Friday, July 16, 2010

Luxury Qvale Mangusta

Luxury Qvale Mangusta
One of the 270 or so Mangusta sports cars that were produced by Qvale between 2000 and 2002 is up for sale on eBay with the current owner asking $26,500 to depart with it.

Luxury Qvale Mangusta The Qvale Mangusta has quite an interesting history behind it involving many different people and companies over the years.

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.

Most Mangustas were exported to the USA but Qvale never managed to achieve its sales target of around 900 cars a year and ended up selling the rights to the Mangusta to Britain's MG Rover Group in 2003. MG used the car's underpinnings to build the short lived Xpower SV from 2003 to 2005.


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