Carrozzeria Touring is back to turn your Ferrari F12 into a retrolicious, exclusive grand tourer

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The 2020 Touring Superleggera Aero 3 is a limited-edition grand tourer designed and built by Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring. The company’s first production model since the limited-series 2016 Alfa Romeo Disco Volante and 2018 Touring Sciadipersia, the 2020 Aero 3 is also based on an existing Italian car, the Ferrari F12berlinetta.

Discontinued in 2017 to make way for the 812 Superfast, the F12berlinetta provides the underpinnings and technology to the Aero 3, which features a brand-new exterior designed by Carrozzeria Touring and a revised interior. Power comes from the same 6.3-liter V-12 engine rated at 730 horsepower. Only 15 units will be built, all based on F12berlinetta cars provided by the customers. Is it a better option that Ferrari’s already iconic grand tourer? Let’s find out in the review below.

Exterior

  • classic design cues
  • inspired by aero cars from the 1930s
  • a modern tribute to the Disco Volante
  • race-inspired design features
  • retro aero roof
  • central rear fin
  • definitely unique
  • excellent neo-retro design overall
2021 Touring Superleggera Aero 3 Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Design-wise, the Aero 3 remains true to touring car design tradition by avoiding heavily angular lines. Instead, it showcases sweeping, harmonious curves combined with beefed-up front benders and sculpted rear haunches. Touring Superleggera says the Aero 3 is heavily inspired by the Disco Volante limited-edition coupe that Carrozerria Touring designed for Alfa Romeo back in 2013. The modern Disco Volante itself is a tribute to the original Alfa Romeo with the same name, built from 1952 to 1953 and penned by the same design house.

The Disco Volante roots are quite obvious, especially if we compare the Aero 3 to the limited-edition series from 2013.

Similarities between them include the nose, the protruding beltline, the heavily sculpted door panels, and the pointy rear fascia. Even the headlamps are a bit similar. But does the Aero 3 also look a bit like the Ferrari F12berlinetta it’s built around? Well, it does look a bit like Maranello’s car, but that’s mostly because it shares the same grand tourer layout. Things would probably be different if we’d look at it before we’d know that it’s based on the F12berlinetta.

2021 Touring Superleggera Aero 3 Exterior
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But the inspiration for the Aero 3 obviously goes beyond the iconic Disco Volante. Around back, it features a rounded and windowless roof section that has been used on many aerodynamic concept and race cars from the 1930s, particularly Alfa Romeos. As Touring itself points out, it’s also inspired by the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 of the late 1930s and the 8C 2900 of the mid-1930s. Another example from the era is the 1939 BMW 328 Touring Berlinetta, which won the grueling Mille Miglia race thanks to its aerodynamic styling. The rear fin that extends from the center of the roof all the way to the rear fascia is also a tribute to the 1930s racing scene, when automakers and drivers were experimenting with new aero features.

The Aero 3 is also packed with race-inspired details borrowed from classic and modern race cars, starting with the duct-like inserts into the front bumper. It also incorporates louvered quarter windows and fuel caps mounted on the rear section of the roof, something you won’t find on the Ferrari F12berlinetta.

Interior

  • revised Ferrari F12 interior
  • door pull loops
  • leather and Alcantara
  • sports seats
  • loads of carbon-fiber
  • aluminum inlays
  • Ferrari F12 technology
  • could have used a few more unique features
2021 Touring Superleggera Aero 3 Interior
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While the exterior of the Aero 3 looks almost nothing like the donor car, the interior is based on the F12berlinetta. To Touring Superleggera’s credit, many features and surfaces have been revised or redesigned altogether, but you can still tell that it was built around the F12berlinetta as soon as you look at the dashboard, the steering wheel, and the instrument cluster. You’ll find the biggest hint in the center stack, where the Aero 3 features the F12’s round A/C vents and the A/C control panels below. The steering wheel retains the same design and features, despite the "Aero 3" badge in the center, while the instrument cluster sports the same shape and layout.

