Europe was once flush with coachbuilders, including Chapron, Fissore, van den Plas and Vignale, but many of these died out decades ago.
Carrozeria Touring Superleggera was another to fold but it was resurrected in 2006 and has released either a concept or production vehicle every year since. The latest is this: the Touring Aero 3.
The inspiration for the styling of this Ferrari F12berlinetta-based model comes from Touring’s aerodynamic coachwork in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.
The lightweight carbon-fibre body features smooth curves at the front, with a dramatic dorsal fin at the rear that extends from the roof all the way down to the rear bumper.
Despite the homage to Touring’s aerodynamic designs of the first half of the 20th century, the fin by design head Louis de Fabribeckers’ own admission “has no aerodynamic function in itself”.
In Touring’s words, the Aero 3 “avoids jarring, heavily angular architecture in favour of more sweeping, harmonious, but well-defined curves”.
It’s painted in the same Stratosphere Red as the Alfa Romeo 8C-based Disco Volante of 2013, which itself looked back to the Disco Volante of 1952.
The Aero 3 will make its official debut at this Saturday’s Salon Privé show at Blenheim Palace in the UK.
Just 15 examples will be produced and will take around six months to reach their buyers, though Touring hasn’t disclosed the Aero 3’s price. “If you have to ask…”
Though it’s visually distinct and 167mm longer, underneath the Aero 3 is unchanged from its Ferrari donor. Touring hasn’t confirmed it’s based on the F12berlinetta (it just says “a premier Italian supercar”) but the stats suggest it is.
That means it uses the same naturally-aspirated 6.3-litre V12 engine producing 544kW of power and 690Nm of torque, mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and good for a 0-100km/h time of 3.1 seconds.
Aero3 is a decidedly simpler (and some would say more boring) name than that of Touring’s last vehicle. That was the Sciàdipersia, based on the Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabrio.
Touring was founded in 1925 and patented its Superleggera (“super light”) technology in 1936. This consisted of a structure of small diameter tubes forming the shape of the car’s body, covered with thin alloy panels.
In its prime, Touring produced bodies for a diverse array of automakers, from exotic brands like Aston Martin, Bristol, Ferrari and Lamborghini to mainstream brands like Hudson and Sunbeam. The company ceased production in 1966, only to be resurrected 40 years later.