There was once a time when Alfa Romeo had a car called the C 52 that was appreciated for its exceptional aerodynamic qualities, earning itself the nickname "Disco Volante," or in English terms, "Flying Saucer."
That was back in 1952 and it’s safe to say that we haven’t seen a car quite like it since then. That is...until now.
In celebrating the company’s 60th anniversary, Alfa Romeo has teamed up with Italian coach builder, Touring Superleggera, to bring us a modern-day interpretation of the legendary C 52. This model, called the 2012 Disco Volante Concept, is based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione . It carries a unique aerodynamic design and is built with carbon fiber and aluminum panels that should make its predecessor proud. And for those wondering if the Disco Volante Concept is just a novelty piece, not only does it carry a stout Maserati -sourced 4.7-liter V8 engine that produces 450 horsepower, but there’s a good chance that we will see a number of units for this unique supercar out on the streets in the near future.
UPDATE 03/13/2012: Milan-based coachbuilder, Touring Superleggera, has unveiled a very cool promo video for their latest Disco Volante Concept. Enjoy!
Find out more about the Alfa Romeo Touring Superleggera Disco Volante Concept after the jump.
Using an Alfa Romeo 8c Competizione as the base model, the 2012 Disco Volante’s design seamlessly blends the old-school styling cue of the legendary C 52 while also paying careful attention to its modern-day roots. One of the most distinctive qualities of the Disco Volante is its rear-oriented design, which is an homage to the C 52. More to that, the car also features an integrated front bonnet and wings that result in the vehicle possessing a dramatic monolithic frontal area. Combine that with a muscular rear end treatment and an overall teardrop shape and it’s easy to look at the Disco Volante as a modern-day interpretation of a classic model all while paying clear respects to its aerodynamic values.
Even as a car designed for today’s time, the Disco Volante’s overall look hides some subtle details that hint to its history, including the pronounced waist line underlined by the aluminum profile, the partly covered front wheels, and the prolonged lines of the rear section ending with those minute round-shaped tail lights that you only see in classic models.
Because of its light and rigid structure and outstanding dynamic properties, the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione’s chassis forms the perfect basis to receive the totally new, coach-built bodywork of the Disco Volante, conserving integrally the rolling chassis and drivetrain. In order to stay true to its objective in building a worthy successor to the C 52, Touring Superleggera wanted a chassis that came with a front-central engine, transaxle transmission, and rear wheel drive layout to offer an optimal weight distribution of 49-51% between the front and rear axles. On all accounts, the 8C Competizione became the clear-cut choice.
The Disco Volante Concept is powered by a Maserati-sourced 4.7-liter V8 engine that produces a stout 450 horsepower and 346 lb/ft of torque and mated to a six-speed sequential transaxle gearbox with electronic control and paddle-shift gear selection. That output translates to a 0-62 mph time of 4.2 seconds with a top speed of 181 mph.
No word yet on how much a Disco Volante will cost, but it appears that Touring Superleggera is looking at turning this into a production model on a per-order basis. In case you’re interested, you’ll need to send over an 8C Competizione to them and wait eight months for it to be delivered.
We’ll go out and say that we don’t think this model has any comp in the industry today. The combination of exclusivity, specificity, and client-based interest really makes the Disco Volante the true definition of a niche sports car.
- Retro body looks cool
- Picked a good chassis on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione
- Impressive performance for a lightweight sports car
- Made-to-order car
- Too long of a wait?
- No price yet