In Geneva Italdesign has unveiled the Zerouno Duerta, a targa-top version of the Zerouno coupé, the second model line from its Automobili Speciali project brand which it launched last year – and like the coupé before it, the targa derivative will designed, engineered and produced in-house with and limited to just five units.
Featuring a modular carbon-fibre and aluminium chassis, it’s a redesign of the Zerouno coupé version with all carbon-fibre bodywork including a removable carbon hardtop. It has the same performance as the coupé version too as it comes with the Lamborghini Huracan's naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine that’s good for a top speed over 320 km/h while special packages will be available for custom finish and performance.
Created last year and premiered at the Geneva International Motor Show, Automobili Speciali is the new Italdesign brand associated with the production of exclusive ultra-low series cars intended for collectors. The Zerouno Duerta represents phase two in the VW Group-owned Italian design house's plan.
“One year later, Zerouno has proved successful,” explained Jörg Astalosch, CEO of Italdesign. “All five vehicles were sold in just a few months after they were officially presented, showing that car and design enthusiasts continue to desire exclusive products of this kind.
“We had stated that Zerouno was not merely an end in itself, nor an experiment,” Astalosch continued. “Rather, it is a new service that complements what Italdesign has been offering to the global transportation industry for 50 years. The brand Automobili Speciali will continue beyond this targa-top version of the Zerouno. We are excited to unveil the Zerouno Duerta during Italdesign's 50th anniversary year, proving the truth of our motto 'Best is Next'.”
Completely designed, engineered and built at the Moncalieri plant to remain faithful to Italdesign’s tradition, the Zerouno Duerta shares many features with the coupé version, although the upper part of the chassis has been redefined and redesigned to guarantee performance, quality and safety standards in the open version as well.
“The open version was already planned when we first presented the Automobili Speciali brand last year,” said Filippo Perini, Head of Design at Italdesign. “The positive feedback we have received in recent months has only strengthened our convictions. The Zerouno Duerta — where ‘duerta’ in Piedmontese dialect means ‘open’ — shares many features of the coupé, including its supercar-like performance.”
During the development phase of the Zerouno project, Italdesign involved the three-times winner of the 24 hours of Le Mans and five-times overall winner at Sebring and new member of the Sebring Hall of Fame and Audi Sport Ambassador, Dindo Capello: “I believe Zerouno perfectly reflects my idea of supercars,” stated Dindo Capello, “fast, performing, safe that can also be driven on the roads every day. It’s a real car, not just an object you keep displayed on a pedestal. I can say I really enjoyed driving it during the development”.
Carbon fibre for a high-performance chassis
As in the case of the Zerouno coupé, lightness and aerodynamics are the core elements of this new model’s design. Hence, the choice to use carbon fibre for the entire bodywork, accompanied by a generous use of this material in the vehicle’s interior as well. State-of-the-art fibre-layering technology combines with the skills of the craftsmen during the finishing stages to achieve a light weight, despite the car measuring 4,847 mm in length, 1,970 mm in width and 1,204 mm in height.
The modifications made to the chassis to allow the roof — also made of carbon fibre — to be removed have not compromised performance: the powerful naturally aspirated 5.2-litre Lamborghini V10 engine allows the car to attain a top speed of over 320 km/h.
The team of designers has worked with a view to keeping all the characteristics of the Zerouno coupé: the style is consistent with the coupé version, with the same aggressive touches dictated by aerodynamics; the bonnet retains the Y Duct system to optimise downforce and airflow while in motion. The upper and rear parts of the car's body have been completely redesigned to permit the roof to be removed without compromising performance and comfort when the vehicle is being driven topless.
"From an engineering standpoint," — continued Antonio Casu, Italdesign’s CTO, "the challenge we faced was designing a new chassis: we reinforced the structure to compensate — in terms of rigidity — for the absence of the B and C pillars, typical of a topless car, to ensure a performance comparable to that of the Zerouno coupé."
The designers and engineers completely redesigned the rear part of the cockpit and the engine bonnet, adding two roll-bars for the driver and passenger to ensure their safety in the event of a roll-over. Compared to the coupé version, the Duerta’s engine bonnet features a lowered central portion located between the two rear shoulders.
The roof can be removed manually, but the Zerouno Duerta also comes with an emergency soft top to be used in the event of inclement weather during a trip.
A unique feature of the Zerouno project is the option for clients to personalise both the exterior and interior of their vehicles. The five lucky owners of the Zerouno Duerta will also have this option.
"The experience we have gained over the past twelve months with the five coupés," — explained Massimo Bovi, Head of the Pre-Series Center, "will continue to serve us well in this second phase of the project. It might be said that what we built were not five cars in a single series, but rather we built five times a unique car: the high level of personalisation and the ability to change a vast array of details in the car's interior and exterior posed a constant challenge. Thanks to the professionalism of our team, this experience will now also help us to best handle requests for the Duerta."
Automobili Speciali Zerouno is a project that has garnered international success. "The clients who purchased the five Zerouno coupés come from all over the world, proof that the language of design and the expert craftsmanship know no borders," — stated Massimo Martinotti, Head of Business Development. "The first expressions of interest that we have received for the Duerta indicate that this remains the case. In the near future, we are already offering this new service — the production of ‘few-off’ series — to car manufacturers."
Not only was the Zerouno’s front design inspired by the single-seater racing cars: the tyres too have a direct motorsport link. Italdesign has chosen Formula 1’s exclusive tyre supplier, Pirelli, to equip also its second Automobili Speciali model. The engineers developed a dedicated version of the high-performing Pirelli tyres, the P Zero, in 245/30 R20 for the front and 305/30 R20 for the back.
Featuring High Working Range tread compounds, able to guarantee maximum grip in all conditions, Zerouno’s dedicated tyres belong to the new line of coloured tyres. The new Pirelli Color Edition tyres are customizable and available in all colours.
Italdesign Automobili Speciali Zerouno Duerte: Photos / Video