2001 Volkswagen Nardo W12 Show Car front left 2
The Italdesign Giugiaro study of the W12 Coupé, 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 coupé 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.The long and flat body of the Coupé, with the restrained styling of the rear spoiler with automatically extends as of 120 km/h, transports the timeless elegance of Volkswagen design into the dynamic sector of the ultimate sports car. Due to the monocoque construction and the location of the longitudinal engine fitted behind the passenger compartment, the front end of the vehicle could be kept extremely flat. With a length of 4.55 metres and at more than 1.92 metres wide, the design study W12 Coupé has a very impressive appearance due to its dimensions alone. 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: " this is one of the most fascinating cars in the world and for sure the fastest and most reliable never built".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.Two round main displays show the most important information such as speed, revs, fuel tank (100 litres) and engine temperature. A colour display in the centre of the dash panel is used to control the functions of the air conditioning, the navigation system, the on-board computer and the car telephone. Furthermore, the amount of space in the W12 Coupé is extremely comfortable. A generous and ergonomically perfect situation has been realised despite the low level of the vehicle typical of a sports car. There is no doubt - this design study is more than a show car. All the details of the W12 Coupé are fully-functional and the concepts are close to production standards.In the future, all Volkswagens in the upper and luxury classes will be equipped with the high-torque W engines. They are characterised by exceptionally low levels of vibration and the best possible acoustic qualities. They are, depending on the model in question, used as standard- in the W12 Coupé for example - or as an option. The Volkswagen brand will launch them as an eight-cylinder, as can already be seen in the Passat W8, and as a twelve-cylinder version with varying levels of output and set-ups. A 16-cylinder version has also been developed on this basis within the Volkswagen Group.The technology of the twelve cylinder engine integrated in the design study W12 Coupé: with a length of 513 millimetres, a height of 715 millimetres and a width of 710 millimetres, the engine is particularly compact. The capacity of the W12, which weighs just 239 kilograms, is 5,998 cm3. The engine, which is located between the passenger compartment and the rear axle, has an extraordinarily torsionally rigid aluminium crankcase with wear-resistant cylinder sleeves.The enormous power of the engine is transferred to the rear axle via a sequential and thus very fast shiRing six-speed gearbox located behind the engine. This is very favourable for a classic sports car layout. The contact to the road is made via specially developed 19" magnesium wheels with 255/35 ZR front tyres and 275/40 ZR rear tyres. The sophisticated front and rear axle with double wishbone, numerous electronics modules, an ideal weight distribution of nearly 50:50 and an extended wheelbase of 2. 63 metres ensure that the W12 Coupé is both fast and safe.The scope of active safety systems includes the electronic stability program ESP and the traction control system TCS. The performance of these systems in the correction of the vehicle response is carried out not only via the brakes system, but also via the central engine management system. At the same time electronic differential locks (EDL) ensure via the brakes that the wheels do not overspin at speeds under 40 km/h. Anybody wanting to drive the W12 Coupé on a racing track can deactivate the electronic running gear systems. The basic concept of the brake system has been perfectly adapted to suit these situations. Ventilated Brembo brakes with a disc diameter of 318 millimetres have been fitted at the front and rear. The handbrake has been designed for comfortable standard production: it is activated electrically by pressing a button.A further indication of the systematic light-weight construction approach can be seen in the valve covers and timing chain covers made of magnesium. The basic layout of the W12 engine is made up of two very thin V6 four-valve modules which are configured at an angle of 72 degrees with a joint crankshaft with seven main bearings to make up a V-V arrangement, i. e. a "W". The cylinder angle is just 15 degrees within the two V6 banks. This makes the construction, which is very compact in comparison to V12 engines, possible.On February 23rd 2002 a prototype of Volkswagen's new W12 Coupé in the final stages of development set the world speed record for distance covered in 24 hours. The 440 kW/600 bhp twelve-cylinder sports car covered 7,740.57600 kilometres (12454.586 miles) at an average speed of 322.891 km/h (200.67 mph). In the Volkswagen W12 Coupé capable of 350 km/h (217 mph), which had not been specially prepared for the long-distance record bid, the team of drivers also set five other world records (over 5,000 kilometres, 5,000 miles, 1,000 miles, 6 hours, 12 hours) and six international vehicle class records.