The Italdesign Giugiaro study of the W12 Coupe, which is systematically oriented towards top performance and high levels of driving dynamics, is the third phase of evolution of two W12 concept cars becomes the fastest cars in the world.
The W12 Syncro prototype was first unveiled at the 1997 Tokyo Motor Show, while the ‘roadster’, a more advanced version of the W12 Syncro, made its debut at the Volkswagen stand at the 1998 Geneva Motor Show. The final evolution of this sports car project, with its W12 engine inspired by the world of motor sports, was showed at the last Tokyo Motor Show and now is entering the decisive phase of production development.
On October 2001 a prototype of Volkswagen’s new W12 coupe in the final stages of development set the world speed record for distance covered in 24 hours. The long term development of this project becomes a real partnership between Volkswagen technical and Italdesign Giugiaro staff.
This is further underlined by the height of the two-seater vehicle, just 1.1 metres. The design study has been further reflned in comparison to its two predecessors; newly designed headlights and rear lights echo even more strongly the characteristics of the future top class models from Volkswagen.
One of the most famous studios in the world is responsible for the design of the vehicle: Italdesign, Giugiaro, Fabrizio Giugiaro, Styling Director,said: â this is one of the most fascinating cars in the world and for sure the fastest and most reliable never builtâ.
The sports car, finished in orange pearlescent, has two wing doors that open to the front and roof centre part made of special glass which extends from the windscreen through to the end of the engine compartment. The first glance of the W12 with its double V construction can be made through the transparent bonnet.
Smooth leather has been used for the element where the driver has direct access to the function elements – namely the steering wheel. The steering wheel itself is not perfectly round, but is rather extremely similar in form and function to the concepts used in Formula One racing. Alongside the use of leather, the aluminium elements in the interior are particularly noticeable as they have a red sheen and thus correspond to the exterior colour. Volkswagen is using a new chemical procedure to achieve the colouring and surface coating of the unpainted alloy. The layout of the instruments is classic.
All other construction details of the W12 engine, which has a compression ratio of 12:1, are also indications of an extremely high tech assembly: the spark plugs are positioned centrally in the pentroof combustion chamber, making optimal combustion possible; the same applies for the flow-optimised intake ports. A double-flow magnesium variable intake manifold supports the particularly dynamic torque curve. The variable intake and exhaust valve timing has a decisive influence on power development: the inlet camshafts can be continually adjusted through 52 degrees and the corresponding value for the exhaust camshafts is 22 degrees. It is no wonder, when considering this technology, that a high priority was given to the performance of all materials in the development phase of the W12 engine.
All world and class records are subject to recognition by the Federation Internationale de lâAutomobile (FIA); therefore the record-breaking drives on the high-speed circuit at NardÃ² near Lecce in southern Italy were carried out in accordance with the official FIA regulations. The aim of putting the vehicle through this gruelling 24-hour ordeal was to analyse the performance potential and the robustness of the twelve-cylinder engine. As can be seen from the remarkable records and the first technical analyses of the drive unit, an ideal set of the results was achieved, exceeding the defined requirements.