Touring Superleggera is back in the spotlight at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show with a world premiere: the Berlinetta Lusso - a street legal 2-seater coupe, first of a series of five units.
Behind its birth, 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, itself a statement of luxury. It makes the hailed F12 rolling chassis with its overpowering naturally aspirated V12 even more special.
The Touring Berlinetta Lusso celebrates the legacy born with the feature line introduced by Touring on the iconic Ferrari 166 MM, the first series-produced Ferrari. It is the umpteenth expression of the creative inspiration of the Italian coachbuilder, recently appointed with numerous awards at the major contests.
The Touring Berlinetta Lusso takes inspiration from the golden era of Italian fuoriserie with proportions we are not anymore used to.
The luxury touch is expressed by the apparent separation of volumes: a long bonnet evoking the powerful V12 engine, a cockpit resolutely designed for two, and a discrete trunk for precious luggage.
"We devoted time to glorify the perfect proportions, the hallmark of Touring Superleggera design. There's no need to conceal or overdesign. Nowadays, we concentrate our energy into the most significant activity: the validation of volumes and proportions. We keep applying the original Touring design philosophy: the volume defines us and shows us our path" - so Louis de Fabribeckers, head of the design team.
There are evident Touring traits in the surface treatment too, like the unmistakeable 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.
The exterior paint chosen for the Touring Berlinetta Lusso is Azzurro Niourlague, a hint of Mediterranean sea in a sunny and windy day. The chilly shade contrasts with the interior, featuring a cocoon of slightly darker blue just split by a cream-coloured band all around the cockpit and sumptuous seats with their refined blue stitching.
All unnecessary or distracting items are removed to help the driver concentrate on the driving experience. Touches of hand-brushed aluminium are a reminder of the craftsmanship involved in construction.
Only five of a kind will be produced, each and everyone custom-fit to respect the personal commissioning credo of Touring.
The Touring Berlinetta Lusso shares the F12berlinetta rolling chassis, whose outstanding mechanical, electrical and electronic equipment and powertrain are untouched.
No less than twelve different types of alloy - some of them used for the first time in automotive - besides new ways of assembling and connecting components. All of this lead to considerable weight saving bringing the value to 1.525 kg and 20% increase in torsional stiffness, supporting the stellar performance and efficiency.
Body engineering and production process
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 are 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 120Â° C, while the bonnet features high-temperature pre-preg and treatment to resist 250Â°C.
Aluminium panels are hand-beaten at Touring Superleggera using a 1:1 manufacturing buck in 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.
Finishing and quality assurance
Quality checks include static and dynamic tests before the vehicle is released.
A protocol of exams needs adherence to standard requirements for surface alignment and gaping, exterior paint quality and polishing, interior finish. Functional tests are run in climatic chambers.
Dynamic tests on proving ground comprise NVH reduction, driveability, braking and all the functional aspects. The trial includes top speed behaviour, handling response on dry and wet ground and rough surfaces.
The Touring Berlinetta Lusso has received EU type-approval under the EU-Directive 2007/46 EC for small series.
Terms and Price
Touring Superleggera delivers the complete car in six months after reception of the donor car.
All Touring-produced or modified parts have two-year unlimited-mileage warranty, subject to the usual industry terms.
Touring shall supply the modified parts for life.
The price of the Berlinetta Lusso is on demand.