Touring Superleggera has pulled back the silk on its latest masterpiece: the Berlinetta Lusso.
The Lusso is a full redesign of the Ferrari F12’s exterior, adding a level of timeless sophistication to go with the mechanical brutality of the F12 on full throttle.
You may have noted that the latest Ferrari range lacks a super-lux flagship: the place of the 456 and 612 is now a far more shouty and hardcore proposition.
Touring Superleggera has given the F12 the classy formality of many timeless supercars from years past — including the 375MM made specially for Ingrid Bergman and many others.
The Berlinetta Lusso revamp is comprehensive: we cannot find a single shared panel with the factory F12. Starting with the nose and its major air intake, the Touring upgrade drops the full-width intake setup in favor of a much more traditional eggcrate grille in a pinched oval. This instantly connects the car to classic Ferrari style, but maintains the active aero of the lower intake edges.
The Lusso is completely stripped of Ferrari badges – with the nose looking a bit lonesome without one of the Superleggera badges – as embedded atop the trunk.
Moving up the hood, the F12’s horizontal reverse vent is replaced by a pair of vertical ducts sliced through the hood just above the engine block. The F12’s ultra-modern floating fender and swish of inflected metal in the doors is one of its most polarizing design features.
Touring Superleggera takes a more classical approach, with the fenders and hood a solid piece with no free-standing piece. Behind the new front fenders lives one of the best features of the Belinetta Lusso at making it feel special: a complex floating beltline crease that comes off the front wheeltop and flows through to the rear fenders.
This type of crease can generally only be created using the hand-beaten alloy panel fabrication techniques — a time and labor-intensive process almost completely lost to modern stamping presses.
Behind the front wheel and below this deep crease, the front quarter panel is slightly pinched as it forms a subtle flare behind the tires. This whole area is visually hidden by the over-fender lines — and continues with a solid surface as it flows into the door. Vastly different style than the F12 is a result.
The Berlinetta Lusso is not a total retro showcase in its door and profile surfacing, however. To help the car look current and less like the 612, the top crease of the beltline is matched by a parallel lower accent line. This sharp crease makes the F12 feel longer and lower than before, while also updating the scallop of carved-out space behind the fender.
Moving to the rear, the Berlinetta Lusso takes some big chances — with big rewards. The roofline is far sleeker and more appealing to these eyes. A smaller rear quarter window now flips upward versus down on the factory car, while the rear glass is sunken under a curved shroud. This curved piece becomes a pair of sharp accent creases outside the glas, helping to hide the practicality of the big viewing area nicely.
The trunk-top now has some sharp and pointy corners versus the aggressive, wrap-around flip spoiler of the F12’s tail. There are shades of 412i in the new look of the Berlinetta Lusso in back, while a solid rear bumper drops the F12’s huge bumper fangs altogether.
SUMMARY & PRICING
The Berlinetta definitely does what its name implies. A huge helping of luxury is present in every detail of the car’s design. The lines of the Berlinetta Lusso are far more timeless and classic than the F12, yet still clearly reference the Ferrari legacy of supercar greatness. Will it appeal to all people? No.
But then again, it does not have to. Just five examples of the Berlinetta Lusso will be made for sale — ensuring that owners will be the only one on their continent to pilot one. As far as pricing, we have no details to share. But the cost of old-world Milano masters designing and creating it by hand will not be cheap. Double the $400k rate of the factory F12 seems like a safe bet.
We are sure of one thing: there is no more elegant way to hit 60-mph in just 3.0-seconds than the new Berlinetta Lusso.
2015 Berlinetta Lusso by Touring SuperLeggera
A BESPOKE, COACH BUILT CAR OF TOURING SUPERLEGGERA IN WORLD PREMIERE AT THE 85th GENEVA MOTOR SHOW:
TOURING BERLINETTA LUSSO
- Coach built bespoke cars establish in the automobile market as the ultimate statement of luxury.
- The Berlinetta Lusso in world première, yet another testament of Touring’s design and craftsmanship, inspires from the golden age of Italian fuoriserie.
- First of a small series of five hand-built units, the Berlinetta Lusso has been developed on a customer’s wish on the Ferrari F12 chassis.
- Unusual, lavish three-box volume separation with perfect proportions epitomises understated elegance.
- The MINI Superleggera™ Vision lands back in Europe from its global car show tour to display Touring’s capability in supporting manufacturers with outstanding concept cars.
Touring Superleggera is back in the spotlight at the 2015 Geneva motor show with a world premiere: the Berlinetta Lusso. The main character on stage is 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 programme includes this year the MINI SuperleggeraTM Vision concept, just landed from a series of transatlantic auto shows, courtesy of BMW Group. Awarded “Best Concept Car of The Year” at the Festival Automobile International in Paris, this concept made in co-operation with MINI explores new design languages for the iconic British brand. It testifies how coach building can support car manufacturers in delivering unique concept cars with creativity, flexibility and outstanding quality of execution.
Geneva confirms the unique role of Touring as manufacturer of bespoke bodyworks, from design to perfect manufacturing under the same roof, testified by the growing interest of individual customers and manufacturers alike.
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.
A set of new techniques applies to the spaceframe, which employs 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 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 120° C, while the bonnet features high-temperature pre-preg and treatment to resist 250°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.
Price and Terms
The price of the Berlinetta Lusso is on demand.
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.
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
Touring Superleggera, worldwide ambassador for made in Italy, selected a prestigious venue as set of the first photo-shooting for the Touring Berlinetta Lusso, a place that blends allure, style and elegance and is the envy of the world: Villa del Grumello, nestled in the exclusive landscape of the Lake Como, enchanting for its delicate atmosphere and the harmonious altogether.
Owned, among others, by the Odescalchi family, the Villa over the centuries included notable guests: Vincenzo Monti, Alessandro Volta and Ugo Foscolo, remembered by a bust placed in the garden.
Today, Villa del Grumello hosts cultural, artistic, educational and scientific events on top of exclusive private gathering and meetings.
Coachbuilder in 2015
Our motto in terms of commissioning is “tailor made, hand made“, responding to an increasing need of distinctiveness, customization and exclusiveness coming from all over the world. Today, being a coachbuilding company does not only require to be original delivering 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 each 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 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 1950 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.
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.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.