Touring Superleggera also put a lot of effort into making the Aero 3's interior unique.

The door panels have been redesigned completely and feature a race-inspired, lightweight design, including cloth pull loops. The model shown here showcases a two-tone upholstery that combines black with Stratosphere Red surfaces that match the color of the bodywork.

2021 Touring Superleggera Aero 3 Interior
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Many surfaces come wrapped in fine Foglizzo leather, but you’ll also find a verity of aluminum trim, including polished and black matte. There’s also matte carbon-fiber elements and "Aero 3" badges on the center console and the seats. The Alcantara and the contrast stitching complete the look, while the race-inspired seat belts and the bucket seats are hints that this grand tourer is ready to hit the track.

Drivetrain and Performance

  • based on the Ferrari F12
  • 6.3-liter V-12 engine
  • 730 horsepower
  • 509 pound-feet of torque
  • 0 to 62 in 3.1 seconds
  • top speed at 211 mph
  • seven-speed dual-clutch
2021 Touring Superleggera Aero 3 Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Although the body is built from scratch, the underpinnings of the Aero 3 come from a different. Touring Superleggera says it retains the donor car’s spaceframe chassis and running gear and that both are "sourced from a premier Italian supercar." No specific model is mentioned, but a quick look at the specs reveals that Touring Superleggera designed the Aero 3 around the Ferrari F12berlinetta. The Aero 3 features the same 6.3-liter V-12 engine with identical output figures at 730 horsepower and 509 pound-feet of torque. The gearbox, a seven-speed dual-clutch, also seems identical to the one fitted in the F12berlinetta.

The similarities continue in the performance department, as the two cars have identical 0-to-62 mph sprints of 3.1 seconds. Likewise, top speed is identical at 211 mph.
2021 Touring Superleggera Aero 3 Exterior
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The F12berlinetta has been discontinued in 2017, when Ferrari rolled out its replacement, the 812 Superfast. The latter features a slightly bigger, 6.5-liter V-12 engine and packs notably more oomph at 789 horsepower and 530 pound-feet of twist.

Needless to say, the Touring Superleggera Aero 3 is as powerful and fast as modern supercars get.

Touring Aero 3 specifications
Engine 6.3-liter V-12
Output: 730 HP @ 8250 RPM
Maximum torque: 509 LB-FT
Drivetrain Rear wheel drive
Transmission 7-speed, electroactuated sequential gearbox with paddle - shift control and automatic mode
Top Speed 211 mph
0 to 62 mph 3.1 seconds
Weight: 3,619 pounds

How much does the Touring Superleggera Aero 3 cost?

2021 Touring Superleggera Aero 3 Exterior
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Pricing for the Aero 3 is provided only on request and does not include the price of the donor Ferrari F12berlinetta. Since the latter is no longer in production, the Aero 3 is basically aimed at Ferrari owners who already have an F12berlinetta. If you don’t own one and want an Aero 3, you basically need to get a used F12berlinetta. It’s not yet clear if the Aero 3 can also be built around the 812 Superfast, which shares most components with the F12berlinetta.

The conversion likely costs in excess of $300,000, especially since the Aero 3 is limited to only 15 units. Each car can be trimmed and fitted to the buyer’s individual preferences. The Italian firm says it can deliver the complete car within six months after it takes delivery of the donor car. Every part manufactured or modified by Touring Superleggera is covered by an unlimited mileage two-year warranty.

Is the Touring Superleggera Aero 3 better than the Ferrari 812 Superfast?

2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Aero 3 is actually a Ferrari 812 Superfast. Sort of. The 812 Superfast is an improved, facelifted version of the F12berlinetta, so we could say that the Aero 3 shares many of its drivetrain components and technologies. But the 812 Superfast comes with a revised, 6.5-liter V-12 that generates 789 horsepower and 530 pound-feet of torque, so the Aero 3 falls behind by 59 horses and 21 pound-feet. If you’re interested in power alone, then no, the Aero 3 isn’t better. But Touring’s take on the F12berlinetta is the better car if you care more about styling and about owning a modern vehicle that sports a classic design. The Aero 3 is also the more aerodynamic car. Somewhat ironically, even though the Aero is based on the F12berlinetta, the predecessor of the 812 Superfast, these cars are actually aimed at different buyers. The Aero 3 is the more exclusive, retro-styled F12 that Ferrari never built.

