De Tomaso Sold To Swiss Company, New Sports Car Coming In 2021
Once an ambassador of the "Italian musclecar," a hybrid between the gorgeous Italian car designs of the 1960s and 1970s and American V-8 power, De Tomaso has been struggling to come back from its bankruptcy for more than a decade now. The Modena-based firm went into liquidation in 2004, 11 years after discontinuing the iconic Pantera model to replace it with the Guara, a carbon-fiber-bodied supercar using a Maserati, Ford and BMW parts. Since then, both former Fiat exec Gian Mario Rossignolo and Automobili Turismo e Sport bought the rights to the name in an attempt to revive the company. Unfortunately, the highly anticipated comeback has yet to happen. But there’s some good news coming from Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, which reports De Tomaso has a new owner after being bought by a Swiss investment group.
Switzerland’s L3 Holdings won the rights to the De Tomaso name with a bid of €2 million ($2.19 million as of 03/23/2015) over rival offers from Italy’s Eos Group and China’s Consolidated Ideal TeamVenture, the report adds. The new owners allegedly want to hire 360 employees and open a new manufacturing facility near Turin, Italy by 2021. The plant would be used to build a new mid-engined sports car, but details are scarce as of this writing. The report goes on to say that L3 Holdings is closely tied with Genii Capital, the Luxembourg-based investment firm that runs the Lotus F1 team.
Continue reading to learn what the future will bring for De Tomaso.
Why it matters
The fact that De Tomaso has a new owner is great news to say the least, but I’m not getting excited until L3 Holdings comes forth with a long-term plan. I’ve seen one too many De Tomaso revivals the past decade to get my hopes up over news that another company bought the name. On the other hand, the fact that L3 Holdings might be backed by Genii Capital gives me hope that the brand might finally return, but it seems as if it won’t happen anytime soon. Hopefully more details on H3 Holdings’ new plans for De Tomaso will surface soon enough.
Introduced in 1970, the Pantera was designed by Ghia’s Tom Tjaarda (and later updated by Marcello Gandini) and fitted with a 5.8-liter Ford V-8 engine rated at over 330 horsepower. As it was built to take on the North American market, the Pantera was equipped with several attractive standard features, including electric windows and air conditioning, which were unusual in Europe at the time.
The coupe needed only 5.5 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start and reached a top speed of 155 mph, figures very few supercars were able to deliver in the early 1970s. Manufactured until 1992, the Pantera was later restyled and fitted with a smaller, 5.0-liter Ford engine that cranked out around 500 horses. De Tomaso built only 7,260 units in 20 years, making it one of the rarest classic supercars around. Read our full review here.
Source: Auto Motor Und Sport