The Italdesign Parcour should have spawned a new breed of supercars
An off-road supercar might sound like a punchline, but the real joke’s on us for missing out
This might be as shocking as your average clickbait reveal, but supercars are great. And much like anything truly great, their greatness comes from specificity, from focus on a single purpose, from the mastery of their chosen discipline to the exclusion of all others.
But a supercar’s focus also serves to draw its boundaries – in this case, perfectly surfaced bitumen. Take it out of its natural element – say, onto dirt roads – and the brilliance evaporates as quickly as... well, the petrol spilling from the hole in the tank you put there by being daft enough to take a supercar off-road.Advertisement - Page continues below
Enter the Italdesign Parcour, a perfect foil to imperfect roads – and the supercars that become decidedly imperfect when driving them. We think it’s absolute genius. As you might be able to tell by the lack of Italdesign Parcours running around, we might be in the minority there. So, masochists that we are, we’re going to try to figure out why, starting with that name.
The Parcour is named after the French urban sport of Parkour, which makes a fair amount of sense. But what is Parkour, exactly? Well, it’s the ancestor of modern-day free-running, a very large part of the movie District 13 and the game Mirror’s Edge, and at least 50 per cent of the reason why we shattered our left ankle back at university. The gist is that, through dexterity and training, you’re able to traverse any number of seemingly insurmountable obstacles quickly and smoothly, without breaking anything. Needless to say, we failed at pretty much all of it, particularly that last part. But it does go a fair way to explaining what Italdesign had in mind for its supercar on stilts.Advertisement - Page continues below
The general idea couldn’t be simpler: a supercar without traditional supercar boundaries, one that relishes bad roads as much as good ones. It’s not like it’s an original idea, either – Lancia already had it with the Stratos and again with the 037. Bowler and Ariel are all pretty dab hands at the whole ‘If Mad Max did the Mint 400’ thing. To butcher Steely Dan, the trip the Porsche 959 made to Dakar is etched upon our minds. And there’s always the Aixam Mega Track, if you’re looking to get properly obscure.
But, if anything, this litany of proper off-road heroes, and also the Mega Track, just reinforces the genius of the idea. And if you use, as the Parcour did, quite a few Lambo bits – including the 550bhp, 5.2-litre V10 – surely it could only add the kind of madness without which genius cannot exist?
We’d say yes, but then again, we’re the ones making the argument. That said, Lamborghini itself revisited the off-road Lambo idea with its own Sterrato concept back in 2019. We absolutely adored that, too, and the idea of proper off-road supercars of all stripes, from all nations.
Instead, we have the Urus. And that really is shocking.