Touring’s Alfa Romeo Disco Volante Spider is a convertible flying saucer

Four years ago at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, Italian design firm Touring Superleggera melted car enthusiasts’ hearts with the Disco Volante, an updated version of one of its classic concept-car designs for Alfa Romeo.

For the 2016 Geneva show, Touring lopped the roof off the Disco Volante. The Disco Volante Spider celebrates the company’s 90th anniversary in style. The Spider looks virtually identical to the previous Disco Volante coupe, but with a pair of removable carbon fiber roof panels that allow for some open-air motoring. They can be stowed in the trunk when not needed.

The name “Disco Volante” means “flying saucer” in Italian, and was first attached to an Alfa Romeo prototype that debuted in 1952. That car was meant to advance aerodynamics, and featured an impressive 0.25 drag coefficient. Two more copies were eventually built, along with two topless spiders.

It also looked like the alien spacecraft it was named after. “Coachbuilding,” or the re-styling of production cars, used to keep many companies like Touring in business, but the complexity of modern cars makes that job more difficult. When it debuted in 2012, the Alfa Romeo-based modern Disco Volante was praised as a return to form.

Touring did not release many technical details on the Disco Volante Spider, but like the coupe, it’s based on the discontinued Alfa Romeo 8C Competitizione. That means there’s likely a Maserati-sourced 4.7-liter V8 under the hood, with 444 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, enough for 0 to 60 mph in the 4.0-second range, and a top speed in the neighborhood of 180 mph.

Alfa only built 500 8C coupes, and 500 Spiders, so Touring had to sacrifice a very rare car to make this beauty. But the Disco Volante Spider will be even rarer. Only seven will be made, and each will be painted in a unique color. The show car’s fetching shade is called Blue Ceruleo.

Cars

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.
Cars

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…
Cars

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.
Cars

2020 Ford Explorer branches out with sporty ST, efficiency-focused hybrid models

The 2020 Ford Explorer gets two variants never before seen on Ford's stalwart family hauler. The ST focuses on performance, while the hybrid aims for decent gas mileage. Both models will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Cars

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
News

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.
Cars

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.
Cars

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.