Read our full story on the Ferrari 812 Superfast.

Any other options out there?

2021 Touring Superleggera Aero 3 Exterior
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Although today’s market is packed with fast and luxurious grand tourers, none have the appeal of the Aero 3. It takes a long, hard look into the pool to find something remotely similar. In my opinion, the only cars that come close are official continuation series of iconic classics. Jaguar, for instance, revived both the E-Type Lightweight and the D-Type using old chassis. Yes, they’re not exactly modern and they’re not as powerful as the Aero 3, but both are timeless classics and both were originally designed for racing with (at the time) innovative aerodynamics in mind. The E-Type Lightweight was originally introduced in 1963 and Jaguar built only 12 cars. In 2014, the British firm built six more cars on existing chassis on the same specification as the originals. The D-Type is an even more legendary model. Produced from 1954 to 1957, it won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times. In 2018, Jaguar announced a continuation series of 25 units, including both short- and long-nose versions. Granted, these Jaguars are long sold out and they now cost in excess of $1 million, but they shouldn’t be that much more expensive than an Aero 3.

Read our full reviews of the Jaguar E-Type Lightweight and Jaguar D-Type.

Conclusion

2021 Touring Superleggera Aero 3 Exterior
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Carrozzeria Touring has designed some of the greatest road and racing cars in history. From 1930s Alfa Romeos and 1950s Ferraris to 1960s Aston Martins, Maseratis, and even Lamborghinis, this Italian coachbuilder left a permanent mark on the automotive design book, despite the fact that the original company ceased to exist in the 1960s. Fortunately, Carrozzeria Touring was revived in the 2000s and returned with a few impressive concept cars designed for companies like Alfa Romeo, Bentley, and Mini. The Aero 3 arrives as the firm’s most convincing modern products. Not only it echoes iconic designs from the past, it also pays tribute to iconic Alfa Romeo and BMW race cars. But it’s also a full-blown production model, something that the Italians haven’t done in a few years. The fact that Aero 3 is based on the very potent Ferrari F12berlinetta is just the icing on the cake.

  • Leave it
    • extremely limited
    • very expensive
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
About the author

TOURING AERO 3

Inspired by the history, designed by the wind

September’s 15th Annual Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance, to be held at historic Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill, will see the launch of Touring Superleggera’s exciting new AERO 3. The latest in a design concept that hails back to their historic role in developing the science of automotive aerodynamics, the AERO 3 perfectly reflects the prime directive of Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni, son of the co-founder and company saviour for decades: weight is the enemy, air resistance the obstacle.

Following Anderloni’s principles in fact made Touring synonymous with lightweight construction techniques, and wind-cheating bodies with tapering profiles. Employing research from their own wind tunnel, the first used by any major coachbuilder, cars clothed in Touring’s streamlined fashion excelled

in competition for various European manufacturers and earned them a solid reputation for combining aerodynamic efficiency, speed and style.

The modern generation of this streamline style is exemplified by their Disco Volante series, first shown in Coupé form in 2012 and soon recognized as a landmark in the art of producing elegant and electrifying cars in a very small series.

• From the aerodynamic heritage pioneered on milestones like their Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 and 8C 2900 B of the Thirties, the Disco Volante series of the Fifties, and the modern Disco Volantes of today, Touring has evolved the new AERO 3.Inspired by the avant-garde “streamline” designs that sprang from their own early wind tunnel, the first regularly employed by any major coachbuilder, the AERO 3 follows a clear line of design excellence directly from successes that included the 1939 Mille Miglia-winning BMW 328 Touring Berlinetta.

• GM Salvatore Stranci “extremely touched by the dedication of all my Touring colleagues who have allowed us to present a World Premiere after the difficult start of an extraordinary 2020.

