In 2008 Touring Superleggera showed their reimagining of the 2003 Maserati Quattroporte, the Bellagio.
Jalopnik calls it station wagon while Superleggera call it a fastback. I would call it a hatchback. All they needed to do to get it precisely in tune with our vexing Zeitgeist is to add 10 cm to the ride height and jam in a 4wd system. That is a distracting comment. As it stands, Superleggera have managed to respectfully turn the very nice Mk V Quattrporte into a believable semi-estate car. Should we tag it “is now” or “was then”? The car is still listed at Superleggera’s website. Other sources (ahem) say four have been built – which is somewhat fewer than I would expect given the general excellence of the basic car, the skill of Superleggera and the allure of the Touring name. While there are not many new cars I’d like to own, I could think of things Touring Superleggera could do to some newish or nearly new cars on my behalf were I to acquire several million euros.
Idea one is to have Touring make a Bristol 411 into a shooting brake. That would not be hard as it is a simple design, based on the body-on-frame structure. Idea two is to see what Touring could do with a Citroen XM: either a two-door coupe or a Prestige version with a longer wheel base. Finally, I might be tempted to ask them to make a two-door fastback out of the Lancia Thesis and, yes, please cut some weight out of it while they are working their magic.
I really hope Touring Superleggera can get to apply their name to cars with a slightly higher volume of production. The earlier incarnation of the firm did the Jensen Interceptor, the Bristol 401, numerous Maseratis and some Lancias. It managed to die off before becoming cheapened in the manner of Ghia or disappointing like Bertone or, today, Pininfarina. The firm’s badge still has magic to it. What I experience when considering Touring Superleggera is a certain freedom of imagination – it is a name that suggests grand ideas of a romantic scope.
We had another more in-depth look at the Bellagio here.
[Slide show source here]