|Gumpert Tornante by Touring|
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Touring Superleggera and Gumpert have chosen the 2011 Geneva Motor Show stage for the world premiere of the Tornante. Touring Superleggera provided the design and body engineering while Gumpert will take care of manufacturing and sales of the next model, complementing the Gumpert range as of 2012. The Tornante is showcased at the stage of 1:1 static style model in the best Italian tradition.
Gumpert have gained a reputation for their impressive street legal racing cars. They addressed Touring Superleggera with a call for elegance, more passengers and luggage space, improved comfort, access and ventilation, and noise reduction. However, the fundamentals of performance and dynamic properties had to be respected without compromise.
At Touring, designers and body engineers started then a process of creative elimination to define the true essentials of all the parameters involved, limiting unnecessary weight and volume. The result is still a thoroughbred, just a few grades more civilized, with some extra skills for an enjoyable voyage. It is called a Fast Tourer. However, let there be no misunderstanding about its intentions.
When selecting the partner for the new model's body design, Gumpert recognised that elegance is part of the genetic code of Touring Superleggera's creations. Even more remarkably, the paradigm of elegance was applied by Touring to the race cars too. This distinctive approach was at the basis of many masterpieces, like the 1940 Mille Miglia winner BMW 328 Berlinetta, the Ferrari 166 and 340 and the inspiring Alfa Romeo 8C2900. They all were redoubtable race machines with singular grace.
In turn, Touring was intrigued by the challenge from the young, vital and ambitious sports car manufacturer, known for uncompromised orientation to efficiency, high quality engineering and the constant quest for better performance. In the development work, the teams from the two companies discovered soon that they share the same respect for efficiency and essentiality. This facilitated the subsequent stages of engineering and feasibility study, and the merger of body and chassis required only minor adjustments from both sides.
The space frame chassis is a derivative of the apollo and features the same central engine layout. However, the requirements of accessibility and inner space have dictated a number of important changes to the rolling chassis: - the lateral member of the chassis is lowered by 80 mm in the door area - the A pillar and the windshield are rotated vertically by 2.5 - the B pillar is moved backwards with 100 mm allowing for 1120 mm wide gull-wing doors - the H point is displaced by 210 mm in height and 46 mm in length - the overall height is now 1215 mm.
Thanks to the thorough frame engineering, the outstanding combination of lightness and torsional stiffness of the original chassis is preserved. The engineers target 100 kg and slightly lower than 40.000 Nm/degree, but the passenger compartment volume is now increased by 25% and the luggage compartment capacity is brought to 200 l.
A crash box in the front section, adapted from Formula-1 technology, absorbs the impact energy in case of a crash, improving the passive safety. Featuring composite body panels over the light chrome-molybdenum steel space frame with carbon fibre monocoque, the construction principle mirrors the original method patented by Touring in 1936, and authorizes the symmetrical Superleggera badges on the bonnet.
Unlike other Touring creations, the Tornante is not rooted into a specific model of the Italian designer's heritage. Aesthetically, the project started from a white sheet of paper, allowing the designer's full and free focus on the challenging package of the rolling chassis and its hard points. The new model should not only offer ample performance and superb dynamic properties and aerodynamics, but also adequate levels of comfort, interior space and ergonomics. The spirit of a true dream car, but with sufficient practical features to become a safe and useable sports car in today's traffic.
The Touring accent of the Tornante originates from specific proportions and the balance of muscular elegance and introvert power, rather than formal language. The bodywork preserves its movement even when the car stands still, and when on the move, it expresses unique, elegant fluidness.
The prominent grille within the balanced front wings characterizes the Tornante's front area. The air intakes are pronounced, reflecting the care given to the air intake surface and the overall airflow.
The well-defined waistline reflects the functional separation between the greenhouse and the lower body. The top is a light area offering extended space for driver and passenger, overall visibility and sportive but comfortable 'life on board'. The muscular, though elegant shoulders announce the stunning performance of the power unit. Both the Tornante's doors and the boot lid open with gull-wing movement, providing easy access to the interior, the mechanics and the luggage compartment.
From the rear, the low quarter panels outline the powerful curve of the roof. Below the waistline, the very visible air diffuser evokes the research of the maximal downforce. The overall design breaths superior potential and performance in an elegant and slightly understated way, faithful to the Touring tradition.
The Tornante has the genes of the Gumpert apollo and inherits its impressive V8 biturbo engine. Weighing only 196 kg, the engine plays a major role in ensuring the ideal weight and the fascinating driving dynamics of the Tornante. An angle of 90 between the two cylinder banks is a sign of a classic 8-cylinder engine.
Starting from the pure block from Audi, the engine is a complete in-house development. Thus, the manufacturing process contains among others all the moving parts, air and fuel management, turbo chargers, charge air-duct and dry-sump lubrication. In the basic version this engine delivers 700 HP. In comparison to the apollo, the configuration will be optimized for the Fast Touring mission. This means more comfort and more suitability for daily use. Alongside the V8 power unit, an alternative powered Tornante is also planned for 2012.
The fully synchronised, automatic six-speed transmission guarantees efficient utilization of the remarkable energy at the back wheels. The arrangement of the gears in a longitudinal direction in the path of travel ensures a very low centre of gravity and optimum weight distribution.
Extremely short gearshifts up to 40 milliseconds (torque-to-torque) are provided by the precise TT40e transmission of the apollo, where "e" stands for electronic gear system. Gear changes are faster thanks to rocker switches on the steering wheel. The Formula 1-type technology promises the ultimate in comfort along with best driving performance.
The apollo derived built-in suspension ideally complements the body's sophisticated aerodynamics. The Tornante owes the finely tuned sensitivity of the suspension system and the optimised exertion of power to its double transverse control arm pushrod configuration at front and rear. The double wishbones ensure that the tires maintain optimum contact to the road surface, independently of the bound rate of suspension system. As the suspension elements are linked to the main frame, the system ensures a responsive reaction and precise handling.
Made of top-quality and highly stable chrome-molybdenum-steel with an integrated safety cell, the round tube frame is the base and symbolic backbone of the Tornante. Providing additional space and comfort for its passengers compared to the apollo, the Tornante will be as safe as its racetrack-dedicated brother is. The Tornante succeeds in combining low weight and rigidity with finest driving dynamics and comfortable Fast Touring.
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|Article||Image gallery (10)||Specifications|