• Italian V12 supercar performance with the beauty, luxury and exclusivity of genuine hand-craftsmanship by one of Italy’s most honoured custom coachbuilders, in an edition of only fifteen total units.

And if the Coupé is the cornerstone of the current interpretation of the streamline style, the Disco Volante Spyder epitomizes the Touring DNA, passed on then to what is rightly third in the series, the AERO 3: an essence of classic originality that goes beyond the concept of time.

It’s a quality appreciated by the commissioning owner of the Show example, patterned after the 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 B LM Coupé Berlinetta Aerodinamica raced at Le Mans, wearing Race Number 19. Like those phenomenal 8C 2900 B cars, production will be limited; in the case of the AERO 3, only fifteen units will be built in total.

“The Touring AERO 3 is our demonstration of resilience as an organization, our perseverance and desire to succeed”, says Salvatore Stranci, new General Manager of Touring Superleggera, “a reward after the difficulties of the first months of this year that put a strain on the entire automotive sector. I am grateful for the generosity, dedication and self-sacrifice of my collaborators, the entire Touring staff, from each and every department. We proudly present a world premiere with three units already sold of the ten that will be produced.“

DESIGN

Touring has long proven that cars on the cutting edge of performance and technology can still display grace and refinement, from their seminal Alfa Disco Volante C52 to their recent Maserati-based Sciàdipersia, and the AERO 3 carries on that tradition admirably. Inspired by the mid-20th Century golden age of Italian coachbuilding, it typifies the canons of Touring aerodynamic style, with flowing lines that highlight the cleanliness of the surfaces and smooth integration of the volumes into a unified whole.

In accordance with time-honoured Touring practice, the AERO 3 avoids jarring, heavily angular architecture in favour of more sweeping, harmonious, but well-defined curves. While the sculpted flanks give the shape dynamism and suggest power, and the large, muscular bonnet fires the imagination with promises of invigorating performance, the emphasis is on Touring’s signature balance of proportions and lightness of touch.

Similarly, the rear fin, often called a shark fin on the outright racing cars where they are now commonly found, reflects pioneering “wind profile” studies into aerodynamic theories of that golden age by Touring in the industry’s first wind tunnel. This detail, while a characterizing feature of the current design and a strong statement on the company lineage, is nonetheless artfully blended into the visual satisfaction of the overall machine.

“The idea of a fin was born as a prominent but very natural extension of the teardrop shape of the passenger compartment”, according to Louis de Fabribeckers, Head of Design for Touring, “and the purest way to illustrate the essence of Streamline Style. In the case of the AERO 3, it has no aerodynamic function in itself, but it evokes Touring’s aerodynamics legacy, from the 1930s onward.”

In effect, the Touring Superleggera personality is not so much trapped in a formal design language that cannot be violated, but dedicated to reaching a pleasing rapport of visual weights and purity of line, regardless of where design inspiration leads.

The result is a creation that goes beyond the notion of any compromise between dynamism and elegance of shapes and celebrates the concept of aerodynamics in every detail.

As for the specific finishing of the Show example, the exterior color follows the lead of Disco Volante Coupé Number One, with the dazzling and popular Stratosphere Red. This is repeated inside the cockpit as highlights against the black soft-furnishings, along with tasteful flashes of polished aluminium, black matte aluminium and matte carbon fiber detail fittings. Foglizzo leather and the distinctive fine Italian hand-workmanship accentuate the feeling of comfort and luxury an automobile of this calibre deserves.

The Touring AERO 3 retains the donor car’s space frame chassis and running gear (sourced from a premier Italian supercar), fully maintained in its mechanical, electrical and electronic characteristics.

BODY ENGINEERING AND PRODUCTION PROCESS

Before any physical construction begins, Touring conducts an engineering study of every detail with particular attention to safety, structural evaluations, and naturally, aerodynamics. All the chassis-bodywork coupling parts are drawn via CAD, to ensure build quality and absence of vibrations; critical load-bearing elements are also subjected to FEM modal analysis. Studies using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) optimize airflow across the AERO 3’s contours and ensure excellent vertical pressure in the tail area.

