Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on June 25, 2008
Ever get tired of your spouse sitting next to you while you drive, commenting on how you move about town? Wouldn’t it be nice to have only backseat drivers for a change? If so, the Quaranta, which debuted at Geneva this month, may be the answer you’re looking for. With a central driving column, all passengers in this car are relegated to the backseat. The car is the showcase model of Italdesign Giugiaro, celebrating 40 years of edgy, Italian auto design and incorporates Giugiaro’s signature mid-mounted rear engine design that balances the weight and makes the car more stable.
This thing looks pretty interesting from the outside, like a cross between an old DeLorian and a Razr cell phone. The Quaranta boasts a nearly flat profile with no protruding parts (like door handles) that make it ultra aerodynamic and raise the “Wow!” factor. The entire “cabin” lifts up to reveal a central cockpit for the driver with space in the back for two more European-sized adults, and Giugiaro reports that the car includes a “generous luggage compartment” (room enough for additional Europeans?).
Aside from aerodynamics, the Quaranta’s “G” factor lies in its Toyota Hybrid Synergy powertrain, the industry standard that produces 8-cylinder power with better than 4-cylinder gas mileage. The hybrid batteries are also boosted by solar panels integrated into the car’s roof – a design feature that seems to be catching on in the electric market.
That seems to be about it, though; there’s no mention of sustainability in the production process or using sustainable materials – not uncommon in the super-luxury sport car market. Oh yeah, there’s no mention of price anywhere, but I doubt you’ll see your middle class friends zipping around in one. This is a super-luxury sport mobile.
You should still check it out, if only for its design.
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