (180 mph).
You can catch the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring (and the upcoming Alfa Romeo 4C) at Singapore Rendezvous 2017.
Handcrafted: The Touring Alfa Romeo Disco Volante
For the 2017 Alfa Romeo Disco Volante, Touring decided to use a combination of aluminium and CFRP – The craft of hand-beating aluminium panels combined with the use of
carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) is a signature manufacturing technique of Touring Superleggera. What results is optimal use of materials for the bodywork in terms of weight, resistance, precision, finish and quality, and ease of repair in case of damage – hallmarks of modern artisanal manufacturing.
To ensure constant and repeatable quality, the entire production process of the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante 2017 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.
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.