Friday, July 16, 2010
Designed by Marcello Gandini (notice the signature shape of the rear wheel arches), responsible for the styling of many cars including the Lamborghini Miura and Countach, Maserati Quattroporte and the first generation BMW 5er, the 2+2-seater convertible began its life at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show as the De Tomaso Bigua.
However, due to various problems (chiefly financial), it never made it into production as the Bigua with De Tomaso selling the rights to the car to the Qvale family, a US importer for high-end European cars.
Qvalve went ahead and renamed the car after an older De Tomaso model, the Mangusta and begun production at a new assembly plant in Modena, Italy, in 2000.
The Mangusta features an odd roof system with a targa-like removable center panel and a separate mechanism that allows the rear section to electrically rotate into a dedicated space behind the seats, thus allowing the car to be a Coupe, a Targa or a Roadster.
Power comes from a Ford Mustang-sourced 4.6-liter V8 with 320-horspower and 314 lb/ft of peak torque that propels the Mangusta to 60mph (96km/h) in 5.5 seconds and to a top speed of around 150mph or 241 km/h, while returning 26mpg on the highway (all manufacturer figures).
Ford's pony-car also provided the five-speed manual gearbox, steering wheel system, the dashboard, switchgear and a whole bunch of other bits and pieces.
Labels: Luxury Qvale Mangusta