2011 Geneva Motor Show Preview: De Tomaso SLS Concept

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 26, 2011

Pininfarina will be unveiling during the 2011 Geneva Motor Show its newest styling model, the De Tomaso Deauville. This 5-door Sport Luxury Sedan was designed by Pininfarina and has a four-wheel drive with a chassis made of aluminum. The new model shows craftsmanship and high technology and manages to combine the love for engines and luxury with a strong-minded modern approach as it relates to design.

The original De Tomaso brand was started by Argentine-born and racing driver Alejandro De Tomaso back in 1959 at Modena, Italy. This particular project was first launched towards the end of 2009. Formerly known as Innovation Auto Industry S.p.A. (IAI), De Tomaso Automobili SpA was then chaired by Gian Mario Rossignolo who agreed to enter into a definitive agreement to sell a branch to Pininfarina S.p.A.

The agreement also included the sale of its Grugliasco (Turin) manufacturing facility. In addition, the two companies agreed as well that the reborn De Tomaso company would have the first vehicle manufactured be designed by none other than Pininfarina. At the start of the design process, both design teams from Pininfarina and De Tomaso knew that they had to design a vehicle that would explore new grounds while being able to create a new niche in the market.

Specifically, the two teams wanted to develop a Sport Luxury Sedan that would cater to the utmost luxury and meet the needs of its exclusive clientele. That luxury is part of the consideration is no coincidence. When the teams were developing the De Tomaso Deauville, they made sure to utilize the concept of quality products, especially those with the tag "Made in Italy". The teams not only wanted to revive but also refine the craftsmanship and beauty present in products that are part of Italian manufacturing heritage. All of the models will be custom-built with the assembly of the parts guaranteed with the manual skills inherent in the specialist craftsmen from De Tomaso.

As a result, each of the De Tomaso Deauville model is self-sufficient and distinct. This sense of luxury is not only seen on the construction. Aside from being designed by Pininfarina, the De Tomaso Deauville will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Since it was manufactured using UNIVIS technology, its bodyshell was assembled by having the aluminum extruded sections combined with the crossbeams.

Crossbeams would be pressed, then trimmed by laser, and finally welded. This particular technology was developed, and even patented, by De Tomaso group’s parent company, IAI. The technology allows the amount of dies used lowered to a few dozen which makes it possible to reduce the time needed and the investment necessary in designing a car. In order to meet the challenge of designing the De Tomaso Deauville, the Pininfarina team started by conducting a historical analysis of the brand.

Specifically, the team focused on the different style elements that have distinguished by early De Tomaso models like the Pantera or the Mangusta. The main problem they faced was how to make a new car without changing any of the important heritage features present. However they also wanted to steer clear of turning it to an exercise in nostalgia. The result of all of these is a car that is unequalled even in the car market today.

This seductive and sporty saloon is 5,080 mm long, 1,950 mm wide, and 1,630 mm tall. The elegant and clean line gives this vehicle a recognizable charm with a sporty feel. The driver benefits from the enjoyable driving experience and the guarantee of maximum comfort, roominess, safety, and performance. These are all that one could expect from a luxury saloon. The resolve of the front part is exhibited with the large hexagonal grille that appears to move the car forward.

This helps convey the sportiness and assertiveness of this model and thus reflects its potential when it comes to performance. Its front light clusters slide to the sides of the vehicle and thus highlight its dynamism. The hexagon reminds one of the motifs that are clearly part of the Tomaso history. This is also seen on the side of the car, particularly the front wing, the shape of its windows, and the air outlet. The hexagon is also seen in the rear light clusters. There is another motif that is presented by the car which are the three upper wings placed on the grille and that is restated by the front headlight and its direction. It then goes to the side this motif repeater up through the rear light.

Press Release

During the next Geneva auto show (March 2011) will be unveiled the new De Tomaso Car

The new De Tomaso company, Chaired by Mr. Gianmario Rossignolo, will unveil a Pininfarina-designed concept for a premium large crossover, dubbed SLS (Sport Luxury Sedan).

The four-wheel-drive SLS is set to go into production this year using two gasoline engines, a 550-hp V-8 and a 300-hp V-6. It will not be sold as the SLS, but the final name will be revealed during the Geneve press conference (1st March 2011 - 3.30 pm).

Rossignolo plans to build 3,000 units a year of the SLS, as well as 3,000 limousines and 2,000 coupes.

The cars will be built at De Tomaso Automobili S.p.A. plant, a former Pininfarina S.p.A. factory near Turin and in the Livorno factory by the ex-Delphi workers.

De Tomaso's business plan foreseen for a three-model range of aluminum vehicles based on an innovative construction technology called Univis. Univis requires just about 30 dies to build a vehicle.

During a 22-year career with Fiat group, Gianmario Rossignolo was a top marketing executive at the company and CEO of the Italian automaker's Lancia brand from 1977 to 1979.

In December 2009, Rossignolo signed a deal to rent Pininfarina's factory in Grugliasco, in the western outskirts of Turin, one of three Pininfarina plants.

The new De Tomaso company will invest 116 million euros in its rebirth project.

The Grugliasco plan currently employs 900 people and includes a body shop, paint shop and final assembly facility, while in the Livorno one will be employed 150 people.

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