Reborn Italian marque De Tomaso is planning two further models to expand its range beyond the BMW 5-series GT rival the firm unveiled at the recent Geneva auto show (ABOVE), including a new version of the legendary Pantera sports car.
The 16ft-long Deauville – which is built from extruded aluminum and features a plush, hand-stitched leather cabin – is designed to sell on “luxury, spaciousness, style and exclusivity.” It's been designed in conjunction with Pininfarina and is powered by a turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 producing 300hp. It'll cost around $130,000. However, De Tomaso vice president of sales and marketing Gian Luca Rossignolo – son of company chairman Gian Mario – has grand plans for his father's revitalized company, including a new supercar and sedan.
“I would like to think that we could become the Italian Aston Martin,” he said, “dealing in the same kind of exclusive luxury and craftsmanship. That's a dream for us now, but it's what we're working toward. We hope to have the Deauville on sale this autumn and to build 3,000 examples a year from 2012. We will also make a Pantera supercar priced from about $400,000, as well as a four-door limousine. Eventual annual production will be around 8,000 units.”
Ex-Fiat Group executive Gian Mario Rossignolo masterminded the rebirth of De Tomaso; he acquired the rights to the brand in November 2009 and Pininfarina's Grugliasco factory near Turin the following month. It took most of 2010 to refit the Grugliasco plant, during which time De Tomaso also acquired one of Delphi's old production facilities in Livorno. The firm's plan is to assemble chassis and bodies-in-white at Livorno and to fit bodywork, paint and finish its cars at Grugliasco.
Export sales will be key to achieving De Tomaso's ambitious goals. “We expect northern European markets to be our biggest,” Rossignolo said, “but we're already receiving a lot of interest from China, where Italian luxury goods are in high demand. I imagine we'll be exporting at least 1,000 units a year to China within two years.”
The De Tomaso sports car company was founded in 1959 in Modena, northern Italy, by former Argentinean racing driver Alejandro De Tomaso. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2004, a year after De Tomaso's death.
De Tomaso became an iconic brand for sports car fans in the 1960s and 1970s with three coupes – the 1963 Vallelunga, the 1966 Mangusta and the 1970 Pantera.