Italian automaker De Tomaso Automobili hasn't had a presence in the market for several years now, but that seems likely to change by the time the Geneva Motor Show rolls around next month.
According to UK publication Autocar, De Tomaso is set to unveil a new Pininfarina-designed concept under fresh ownership at the Geneva show. Now said to be headed by ex-Fiat exec Gian Mario Rossignolo, De Tomaso will reportedly show a vehicle dubbed SLC (Sports Luxury Car) that could rival BMW's 5 Series GT. A luxury sedan and sports coupe are also considered to be in the works.
Only teaser photos of the car are available thus far, depicting a vehicle that could come off as significantly sportier than the 5 Series GT. Rossignolo is currently renting a plant from Pininfarina just outside of Turin, where up to 3000 of the vehicles could be produced per year. With a full assembly line, as well as paint and body work capabilities, the plant could employ roughly 900 people. The SLC moniker will be dropped before the car enters production. Plans also include a 2000-car run of a coupe model and another 3000 copies of a luxury sedan - both upcoming concepts.
Founded by Argentinean Alejandro de Tomaso in Ferrari's home town of Modena in 1959, De Tomaso's best known road cars were the mid-engined Mangusta and succeeding Pantera models introduced in the 1960s and '70s. With Italian design and coachbuilding, but American V-8 power (courtesy of Ford), the cars were sold through Mercury/Lincoln dealers in the United States. In addition to producing a line of road cars, De Tomaso also built race cars and was the one-time owner of Maserati for a period of nearly 20 years, terminating in 1993. De Tomaso was purchased out of liquidation by Rossignolo in late 2009.