Giugiaro's Parcour concept – a Lamborghini-powered off-roader
By David Szondy
March 6, 2013
This year marks the 45th anniversary of Italdesign Giugiaro opening its doors, and to celebrate the occasion the Italy-based design firm has premiered its Parcour supercar at this year's Geneva Motor Show. Taking its name from the obstacle-clearing sport of parkour and powered by the same powerplant found in the Lamborghini Gallardo, its creators have billed the vehicle as the first all-terrain GT, which fuses the high-performance of a track car with the go-anywhere capabilities of the 4X4.
Described by Fabrizio Giugiaro, styling director of Italdesign Giugiaro, as a mixture of an SUV, Crossover, Gran Turismo and a mid-engine sports car, the idea behind the two-seater, four-wheel drive Parcour is to combine the lightweight, slimline design of a GT with all-terrain capabilities. Fusing the two poses an obvious problem in terms of ground clearance, with the company opting for an electronic system to lower and raise the car and provide an adjustable ground clearance ranging from 210 to 330 mm.
Sporting a length of 4,530 mm and a wheelbase of 2,710 mm, its aluminum and carbon fiber construction gives it a dry weight of 1,550 kg (3,417 lb). The body is finished in “classic” Giugiaro Red with carbon fiber vents and piping. The front is marked by the grille formed by three large air intakes feeding the Parkour’s three radiators and between the two vertical carbon air intakes is a small boot.
The A pillar is detached from the windscreen to act as both a support and and as a deflector to direct air onto the roof and sides of the car, while the rear pillar guides the air over the bonnet toward the rear retractable spoiler for greater stability and better engine cooling.
The wheel arches have been designed to offset the large Vredestein tires fitted to 22-inch rims as the vehicle travels through its 120 mm adjustable ground clearance range. Also, the carbon fiber doors are a butterfly design that includes part of the roof to make getting in and out easier. Instead of wing and rear view mirrors, the Parkour uses cameras mounted on the upper frame and bonnet.
Moving to the interior, the passenger compartment is inspired by “urban style” with a tight cockpit feel for both driver and passenger, with surface areas dedicated to windows. The seats are fixed to the floor as far back as possible, but the steering wheel and pedals are electronically adjustable. Meanwhile, the interior’s upholstery is the result of a collaboration between Giugiaro and the Biella wool mill and is inspired by historic army uniform fabrics. For storage, three bags can fit in the compartment behind the two seats.
On the dash, there’s a multifunction LCD monitor split into two sections, with the upper half displaying GPS, vehicle status, music information and rear camera image. The lower shows routine data, such as speed, mileage, fuel and tachometer. As the driver shifts between drive settings, the display changes color from white (Comfort), to red (Sport), to orange (Off Road) to blue (Ice). Bookending the monitor are the displays for the wing cameras.
Beneath the glass bonnet between two pillar spoilers is the mid-rear mounted Lamborghini Gallardo V10 5.2‐liter petrol engine pounding out 550 bhp (404 kW) with 398 lbf/ft (540 Nm) of torque through a seven-speed sequential automatic gearbox giving the Parkour a top speed of 199 mph (320 km/h). Acceleration shoves you back into the seat with 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.6 seconds.
The suspension uses a push rod system. Normally, this involves connecting a rod to a wishbone that pushes a spring through a rocker. In the Parkour, the rod is replaced by a coilover – two per corner – so the car acts like a standard double wishbone GT, yet allows the car to change height and unlock the rocker for less stiffness while off-roading.
The Parkour suspension and gearbox have four drive settings. Comfort is for urban driving, Off-Road is for, obviously, off-roading, Ice is for winter driving, and Sport is for letting the Parkour rip on the track.
In addition to the Parkour coupé, there’s also a roadster. This is very similar to the coupé, though the profile has been modified so there’s no break between the engine and passenger compartments. To maintain strength while keeping weight down, the front and rear pillars are reinforced with carbon fiber and act as a rollbar.
"This way", said Fabrizio Giugiaro, "we have a double dimension compared with a coupé, to ensure the appropriate sturdiness of the rollbar 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".
The roadster also includes a mountable ski rack and two pairs of bespoke skis made for Giugiaro Design skis by Blossom.
Unfortunately for those looking to turn heads off road, the Parcour is just a concept at this stage.