Coachbuilding, lets be honest nowadays coachbuilding is something of a lost art and coachbuilders are becoming more and more scarce every year. However, coachbuilding is not completely extinct and luckily for the ‘uber wealthy’ motorist/car collector that prefers a one of a kind bespoke automobile, there are still a few coachbuilders out there that can/will create your dream car for you. Companies like Ares Design and Zagato are the main players which are keeping the art of coachbuildingalive, however there is another company which specializes in creating coachbuilt automobiles, and just like Ares Design and Zagato this company is also Italian based and the bespoke automobiles they create are nothing short of amazing.
If you are a die hard petrolhead or just an Italian automotive enthusiast you will have no doubt heard of Touring Superleggera. At last years Geneva Motor Show, the Italian based coachbuilder unveiled it’s latest hyper-exclusive coachbuilt Coupe known as the Touring Sciadiersia. For those of you that don’t speak Touring Superleggera’s language, the name “Sciadiersia” literally translates to “Shah of Persia” in English, and that kind of gives you a clue as to why this bespoke Coupe was created. The Touring Sciadiersia was not created for the Shah of Persia, but it was inspired by three bespoke Maserati 3500 GT’s which was completed by Touring Superleggera in 1958 for the then ruler of Iran.
However, this article is not really about the Touring Sciadiersiabut it is about Touring Superleggera’s latest project which just happens to be a new version of the hyper exclusive Touring Sciadiersia. This is it, what you are looking at ladies and gentlemen is the Touring Sciadiersia Cabriolet, and it is the topless version of the Touring Sciadiersia, obviously. The Touring Sciadiersia Cabriolet was unveiled just last week ahead of it’s official public debut at the Geneva Motor Show, which starts on 5 March and according to Touring Supeleggera, the new Touring Sciadersia Cabriolet is a “four-wheeled version of the Orient Express” which is a rather odd way to refer to a vehicle.
Starting on the outside, the Touring Sciadiersia Cabriolet is actually based on a more mainstream Maserati GranCabrio, however it’s Maserati GranCabrio genetics are not visible from the outside because as expected the Touring SciadiersiaCabriolet features an entirely bespoke, coachbuilt body. Even though the Touring Sciadiersia Cabriolet looks very similar to it’s Coupe sibling, the design proportions of the SciadiersiaCabriolet therefore, had to be completely re-examined to ensure the design of the vehicle remained consistent. However, the Touring Sciadiersia Cabriolet does feature quite alot of brushed aluminium exterior trim, as well as curvy body lines, bespoke front and rear lighting units and even a glass roof.
Inside the Touring Sciadiersia Cabriolet’s Maserati genetics are more visible, as a result you will find a bespoke, custom interior that will no doubt be familiar to any Maserati GranTurismo or GranCabrio owner. However, Touring Supeleggera have added a few special touches of their own which include a blend of chocolate and cream coloured leather upholstery, orange contrast stitching, custom “Touring Supperleggera” instrument gaugesand “Sciadiersia” brushed aluminium door sill plates. As expected, the Touring Sciadiersia features all the usual refinements and creature comforts that one would expect from a hyper-exclusive, coachbuilt Cabriolet and it even features a four seat configuration, that can seat four adults in total comfort.
Under the hood you will find a 4.7 litre, naturally aspirated V8 engine, which has been sourced from Maserati. As a result, the Touring Sciadiersia Cabriolet has an overall power output of 460 hp (343 kW) and although Touring Superleggera hasn’t disclosed any torque figures yet, I am pretty sure the Sciadiersia Cabriolet has between 510 Nm and 520 Nm of torque like the Maserati GranSport it is based on. Touring Superleggera has not mentioned any 0-100 km/h (62 mph) times, however I suspect they are similar to the 4.9 second 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of the Maserati GranCabrio. As for top speed, according to Touring Superleggera the Sciadiersia Cabriolet can reach a top speed of 288 km/h, but a vehicle like this is not meant to be fast, it is a cruiser that is at home on Alpine roads.
As for the transmission, the Touring Sciadiersia Cabriolet features a six-speed ZF automatic transmission or a six-speed single-clutch semi-automatic transmission that can also be found on the Maserati GranCabrio, which is no surprise at all. The Maserati sourced six-speed ZF automatic transmission or six-speed single-clutch semi automatic transmission sends all of the engine’s power directly to the rear wheels, which will no doubt make for an exciting and engaging driving experience.
As expected Touring Superleggera will produce the bespoke Sciadiersia Cabriolet in very limited numbers, in fact a total of just fifteen examples will be produced. Unfortunately Touring Superleggera did not mention anything regarding the price of the Sciadiersia Cabriolet, which leads me to believe that this bespoke, coachbuilt hyper-exclusive Cabriolet is not cheap. When I first laid my eyes on the Touring Sciadiersia Cabriolet I thought it’s looks were a little odd and I didn’t quite like this hyper-exclusive cabriolet, however this bespoke vehicle has since grown on me and it is bound to turn heads and get the owner/driver lots of attention wherever (s)he goes and let’s be honest, if you own/drive a vehicle like this, lots of attention is what you really want.
Steve & Chris Parry are contributors from stevespeedza.blogspot.com