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From Parkour to Parcour.

Italdesign-Parcour-Drive-48Fabrizio Giugiaro made a rather thrilling statement, at the launch of its Italdesign Parcour concept-car, according to Automotive News Europe. He, reportedly, said: «Parcour was devised as a new way of living and experiencing a metropolitan route creatively», whatever that might mean. I assume he was referring to the potential of the supercar, rather than the actual creative use of it in megacities like Paris, New York where the Parkour «art of movement», the art of overcoming obstacles is a non-competitive sport. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkour). 

Those guys do it with their own muscle not with the 540plus horsepower of the Parcour engine. The agile look of the Parcour speaks for itself and is full of promises, as we should consider in a moment.

Let’s start with Fabrizio’s statement. It is thrilling because the Italdesign-Giugiaro Parcour comes as a technical chameleon, powered by a 404 kW, 5.2 litre, V10 engine provided by Lamborghini and delivered to the «quattro» four 22-inches wheels via the sophisticated with 7-speed, S-tronic, automatic transmission courtesy of Audi.

  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013

    There is more, because with its innovative architecture and ingenious hydraulic suspensions (called by Fabrizio Giugiaro «Pushrod 2.0») adjusting the car to three quite different heights, the Parcour delivers four-cars-in-one. Even though it is just for two passengers. One for the road, one for the racing track, one for the desert and one for the snow mountains.

    Through a stylish knob the driver can indeed switch the car’s setting from a comfortable on-road driving high-speed coupé to a high potential off-road SUV, a four-wheel drive tourer for winter driving on ice and snow, or for a series of laps on racetrack. Perhaps it is just because of this ultimate performance that powerful carbon disk brakes come with no servo, unless the 50 thousands man-hours put into the development of the Parcour were not enough to properly engineer it.

    In few words, the Parcour would be perfect of the Dubai Police department which garage has an Aston Martin, Bentley GT, Ferrari FF, Lamborghinis Aventador, McLaren MP4 and even a Bugatti Veyron but nothing like the Parcour.

    An advanced Concept happy to be obsolete in its first year.

    However, it is not for this reason that I went back to Italdesign to take another look at the Parcour. I went back to see it in a new perspective, after the Audi Nanuk unveiling at the Frankfurt's show.

    I was curious about the architecture and the market potential of the Parcour and its «revolutionary» new concept that has been made obsolete by the Audi Nanuk in just six months.

    To the greatest satisfaction of Fabrizio Giugiaro, director of the orchestra that delivered the new script (with the active and constant support of Walter De Silva and Wolfgang Egger) the Nanuk is confirming that the utopian idea of an "any territory SUV supercar" Parcour has great market appeal and functional credibility.

  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013

    It meets a demand in need of being uncovered and that might revolutionize the world of super cars.

    The conclusion that the Parcour concept has been a striking success came from Audi Chief Executive Rupert Stadler, who conceded that Audi maysoon approve plans to produce, probably in Italy, the Nanuk as its most progressive supercar for the road ever. No final decision has been made yet but I am sure the decision will be made soon. Simply because Audi cannot afford to miss the opportunity to showcase its tremendous potential. Its brand identity calls for it. Its engineering think-tank in Ingolstadt deserves it. Its e-tron technology "in progress" needs it; and many car enthusiasts already want it.

  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013

    There is no need to stress how relevant it is to be first to “uncover” a new market with an innovative «architecture». That is clearly witnessed by the recent success of the Nissan Qashqai and Range Rover Evoque. For this reason I am convinced that Audi, with the entire VW Group, sees the potential of a new Parcour/Nanuk inspired platform and is developing it.

    The market is waiting for a new product.

    The market of supercars has been expanding in recent years with the addition of new start-ups such as McLaren and Pagani and new markets that have required more Bentleys Continental, Ferraris, Lamborghini and Audi R8. The imminent launch of the BMW i8 and hybrids will bring new dynamism to the high-performance luxury segment and call for “fresh ideas.

    The essence of Parcour is to deliver the feeling of road vision and control, the higher driving position and the cabin roominess and comfort, of an SUV in a sleek 2 seater supercar, combined in a consequent concept.

  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013

    So much so that accessing the Parcour through the butterfly-wing doors is easier than entering into any supercar and any powerful SUV. No need to get down to the floor or climb up to the seat. The driving position is top ergonomics. Although sitting as in a sport car on the plush and relatively low seat, the driver’s eye point is much higher than in any supercar coupe and because of the rear engine the forum bonnet grant superlative forward visibility, and by the end of the day the car is easy and nimble to drive, just like a thoroughbred sport car. Sure, as in virtually every contemporary car, side and rear depends on video-technology and one has to get adjusted to it.

    In essence the first, and for many buyers the winning, strong point of the Parcour is that it is comfortable and you can use it everyday, on long distances, and in any road and climate environment. In few words its strongest point is the “H” point.

  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013

    Its second strong point, although it comes first when it is a matter of attracting the attention of the potential buyers and to stimulate their emotions and desire, is the car design, its style, its look. The mild-wedge look is not futuristic but modern and appealing, easy to the eye, taking advantage of the rear-mid engine layout and hence of the lower front bonnet. The style is elegant, distinguished and to some extent restrained. The design is disciplined and smart, banking on well balanced dimensions, natural proportions (perfectly drawn around the big wheels) and an innovative graphic composition, with joint lines engineered to create a dynamic sculpture made of aluminium and carbon fibre panels.

