Friday, February 11, 2011

De Tomaso Lives! Italian Brand to Re-Launch in Geneva with a Premium Crossover Concept

Just like Pagani, De Tomaso is another Italy-based sports car manufacturer founded by an Argentinean, more exactly by former racing driver Alejandro De Tomaso. Known for its quirky models of the 1960s and 1970s like the Pantera, the company eventually went under the radar and ended up filing for bankruptcy in 2004.

Fortunately, it was bought five years later by ex-Fiat marketing executive and Lancia CEO Gian Mario Rossignolo, who decided to revive the iconic brand. Now, it seems that the Italian businessman’s efforts have come to fruition, as the revitalized automaker is planning to unveil a Pininfarina-designed premium crossover concept at the Geneva Motor Show.

Codenamed SLC (Sport Luxury Car), the design study is said to rival the likes of the BMW 5-Series GT and Lexus RX-450h.

According to reports, the SLC will have an aluminum body, four-wheel drive and three engine choices: 550HP V8 and 300HP V6 gasoline engines, plus a 250-horsepower diesel unit.

De Tomaso plans to build some 3,000 units of the crossover annually, and if everything goes according to plan, it will be followed by a luxury sedan and a coupe, also built from aluminum. Projected sales for these two models are 3,000 and 2,000 units respectively.

The Italians are going to invest €116 million (US $172 million) into the project, with the cars being manufactured at a former Pininfarina plant, using an innovative technology called Univis said to considerably simplify the manufacturing process.

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