GENEVA MOTOR SHOW - Iconic design studio Italdesign Giugiaro is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year with the world premiere of the Parcour, a 'go-anywhere' GT car based on the original concept of a Sports Utility Vehicle.
The name and the concept both come from the sport of running across urban landscapes pioneered by Frenchman David Belle in the 1980s and made famous in the opening sequence of the James Bond film Casino Royale.
With a simple rotary control on the dashboard the driver can literally adapt the car to its surroundings, choosing from four different settings, one designed for comfortable driving, one for off-road driving, one for winter conditions and, lastly, one for high-speed driving on a race track - the electronic system modifies the suspension settings, ride heightand engine mappings to suit.
The Parcour is a runner, designed, engineered and built at the Italdesign Giugiaro workshop in Moncalieri. It's a mid-engined two-seater with minimum overhangs and broad ramp angles, and a 405kW, 5.2-litre Lamborghini V10 driving all four wheels, capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.6 seconds.
It rolls on special 22” all-terrain tyres specially made for Italdesign by Vredestein, giving it anything from 210 to 330mm of ground clearance depending on the suspension setting.
The passenger compartment is tight and compact, wrapping around the occupants and placing them very close together, which allowed the designers to use smaller glazed areas without making the car seem claustrophobic.
Carbon-fibre butterfly doors open upwards and inwards, as on endurance-racing cars, and include a section of the roof, as on the classic Ford GT40.
All the controls have been grouped together on the steering wheel and the centre stack that separates the driver from the passenger.
The two seats are fitted as far back as possible and are fixed; the steering wheel and pedal box are electrically adjustable. Instrumentation is provided by a multi-function LCD monitor in front of the driver, split into two sections.
Depending on the control selected by the driver, the top half displays the GPS navigation system, the status of the vehicle, the music entertainment or the images from the rear camera. The bottom half displays all the routine running information such as speed, mileage covered, fuel level and revs.
The graphics and colour of the monitor change according to the chosen driving setting: white for “Comfort”, red for “Sport”, orange for “Off-Road” and blue for “Ice”.
The double-wishbone suspension has eight coilover dampers, two on each wheel; on the tar the inner damper is locked and only one per wheel is used, but when “Off-Road” is selected the rocker is unlocked and all eight dampers work together, drastically increasing wheel travel and suppleness.
OPEN-AIR ROAD STAR
Also on display is a roadster version of the Parcour, restyled so that the passenger and engine compartments are continuous, and with beefed up A and C pillars that function as rollover bars
The sporty nature of the open-top version is highlighted by its capacity to transport two pairs of skis, on a detachable ski rack.