The Alfa Romeo “Disco Volante” lands in Kyoto
FCA Heritage and Alfa Romeo are backing the Japanese Concours d’Elegance, which will be held from March 29 to April 3 at the Nijō Castle, with two masterpieces of the past and the present – a 1900 C52 Coupé, popularly known as the “Disco Volante”, and the modern Giulia Quadrifoglio.
Nijō Castle, the 17th century Unesco world heritage site in Kyoto, will be hosting a Concours d’Elegance that will bring together some of the most prestigious and emblematic classic cars, from March 29 to April 3. Naturally, FCA Heritage, the department created to protect and promote the history of the Italian brands of the FCA Group, could not miss the appointment. FCA Heritage together with Alfa Romeo are actively backing the event created on the initiative of artist Hidemoto Kimura which aims at repeating the remarkable success of the first edition held in 2016. So, FCA Heritage will be present with a masterpiece of the past which is usually kept in the Alfa Romeo Museum – dubbed the “Time Machine”, playing on the Italian word that means both machine and car – in Arese (MI). It is the 1900 C52 Coupé, popularly known as the “Disco Volante” which will be displayed hors concours as guest of honour in the exhibition dedicated to Carrozzeria Touring. The Giulia Quadrifoglio, the car which embodies the new paradigm of Alfa Romeo, made of thrilling performance and exclusivity, will be by its side to reassert the indissoluble special link that ties a great history and a bright future.
Alfa Romeo 1900 C52 Coupé “Disco Volante”
The “Disco Volante”, made between 1952 and 1953, was designed by Gioacchino Colombo and based on the 1900 Sprint, from which some components were carried over. Unlike the normal production car – built with a monocoque body shell chassis – the “Disco Volante” was based on a tubular trellis chassis. The 1997 cm3 twin shaft engine was entirely re-designed with a light alloy crankcase and head, two overhead camshafts and single fuel supply. Delivering a power of 158 HP, this extraordinary car reached a top speed of over 220 km/h.
The body of the “Disco Volante” deserves a special mention. Made by Touring, it combines aerodynamic research with the essentially American trend that saw car design taking inspiration from the world of flight. The car has original bulging wings over the wheels which seamlessly join with the streamline low-slung line, making it look like a sort of spaceship, hence its name. Only five were made in total, namely a Spider, a Coupé, a slimmer “fianchi stretti” (narrow side) version with wings closer to the wheels, and two Spiders with 6C 3000 mechanics.
Created by the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, the exciting Giulia is a new expression of the best Italian tradition that combines harmonic proportions, linearity of style, high quality materials and sophisticated aluminium, wood and leather accents. All embellished by iconic elements originating in brand’s over one-hundred-year history, the most significant of which is the trefoil, arguably the most famous emblem of Alfa Romeo design.
The Quadrifoglio version fits a powerful V6 2.9-litre petrol engine capable of delivering 510 HP paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission on the car on show to secure genuinely breath-taking performance – top speed of 307 km/h, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds and 600 Nm of peak torque. Despite this extraordinary performance, Giulia Quadrifoglio is eco-friendly, too. It is first in class in terms of CO2 emissions with 189 g/km.
To obtain an excellent weight-to-power ratio (remarkably lower than 3), the new Giulia combines extraordinary engine performance and ample use of ultralight materials throughout. For example, carbon fibre was chosen for the propeller shaft, the bonnet and the roof and aluminium was picked for the engine, the brakes, the suspension (including front domes and front and rear frames), in addition to many other body components, such as the doors and the wings. Furthermore, the rear crossmember is made of aluminium composite and plastic. To reduce the total weight, the braking system was tweaked using aluminium elements and carbon ceramic discs and the seats have a carbon fibre structural frame. Despite all this weight optimisation, the car boasts the best torsional rigidity in its class to guarantee quality over time, acoustic comfort and handling even in the toughest conditions.
Turin, 26 March 2018