Touring reveals its new gran turismo ahead of Geneva show

Just ten of the new luxurious Sciàdipersia will be built by the Italian coachbuilder. And the name? It's inspired by a classic Touring design, built for the ruler of Iran

Renowned Italian coachbuilder Touring Superleggera has revealed the first pictures of its new grand tourer, the Sciàdipersia, which will be limited to just ten editions.

The name comes from Scià di Persia, or Shah of Persia. It celebrates the 60th anniversary of a bespoke grand tourer made in 1958, based on the Maserati 5000GT rolling chassis, for the ruler of Iran – a well-known collector collector of fine cars at the time. The run of three cars was nicknamed Scià di Persia.

The new four-seater Sciàdipersia is similarly intended for long journeys, designed to be as enjoyable and luxurious for the passengers as for the driver. It's also based on a Maserati chassis, in this case the current GranTurismo, with its 4.7-litre normally-aspirated V8, giving 460bhp at 7000rpm and 520Nm of torque at 4750rpm.

There will be a choice of Maserati's six-speed paddle-shift transmission or a six-speed automatic ZF gearbox with torque converter. The mechanical components, electrical systems and all electronics are retained unaltered from Maserati, while the wheels are unique 20in forged alloy items.

The Sciàdipersia's bodywork is built entirely by hand in the Touring factory in Milan, combining traditional hand-beaten aluminium panels with lightweight carbonfibre. Its defining design feature is the all-enveloping glasshouse, with only the brushed-aluminium C-pillar obvious.

'The absence of visible support structures allows light to flood the cabin, allowing a total involvement with the surrounding environment, making the journey not only comfortable, but exciting, satisfying, absolute,' says Louis de Fabribeckers, Touring's characterful head of design.

Touring Superleggera seems to have eschewed the current trend for aggressive frontal treatments and gone for what it says is 'a sporting style more reminiscent of decades gone by', with a low-slung front, clean side surfaces and a substantial tail.

The interior carries themes over from the Orient Night Blue exterior, such as the continuous horizontal division wrapping around the occupants, which Touring says suggests 'a horizon, above which is blue sky and below is the land'.

Touring used hides from Foglizzo, a leather specialist that's been supplying luxury car manufacturers since 1921. The company even developed a special aroma for the leather, which Foglizzo apparently reserves for Touring customers.

The exterior's dark blue is matched by the seats, with contrasting piping and stitching, while the Sciàdipersia name is hand-embroidered into the centres of the headrests. Lighter shades of natural colours are used to offset the darker colours of the seats – and of course a set of bespoke Foglizzo luggage sits in the boot...

Coachbuilders in the 1950s and '60s weren't always known for high build standards, but things are very different now, and Touring will carry out their final tests of the Sciàdipersia in a climatic chamber, followed by tests for air and water tightness, road noise, wet and dry handling, driveability, braking and NVH on track. The Sciàdipersia has already received Type Approval for cars in small series production.

The Sciàdipersia is expected to achieve a 0-62mph time of 2.7 sec and a maximum speed of 301km/h.

Touring hasn't yet released the cost of the Sciàdipersia, saying it will be available on request. It promises to deliver the finished car within six months of receiving a donor car, and each part produced or modified by Touring Superleggera will be covered by a two year, unlimited mileage warranty, subject to normal terms of use.

The 1958 Maserati 5000GT Scià di Persia

The name of the new Sciàdipersia celebrates the 60th anniversary of the bespoke coachwork designed by Touring in 1958 on the Maserati 5000GT rolling chassis for the ruler of what we now know as Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who consented to a very limited production run of just three cars.

The Scià di Persia models were the first Maserati 5000GTs to be produced, of a total production run of just 33. All were powered by a V8 engine based on the Maserati 450S unit, on the 3500GT chassis. Touring developed the superleggera (super-lightweight) tubing-and-aluminium body of the two-seater coupé, but several coachbuilders later produced other 5000GT variants.

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