The Italdesign Quaranta was designed to celebrate Italdesign Giugiaro’s forty years of business in styling and technological research. The concept was inspired by the Bizzarrini Manta concept from 1968. But in reality the Quaranta has a lot more in common with the Volta concept created by Italdesign for Toyota in 2004.
The Quaranta uses a 3.3 litre V6 Toyota engine with Hybrid Synergy Drive to provide 268 horsepower and 212 lb-ft of torque. The innovative aspect of this engine lies in the ability of the electronic control system to regulate the power distributed by the electric motors to the wheels, making the clutch-gearbox-transmission block superfluous.
The batteries which power the electric motors are located between the engine compartment and the cockpit. These are replenished by the solar panels positioned on the roof and through regenerative braking. The Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system also includes the E-CVT Electronic-Continuously Variable Transmission, an automatic planetary gear transmission with ratios varying infinitely as speed changes. This power source and transmission system gives the concept a rapid 0-60 mph time of just over 4 seconds as well as a massive 621 mile range.
Access to the Italdesign Quaranta’s cabin is “step-in” via an upper door incorporating the side ones. At the touch of an electric button, the door opens upward while regulated by proximity sensors for safety.
Inside, the most striking features are the central driving position and multi-control steering wheel which houses all the vehicles driving and control functions on the spokes.
The dashboard has been conceived with a sporting, modern look, with clean-cut details matching the style of the exterior, and equipped with a vast array of instruments. These are organized on two levels: the screens of the side and rear TV cameras are positioned on the upper level, with particular attention to the left-hand view mirror, useful when overtaking; the lower level is dedicated to the management of the vehicle. The drive-panel also includes a visor for X-ray sensors for night driving.
A company planning to build a hybrid car plant in Baldwin County today made a pact with a well-known Italian firm to design those vehicles during a splashy ceremony in Montgomery.
Representatives of Hybrid Kinetic Motors and Italdesign Giugiaro signed a contract for the styling and engineering of a line of hybrids that are slated to be produced in Alabama starting in 2013.
Italdesign Giugiaro has worked with major automakers around the world and has developed more than 200 car models over the past 40 years.
Red carpet, spotlights and music marked Tuesday’s ceremony, which culminated with the unveiling of the Quaranta concept car designed by Italdesign Giugiaro to mark the firm’s 40th anniversary. It’s a 156 mph supercar powered by a hybrid system.
The Quaranta was shown in Montgomery as an example of the style and engineering that will be a part of the Alabama-built hybrids, said CT Wang, CEO of Hybrid Kinetic Motors.
Many people think hybrid vehicles are small with limited horsepower, but “the hybrid can be exciting,” he said.
Media from Europe and Asia attended the ceremony, along with local and state leaders including Gov. Bob Riley and Lieutenant Gov. Jim Folsom.
Hybrid Kinetic Motors’ founder and chairman is Yung Yeung, a former Chinese auto executive.