GRR

De Tomaso is back!

14th May 2019
Bob Murray

De Tomaso is on its way back and visitors to the Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard in July will be the first to see its reborn supercar. From a brand behind past glories like the Mangusta, Vallelunga and, most famously of all, the Pantera, expectations will be running high ahead of the unveiling at FOS.

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De Tomaso Automobili confirmed the news in a simple Instagram message today, saying, “The legendary story that began in 1959 will now return for the 60th anniversary” and confirming that the covers will come off the new car in West Sussex on 4th July.

Since that post we've had word from Ryan Berris, De Tomaso's General Manager and CMO, who said "Since the acquisition of De Tomaso, we have been secretively working behind the scenes on a world-class revival strategy with the intention to go public with our efforts for the 60th anniversary. We are very detail oriented and it was important for us to identify a debut platform that would align well with our vision.  For us, Goodwood was the perfect venue as the Duke and the entire Goodwood team provide a dynamic experiential event that is unrivaled.  When the new car debuts this summer, not only will another special vehicle be added to the brand’s heritage and the De Tomaso story finally told, but it will all occur in an environment that is pure class.”

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There have been several attempts to get De Tomaso up and running again in the past few years, but nothing to compare with the firm’s heyday in the 1970s and ‘80s when the Ford V8-powered Pantera – which remained in production for over two decades – established itself as a supercar icon.

Little is known of the new car and trying to work out details from the camouflaged model in the only teaser picture so far released is definitely tricky. But we reckon there’s definitely a hint of the Pantera’s flying buttresses in there...

What we do know is that the new driving force behind De Tomaso Automobili is already well known at Goodwood: Apollo. Itself reborn (from the company formerly known as Gumpert), Apollo stunned FOS last summer with the extraordinary Intensa Emozione supercar, voted by the public as the greatest showstopper of the whole weekend.

Now it can be revealed that Apollo bought the De Tomaso brand a few years ago and has been secretly working on a reborn model ever since. It is said that Apollo CEO Norman Choi is determined to honour the legacy of the fiery Argentian Alejandro de Tomaso, who started his maverick car company in Italy 60 years ago.

It is thought the designers and engineers behind the Apollo Intensa Emozione have been tasked to come up with the new car. In which case we can expect fireworks.

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The Intensa Emozione (or IE for short) was designed to recreate a 1990s GT1-style driving experience for both road and track. A naturally-aspirated V12 delivers 800bhp and with all-up weight of just 1,250kg and downforce at 186mph of 1,350kg, performance promises to be mind-blowing.

If the new de Tomaso is able to emulate a little of that in a more available and affordable package – only 10 IEs are to be made at around £2m each – then get ready to be wowed. There’s no word yet on who designed the new car, although speculation is mounting that HWA in Germany – the company that came up with the IE’s V12 when it wasn’t busy developing race cars for Mercedes – might be involved on the engineering side.

Probably best not to expect a Ford V8 then!

Race car image provided by Motorsport Images.

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