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DeTomaso On Schedule For Geneva Comeback

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On: Mon, Dec 6, 2010 at 1:51PM | By: Chris Weiss

DeTomaso On Schedule For Geneva Comeback

Well, here's a name I all but forgot. De Tomaso, an Italian automaker that I best recognize from my exotic car picture books from my childhood in the 1980s, has a new model to show and it should be launching at the Geneva Motor Show. A few leaked pictures from Italian auto rag Quattroruote provide a teaser of a car with Tomaso's new logo on the grille and badge on the back.

Now that's the good news (great news if you liked the Pantera as much as I did). The bad news is that this alleged De Tomaso revival looks nothing like the sexy Pantera and isn't even a sports car. It looks more like a sedan.

De Tomaso was founded in 1959 by Alejandaro de Tomaso. The company produced cars, most notably the Ford-V8-powered Pantera, for over four decades. The Pantera was the car to put De Tomaso on the map and was produced throughout the 70s, 80s, and into the early 90s. The company offered an exotic but affordable alternative to other Italian notables like Ferrari and Lamborghini.

After De Tomaso's death in 2003, the automaker spiraled into turmoil, and went into liquidation in 2004. Last year, former Fiat chief Gianmario Rossignolo purchased the company and began preparing for the resurrection of the name in the form of three new vehicles: a sedan, a sports coupe, and an SUV. At the time, word was that the first car would debut at Geneva in 2011. This is presumably the first effort from Rossignolo's De Tomaso, and is likely the sedan (or a really plain, boring sports coupe).

While De Tomaso's main impact on the market came through high-performance sports cars, like the Pantera and its predecessor the Mangusta, the company did produce a very modest number of more pedestrian vehicles back in the 1970s and 1980s, models like the Longchamp coupe and Deauville sedan. So, a De Tomaso sedan isn't unprecedented, just an unattractive way of bringing back a sporty badge that's been dormant for half a decade.

Regardless, we look forward to seeing what the new De Tomaso is all about at Geneva in March.

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