In the halls of Geneva, resurrection man Robertas Parazitas meets two more restless souls.
Death, it has been observed here before, has a revolving door in the automotive world. In recent years we have observed the return of Singer, Borgward and Alpine. (In the case of the first I can’t see much of the spirit of the plucky Coventry firm, but the workmanship puts the last Chamoises and Gazelles to shame)
In Geneva, the Salon-goers could witness a double resurrection. Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera re-emerged in 2006 after a forty year hibernation. Their star exhibit this year was the Artega Scalo Superelletra, from the German sports car maker which filed for bankruptcy in 2012, and re-emerged in 2015 as a maker of high-end electric vehicles.
In its new life, Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera has displayed a mature, self-effacing, presence, favouring an informed, classical elegance over egregious overstatement. The Superelletra keeps this faith, with a more restrained design than the regular Scalo, and strong references to the ‘chopped wedge’ designs of the ‘60s and ‘70s and possibly a subtle homage to Ercole Spada’s Ford GT70.
The numbers are impressive. The 50 lucky owners will enjoy 750kW (1020bhp) nominal power output with 940kW (1278bhp) output on short term mode, and 1,620Nm of torque with a minimum range of 500km. The bombast of internal combustion hypercar technology is looking ever more irrelevant, in a manner which recalls the final years of piston aero-engines.
What is equally pleasing is the reversal of unwelcome trends. Independent carrozzerie seemed to be a dying industry, with Bertone gone, and Italdesign swallowed by VAG. Likewise the attrition of the emergent German specialist car industry; Artega, Gumpert, and Wiesmann all went under between 2012 and 2014, or so it seemed. Wiesmann remains in limbo, but Gumpert were at Geneva, reincarnated as Apollo, albeit without Roland G, and without the 2012 Tornante, a design refined by Touring Superleggera.
The compartments of that revolving door are getting mighty crowded…