As with mass production practice, a bill of materials and a routing document is created. Tolerances, clearances and other quality indicators are standardized and recorded. The production process is fully documented and reproducible, to guarantee a constant quality level. Assembly is carried out using a reference cage to perfectly position the components in three dimensions.

This rigorous process ensures the correspondence to the design of each point of the body with tolerances of less than 2mm. Touring Superleggera craftsmen and engineers dedicate over 5000 hours of highly qualified work to each unit produced.

CARBON FIBER

Forever cognisant that weight is the enemy, Touring Superleggera has chosen carbon fiber for the AERO 3 body. The thicknesses and orientation of the fibers are designed for the best weight/stiffness ratio. In the preparatory phase, the optimal use of materials in terms of weight, strength, surface appearance and quality was studied, including ease of repair in the event of an accident. For maximum precision and quality, each CFRP element is produced by vacuum infusion at 120 °.

FINISHING AND QUALITY CONTROL

Quality control processes include static and dynamic tests before the car is approved for road use. A static test protocol requires compliance with high standards of panel alignment and play, quality of paint and polish, as well as stitching and interior finishing. Functional tests are conducted in a climatic chamber.

The dynamic tests on the test track concern air and water tightness, and the control of noise, vibration and harshness, in addition to driveability, braking and all functional aspects. Tests include top speed, wet handling and behaviour on various rough surfaces.

CERTIFICATION

The Touring AERO 3 is EU certified according to the European directive relating to small series production: EU-Directive 2007/46 EC.

DELIVERY TIMES AND COSTS

Pricing for the AERO 3 is provided on request, and as each car can be trimmed and fitted to the buyer’s individual preferences, may vary accordingly. Touring Superleggera is able to deliver the complete car within six months after receipt of the donor car.

Every part manufactured or modified by Touring Superleggera is covered by an unlimited mileage two-year warranty, subject to the usual terms of industrial production. The availability of parts produced or modified by Touring is guaranteed for life.

DIMENSIONS
Length: 15.7 feet

Width: 6.4 feet

Height: 4.2 feet

Wheelbase: 8.9 feet

Fuel tank capacity: 24.3 gallons

Weight: 3,619 pounds

TIRES
Front: 255/35 ZR20

Rear: 315/35 ZR20

ENGINE:
Cylinder / type: V12, 65°

Cubic capacity: 6.2 liters

Nominal output: 730 HP 8250 rpm Maximum torque: 509 ft lbs Emission level: Tier 3AERO 3

Technical specifications

DRIVELINE:
Rear wheel drive - 7-speed, electroactuated sequential gearbox with paddle - shift control and automatic mode

PERFORMANCE:
Top speed (est.): 211 MPH

Acceleration (est.) 0-100 Km/h: 3,1 sec

FUEL CONSUMPTION:
City: 10.5 MPG

Hwy: 21.4 MPG

Combined: 15.7 MPG

CO2 emissions (combined): 1.2 lbs/mile

COACHBUILDING IN 2020

Touring Superleggera’s work responds to an ever-growing demand for personalization and exclusivity that comes from all over the world. But the modern coachbuilder’s task does not only require originality and beauty: if the “made-to-measure” car allows one to discover unexplored areas of form and function without the limits of mass production, nevertheless they must of necessity be immediately producible.

And today, to be feasible, even a custom-built car must respect the standards of quality, safety and usability required of production cars, if not exceed them, and offer unparalleled levels of prestige and quality in materials.

This is why Touring Superleggera designs and tests parts, accessories and systems with the most advanced engineering techniques. In manufacturing, out-of-the-ordinary craftsmanship skills are not sufficient to guarantee quality and reproducibility; Touring therefore adopts computerized processing techniques and sets very high demands for finishing and precision.

