The New Touring Aero 3 Is an Alfa Romeo-Inspired, Custom Coachbuilt Supercar
Just 15 examples will be produced, but is it your cup of cappuccino?
Before you consider the new Touring Superleggera Aero 3, think of Carrozzaria Touring Superleggera itself, the Milanese coachbuilder and design house that thrived in the 1930s-1960s. You're instantly prone to visions of the gorgeous, streamlined, almost fragile-looking automotive creations that emerged from its doors. Those cars often did so with Touring's signature Superleggera or "super lightweight" construction methods, which stretch nearly paper-thin alloy panels over featherweight tubular structural frames. The first car to feature this Superleggera styling was a special 1937 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 B earmarked for the famous Mille Miglia 1000-mile open-road race occurring in the same year. It's fitting, then, that Touring's new Aero 3 pays a homage of sorts to the classic Alfa that helped elevate the small business into a globally recognized design house.
Touring Superleggera unveiled its Aero 3 this week at the Salon Privé Concours d' Elegance with elegant, sporty bodywork that stays true to the company's history of designing cars that are not just light, but also aerodynamic. In fact, Touring Superleggera claims it was the first design house in Italy with its own wind tunnel decades ago, as it designed concepts like the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante, which it reprised in 2013 (and again in 2016) in more modern form. The Touring Superleggera Aero 3 borrows touches from various prior Touring projects, along with heavily scalloped sides that duct warm air from extractors inside the front fenders. While Touring claims no official partnership with Alfa on the project, a riff on the classic heart-shaped Alfa grille is visible up front, flanked by hard-edged air intakes.
At the rear, rounded flanks and thin, horizontal taillights hint at the Disco Volante and other classic Touring-styled coupes. The most striking element of all is the large fin that Touring courageously admits serves no legitimate aerodynamic function. The fin also calls attention to the fact there is no rear windscreen on the Aero 3, which we guess is remedied with rear-view cameras and clever side-mirror placement.
The days of aluminum alloy being the lightweight body material of choice are long gone, and Touring has embraced the modern era with bodywork produced from carbon fiber. Touring says carbon-fiber thickness and strand orientation are engineered for the best compromise between strength and rigidity, and that replacement of the panels was considered should any of the 15 Aero 3s Touring plans to produce become damaged. More than 5,000 hours of work goes into each Touring Superleggera Aero 3, according to the company.
So, what's underneath the Touring Superleggera Aero 3's bespoke bodywork? All Touring is willing to confess to are the underlying chassis, seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, and 730-horsepower, 509-lb-ft, 6.3-liter V-12 engine of "a premier Italian supercar." If you're still stumped, you probably won't be for long, especially after a look at the Aero 3's dashboard and three circular vents atop the center stack. Should the underpinning car be the one we're thinking of, the Touring Aero 3's carbon panels shave about 400 pounds off of its 4,000-pound starting weight despite an increase of 7 inches in length.
How much is one of the 15 Touring Superleggera Aero 3 models? You'll have to contact Touring itself to find out, but it's happy to custom-trim each car to the buyer's specs, and will deliver a car just six months out from an order being placed. Each is covered with a two-year, unlimited mileage warranty, and Touring's lifetime guarantee on all parts it produces itself. The first Touring Superleggera Aero 3 built, one of three already sold, is the Stratosphere Red car seen in photos here, with touches modeled after the 1938 Alfa Romeo 2900 B LM Coupe Berlinetta Aerodinamica which raced at Le Mans the same year.
Touring Superleggera Aero 3 Highlights
- An all-new, limited-production supercar from Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera, of which just 15 will be produced
- 3-liter V-12 engine produces 730 hp, 509 lb-ft of torque
- 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
- Styling harkens back to Touring-bodied Alfa Romeos of the 1930s, as well as other heritage Touring designs
- Vertical fin styling element is non-functional
- Based on a recent, out-of-production Italian supercar (you can figure out the rest)
Touring Superleggera Aero 3 Specifications
|ENGINE||6.3L DOHC 48-valve V-12/730 hp @ 8,250 rpm, 509 lb-ft @ 6,000 rpm|
|TRANSMISSION||7-speed dual-clutch automatic|
|LAYOUT||2-door, 2-passenger, front-engine, RWD coupe|
|EPA MILEAGE||12/16 mpg (city/hwy) (est)|
|L x W x H||188.4 x 76.8 x 50.4 in|
|0-60 MPH||3.1 sec|
|TOP SPEED||211 mp|