When Roland Gumpert decided to build cars at Alternburg, he decided to build a car that would ‘combine the best technology, the best engineering and car knowledge, and in addition remain gorgeous’, he almost did, with the Gumpert apollo. Almost, since not everyone thought the apollo looked gorgeous. Looks apart, Mr. Gumpert achieved everything else he’d set out to.
The Gumpert Tornante takes its place in the 2012 range of Gumpert products, as a fast tourer. The idea for the Tornante was formed at the Geneva Motor Show last year, when Touring Superleggera and Gumpert realized they’re driven by the same philosophy, which is to disclaim anything that is not essential. Work began on the Tornante in April 2010 in order to bring to the market a car that wasn’t just as technically sound as the apollo but a bit more civilized with more elegance, more passenger and luggage space, improved comfort, access and ventilation, and noise reduction and at the same time ensuring fundamentals of performance and dynamic properties were not compromise. Tornante means ‘hair pin turn’ in Italian, a reference to the German and Italian connection, not unlike the twisty alpine roads. The design sketches were unveiled recently, and we have to agree, the Tornante is much more elegant than its sibling.
TOURING SUPERLEGGERA’s exquisite creations include the BMW 328 Berlinetta, the Ferrari 166 and 340 and the Alfa Romeo 8C2900. TOURING was intrigued by the challenge from the young, vital and ambitious sports car manufacturer, known
for uncompromised orientation to efficiency, high quality engineering and the constant quest for better performance.
The proportions are different from that of the apollo, and a number of changes were made to the rolling chassis to accommodate the requirements of the design changes and inner space. The floor height is increased by 20 mm, the shell seats are fully adjustable, heated, with 4-point belt and the paddle shifters are a standard feature. Much effort has gone into making the Tornante’s cabin comfortable. Sound and heat insulation material is fitted on the floor and between the cabin and the engine compartment, the glasses are double layered and the the ventilation system capacity is improved.
A crash box in the front section, adapted from Formula-1 technology, absorbs the impact energy in case of a crash, improving the passive safety. Featuring composite body panels over the light chrome-molybdenum steel space frame with carbon fibre monocoque, the construction principle mirrors the original method patented by TOURING in 1936 and hence the deserving symmetrical Superleggera badges on the bonnet.
The Tornante is powered by the same V8 Biturbo engine that powers the apollo. Starting from an engine block from Audi, the engine is completely developed in-house. Thus, the manufacturing process contains among others all the moving parts, air and fuel management, turbo chargers, charge air-duct and dry sump lubrication. In the basic version this engine delivers 700 HP. In comparison to the apollo, the configuration will be optimized for Fast Touring. This means more comfort and more suitability for daily use. Alongside the V8 power unit, an alternative powered Tornante is also planned for 2012.
The fully synchronized, automatic six-speed TT40e transmission ensures the gearshifts are extremely short to the tune of 40 milliseconds. Rocker switches on the steering wheel are used to control gearshifts. The arrangement of the gears in a longitudinal direction in the path of travel ensures a very low centre of gravity and optimum weight distribution.