Italdesign Zerouno convertible unveiled at Geneva

7th Mar 2018 10:40 am

Italian design house, Italdesign, has created a second model under its own brand, using a V10 engine.

The Italdesign Zerouno has gained a convertible variant to cater to demand, after the design house sold all five examples of the coupé it produced. The model has been revealed at the Geneva motor show, although the company remains tight-lipped on details, including the open-roof model's name.

All five slots for the Italdesign Zerouno were sold to customers; but the brand has now shown a murky image of a drop-top version, suggesting that it has bowed to its customers' demands to produce more examples of the supercar.

Following the public debut of its first car – the Zerouno coupé – the brand brought chassis number 002 (finished in red) to the Pebble Beach show in California last year. Italdesign also showed a Zerouno at the Salon Privé event, which took place at Blenheim Palace in the summer. The V10 supercar – a part of Italdesign's 50th anniversary celebrations – marks the first of several planned low-volume models produced by the new Italdesign Automobili Speciali.

The five customer cars were aimed at “collectors and visionary enthusiasts”. The brand said it still has several buyers after a car, so was previously exploring the "possibility to build a roadster version,"  having already opened "dialogue with customers, worldwide, to truly materialise their wishes into it".

The new supercar uses a 5.2-litre V10 petrol engine shared with the top-end versions of the Audi R8. It also adopts Audi’s quattro permanent four-wheel-drive system. Top speed is estimated at 330kph and the 0-100kph acceleration time will be just 3.2sec.

Sophisticated aerodynamics and lightweight construction are major themes in Italdesign’s first supercar. The body features a prominent front splitter, louvers over the wheel arches to relieve air pressure, side-mounted fins and a racing-style rear spoiler that works in conjunction with a large underbody diffuser to tune the car’s high-speed aerodynamics.

The body panels are made entirely of carbonfibre and the car is expected to have a kerb weight that will undercut Volkswagen Group’s other V10-engined supercar models, the R8 and the Lamborghini Huracan, which weigh 1,595kg and 1,575kg respectively. The overall impression of the styling is of a modernised Lancia Stratos, although Italdesign’s supercar is more than a metre longer than that model. The Zerouno is similar in footprint to the Lamborghini Aventador, at 4.87m in overall length.

The company’s engineers promise “racing car performance with type approval”, so the car can be used on normal roads. They revealed little about the provenance of their new car’s underpinnings; they only confirmed that it uses “a modular chassis in carbonfibre and aluminium”.

There’s no suggestion that anyone but Italdesign created this car. Company insiders say it is the work of a 60-strong band of designers, engineers, technicians and composite experts, brought together under Perini. “This project is the result of almost 50 years’ expertise in design, engineering and construction of fully functional automobiles,” said Perini. “We are absolutely delighted to make our debut in this market.”

Italdesign has designed many successful supercars in its 50 years. However, its most spectacular achievements have been its seminal everyman cars, first among them the original Volkswagen Golf, the flat-screened Fiat Panda and the iconic Alfa Romeo Alfasud. The company was sold to Volkswagen Group in 2010, after Giugiaro — the company’s co-founder and star designer for 40 years — decided to retire. He finally left the company in 2015; but his haven of creativity at Moncalieri, just outside Turin, lives on.

Also see:

Italdesign Zerouno convertible image gallery

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