  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013

    Each component of the body, including the wing doors and the glass roof, do contribute to the dynamic but not aggressive character of the car. Sophisticated lights and lamps are bits of sparks at the four corners. The design of the roof is innovative and brilliant. The clever combination of the doorframe and the narrow glass roof delivers an exclusive dynamism to the car and that much sun light that grants an airy feeling to the cockpit.

    The cabin is bright and stylish, typical of a refined show car, with plenty of details and ideas. Here the seat is fixed to the frame with the pedal moving to adjust to any driver, or quite. The interior design has its quirks for design coherence and on-road functionality, keen, as it is to put on a show and experiment new solutions. Let’s not forget that research is not synonym of finding. There are a lot of nice details but not all details are functional.

  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013

    The third strong point is obviously under the skin and comes with the DNA of a Lamborghini Gallardo successor and inseminated by the «quattro» technology and expertise available at Audi. Plus the innovations introduced by Italdesign-Giugiaro and the VW group of which the Italian think-tank is a precious part.

    Let’s see.

    Sitting on the 2710 mm long wheelbase of the new Lamborghini Huracan, the Parcour two-seater coupe is 4530 mm long and as much as 2070 mm wide (thus making wing doors compelling).

    In its standard, and intermediate, setting of 250 mm. ground clearance, it is 1335 mm. high. That is a 37 mm. taller than the forthcoming BMW i8 and 83 mm. more than the V10 Audi R8. On track the cars moves 40 mm. closer to the asphalt, off-road it moves up 80 mm. to reach a clearance of 330mm. That is more than the Audi Q7 and has ramp angles of a genuine off-roader, despite the long nose.

    Despite the absence of conventional mirrors (replaced by rear-view cameras and LCD screens), it is by far the widest at 2070 mm.

    Under the skin, the distribution of the muscles and nerves animating this body have been the foundation of the concept car and here the synergy between the teams applied to many and different disciplines in Moncalieri and Ingolstadt has worked out very well.

    Engineers are secretive about the details and only give away the main facts. Among these the key feature is the suspension system developed especially for the Parcour, as enhanced by the “on sight” design of the rear deck, with the key element of the suspension being part of the design itself.

  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013

     

    Let’s Fabrizio Giugiaro, the project promoter and manager (not just the designer) describe it:«The inspiration for the suspension geometry comes from the so called push rod archetype, which is used on street supercars, GT and Formula racers. On such suspension a rod, connected to a whishbone, pushes the spring through a rocker. The turning point of our concept is that the rod has been substituted by a coilover. This suspension could be defined as a “pushrod 2.0”! It has 8 coilovers installed onboard, 2 per corner.»

    When driving on track or on street, only four coilovers are actually working so the car behaves as a standard double whishbone GT vehicle.

    For off-road conditions, the ride height can be changed and the rocker may be unlocked by a sophisticated hydraulic system so that all of the 8 shock absorbers do work to drastically reduce the suspension stiffness and to enable the Parcour to absorb heavy bumps and road roughness.

    Next: The Parcour Roadster.

     

  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013

     

    Much like the Gallardo and R8, the Parcour has a sister with a different character and no-roof: the roadster.

    Here the design of the coupé grants the roadster some unique design feature. Fabrizio stresses that its design started with the engine bay. «The roadster has been redesigned starting with the engine, to enhance the sporty spirit even further. In fact … there is no interruption in the continuity between the passenger compartment and the engine compartment, and I go so far as to say they are a whole».

    To make up for the absence of a roof, the front and rear pillars have been strengthened with carbon fibre; they also act as a roll-bar, to guarantee the safety of occupants if the car overturns, and play important aerodynamic functions.

  • Italdesign Parcour Roadster 2013 @geneva
  • Italdesign Parcour Roadster 2013 @geneva
    Italdesign Parcour Roadster 2013 @geneva

    On another front, the A-pillars are both functional and distinctive: each one consists of two distinct and separate elements. «This way», explains Fabrizio Giugiaro, "we have a double dimension compared with a coupé, to ensure the appropriate sturdiness of the roll-bar but, thanks to the fact that they are made up of two separate elements, the driver can see through them and the blind spot is drastically reduced, guaranteeing optimal visibility".

    Well, it would be nice to see the Parcour Roadster cruising around Monte Carlo or in Porto Cervo. And may be, one day we will, perhaps with another name. Audi Nanuk quattro? Well, why not, who would mind?

    {jcomments on}

    Comparison of Key Overall Dimensions.

    Maker and Model

    Wheelbase, mm.

    Length, mm.

    Height, mm.

    width, mm.

    Italdesign Parcour

    2710

    4530

    1335

    2070

    Audi Nanuk quattro

    2710

    4541

    1337

    1990

    Audi R8 V10

    2650

    4440

    1252

    1929

    Lamborghini Gallardo

    2560

    4345

    1165

    1900

    BMW i8

    2800

    4689

    1298

    1942

    Photo Gallery

    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
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    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
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    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
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    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
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    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
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    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
    Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
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    Italdesign Parcour Roadster 2013 @geneva
    Italdesign Parcour Roadster 2013 @geneva
    Italdesign Parcour Roadster 2013 @geneva
    Italdesign Parcour Roadster 2013 @geneva
    Italdesign Parcour Roadster 2013 @geneva
    Italdesign Parcour Roadster 2013 @geneva
  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
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  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
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  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
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  • Italdesign.Giugiaro Parcour, @Geneva 2013
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  • Italdesign Parcour Roadster 2013 @geneva
  • Italdesign Parcour Roadster 2013 @geneva
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  • Italdesign Parcour Roadster 2013 @geneva
  • Italdesign Parcour Roadster 2013 @geneva
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