Monday, March 24, 2008

Giugiaro Quaranta concept

Uncompromising innovation in Giugiaro tradition

An "extreme", clean-technology project embodying 40 years of styling research and engineering celebrated by Italdesign Giugiaro in Geneva

The "Quaranta" project is a concept car designed to celebrate Italdesign Giugiaro's forty years of business in styling and technological research at the service of the automotive sector. The Quaranta, world-premiered at the 2008 Geneva International Motor Show, is a synthesis of Italdesign Giugiaro's unmatched experience of automotive design: from city cars to super sports-cars, from MPVs to medium-engined saloons up to and including luxury flagships and environment-friendly SUV, not to mention light/heavy duty commercial vehicles, in complete cooperation with leading manufacturers all over the world.

The Quaranta is an "extreme" product, an environment-friendly, 4WD super sports-car which incorporates a series of innovative aspects: its styling, but also its drive technology, which combines a hybrid engine with solar energy, and its internal layout which, despite its mid-mounted rear engine, can accommodate three adults and a child, also providing a generous luggage compartment.

The idea which inspired the Quaranta project is that of the first single-volume concept car with central engine and drive. The original reference is to the 1968 Bizzarrini Manta which, at that time, represented a major breakthrough in styling, now adapted to state-of-the-art technology and enriched with Italdesign Giugiaro's forty years experience of research.

The style of the future
Despite its flat, highly compact shape, the Quaranta features a single-volume shape characterized by a continuous body line stretching from its clipped nose to the tail that exploits the almost horizontal rake of the windscreen.

Access to the cabin is "step-in" via an upper door incorporating the side ones. At the touch of an electric on/off button, the door opens upward in a downwind direction, regulated by proximity sensors. The door is hinged to the hood pillar and is aligned with a second upper rear door, for access to the engine compartment and boot.

The roof houses the array of solar panels, necessary to power the electric battery, in the space between the two doors. Along with the other solar panels positioned on the front end, these create a central opaque strip, a distinctive signature of the model, thanks to the interplay of light with the bright paint of the bodywork. The solar panels can generate a power of up to 250 W, sufficient for the functioning of the cockpit conditioning system and for recharging the electric battery.

The styling of the Quaranta prototype is further enhanced by the attention dedicated to surface aerodynamics, designed to ensure maximum possible efficiency and penetration, also by using sharp edges on the rear. This can also be noted in the front end of the vehicle where the radiator grille has been eliminated and replaced by two side air inlets, positioned above the lighting clusters, which perform the delicate function of front stabilizers. The rear of the vehicle has also been conceived to improve overall aerodynamic performance: an attentively-molded spoiler, with a perfectly square-edged cut and a very technical design, has the scope of supporting the lower wing, modeled according to latest generation F1 styling, that makes up for the absence of the traditional upper stabilizer.

Styling research aimed at top aerodynamic performance is also reflected on the sides, characterized by extremely generous glazing stretching from the front fender to the tail and in which the air vents are housed, located after the doors but also along the sill, in which the water cooling ducts are inserted. The most innovative feature of the side profile is certainly the contour line, between the door-windows and the sill, which is "negative" in the shoulder section, a particular, absolutely innovative feature for super sports-cars.

Interiors: technology for safety and comfort
Inside, the most striking innovation can be found in the multi-control steering wheel which reflects an idea already incorporated in the 1980 Medusa, a prototype developed by Italdesign and on display at its stand in Geneva: all vehicle driving and control functions are concentrated on the spokes, where the stalks have been eliminated and replaced with keys. This guarantees easier control by the driver, in a central position which can be obtained due to the absence of the gearbox-transmission block tunnel. This is possible thanks to the electric four-wheel drive system which eliminates any obstacles on the floor pan, making it completely flat. The generously-scaled central space of the cockpit can accommodate two adults and a child, behind the driver. The dashboard has been conceived with a sporting, modern look, with clean-cut details matching the style of the exterior, and equipped with a vast array of instruments. These are organized on two levels: the screens of the side and rear TV cameras are positioned on the upper level, with particular attention to the left-hand view mirror, useful when overtaking; the lower level is dedicated to the management of the vehicle. The drive-panel also includes a visor for X-ray sensors for night driving. The dark-colored leather and alcantara upholstery reflects the most refined Italian taste.

The lighting clusters are extremely modern: the low-beam lights are based on led technology, while the full-beam are of the Bi-xenon type. The direction indicators, the tail and rear stop lights are of the full led type, inserted in a single box but differentiated according to color, assembled and adapted by hand at Italdesign Giugiaro.

Last but not least, the Quaranta features 9 ½ by 20" alloy wheels, without hub caps for improved styling and aerodynamics, and four Vredestein tires as standard, which differ only in shoulder height: 275/35/R20 front and 275/40/R20 rear. The dimensions are certainly tight for a super sports-car but suitable for a 4WD car.

Technical data

Length (mm): 4450
Height (mm): 1230
Height from ground (mm): 165 / 230
Wheelbase (mm): 2620
Front/Rear overhang (mm) :960 / 758 (1014 / 808)
Front/rear width (mm): 1980 / 1982
Front/rear track (mm): 1759 / 1697
Front tires: 275 / 35 / R20 Vredestein
Rear tires: 275 / 40 / R20 Vredestein
Rims: 9 ½ x 20" OZ
Windscreen angle of incidence: 70°
Weight (kg): 1400
Drive: 4WD
Front suspensions: "Push-rod" type with overlapped triangular wishbones and central mono-shock-absorber
Rear suspensions: Push-rod" type with overlapped triangular wishbones and two shock-absorbers

Values and driving performance

Displacement (cm3): V6 3311
Max. power (kW/rpm): 155/5600
System total power (kW): 200
Max. torque (Nm/rpm): 288/4400
Top speed (km/h): 250 (limited)
0 – 100 km/h (sec.): 4.05
Consumption (l/100 km, combined cycle): 7,1
CO2 emissions (g/km, combined cycle): 180

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