Touring takes extreme pride in their reputation as a style centre and manufacturer of the highest proficiently, among the few able to carry out the entire cycle of creation and construction of an exclusive car, from manual design to surface engineering, to structural calculation, to style models and prototypes, up to and including small series production.

Touring Superleggera’s achievements show that the profession of coachbuilder has a great future if done with rigor, respecting the engineering and quality requirements of today’s automotive industry.

THE HISTORY OF TOURING SUPERLEGGERA

Carrozzeria Touring was established in 1926 by one of the world’s foremost car designers, Felice Bianchi Anderloni, and the company immediately sealed its position as a creator of the finest designs of the time, winning the most prestigious concours d’elegance then extant, at Villa d’Este, among a host of others. The wealthiest individuals and the most exalted brands came to Touring to have their special coachwork designed and built; brands like Alfa Romeo, Isotta Fraschini, Lancia and BMW. In the post-war period virtually all

of Europe’s top sports and luxury car makers sought out Touring for their landmark cars. Ferrari (until 1952, the bulk of that firm’s production), Lamborghini, Maserati, Pegaso, Aston Martin and Bristol are just a few of the many great names whose cars were dressed by Italy’s most distinguished couturier.

The patented “Superleggera” (or extra light) construction method allowed Touring’s designs to excel on the race track, and an unprecedented 11 outright wins on the Mille Miglia, together with victories in Grands Prix, Le Mans and every other major series are ample testimony. Some of the better-known masterpieces from Touring include the Isotta Fraschini Flying Star (1931), the Alfa

Romeo 8C 2900 (1937), 2500 Villa d’Este (1949), and Disco Volante (1952), the Maserati 3500 GT (1957), the Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta

(1949), the Aston Martin DB4, 5 and 6 and the Lamborghini 350GT (1963).

The back catalogue is truly one of the most noble and extensive of any coachbuilder.

More recently the historic name was purchased by a private European group specialising in luxury car brands.

This led to the Maserati Bellagio (2008), the A8GCS Berlinetta, winner of the “Best Supercar of the Year” award in 2009, and the Bentley Continental Flying Star (2010).

In 2011 Touring Superleggera created the Tornante, a supercar commissioned by Gumpert, and in 2012 a new Disco Volante was unveiled to celebrate the 60th anniversary of that bona fide icon of automotive design, the Disco Volante C52. True to form, Touring used innovative shapes and volumes to create a stunning new design, which debuted in production form at the Geneva Salon in 2013. Based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, the car went on to win the prestigious Design Award at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, before displaying at Pebble Beach and the St. James Palace Concours of Elegance and again winning at Chantilly.

In 2014 Touring was commissioned by MINI to produce a new concept, exploring fresh frontiers of automotive design.

The MINI Superleggera™ Vision was displayed at Villa d’Este before winning the coveted “Best Concept Car of the Year” awards at Salon Privé and the Automobile International Festival in Paris. MINI Superleggera™ Vision displays Touring Superleggera’s potential to offer manufacturers turn-key projects delivering creativity and flexibility as much as rigour in engineering and executing.

In 2016 The Alfa Romeo Disco Volante Spyder, based on the 8C Spider, was debuted at the Geneva Salon before winning the “Design Award for Concept Cars and Prototypes” at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and the “Spirit of Motoring” award at the Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance.

For 2017 Touring Superleggera collaborated with Artega on a new project using an electric powertrain, and the new Artega Scalo Superelletra was debuted at the Geneva Salon. This car, with incredible performance, blends perfect styling from Italy’s leading coachbuilder with technological efficiency from Germany.

The Sciàdipersia Coupé was unveiled at the Geneva show in 2018 as a novel vision of the Gran Turismo concept. Based on the Maserati Gran Turismo, this is a true four-seater in which to fully relish longer journeys. One year later, Geneva also saw the launch of Touring’s Sciàdipersia Cabriolet, a glamorous, fast, open-top luxury tourer imminently suitable for la dolce vita.

All of Touring’s products are designed and manufactured at the headquarters in Terrazzano di Rho, just outside Milan, Italy.

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