NOV 05th 2015

Conceptual Art: De Tomaso Mangusta Legacy

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Say ‘De Tomaso’ and most people would, quite reasonably, think of the Pantera. After all, over 7,000 Panteras were built, versus barely 400 examples of its predecessor, the Mangusta.

Honda NSX promo De Tomaso

Whilst any debate about which is the better looking car would rage on for an age and produce no relevant conclusion, GRR still reckons that the lesser-spotted Mangusta was a damn handsome automobile.

De Tomaso mangusta Concept

What isn’t up for debate though is which was the better car to drive. With an alleged 32/68 weight distribution, a too-slow Renault-sourced steering rack and a chassis whose behaviour apparently more closely resembled a spring, the Mangusta was universally panned by reviewers for its handling characteristics. Some even reckoned that it managed the unenviable feat managing to both understeer and oversteer at the same time … 

De Tomaso Mangusta Concept

Sadly a working version of this stunning 2011 Mangusta Legacy concept was never made although one imagines that, had it been built, it would have been somewhat more rewarding to pilot than the original.

De Tomaso Mangusta Concept legacy

Design graduate Maxime de Keiser came up with this modern iteration of the Mangusta in 2011 (with what appears to be one ‘clean’ version and be-winged and skirted alternative). ‘Like the original, it had to be spectacular and communicate an impression of wild ferocity and power while recalling the serenity of a feline at rest, and the elegance of the animal that doesn’t need to fear anything’ he says of his creation.

De Tomaso Mangusta Legacy Concept

It’s a looker, no doubt, although its a shame the Mangusta heritage clearly evident at the front of the car wasn’t carried over to the rear. Are we the only ones who reckon it’s crying out for a two-piece ‘split’ rear deck lid like the original? In fact, cover over the front of the car and the rest of it could conceivably be a Lamborghini. Not that we’re too bothered really because it looks sensational.

De Tomaso Mangusta Legacy Concept

What do you mean, you don’t think you’d be able to actually see out of that radically-raked windscreen? The people responsible for the original car wouldn’t have let such practical and reasonable objections get in their way, and we reckon that’s a good thing…

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