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De Tomaso Launches The SLS

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On: Fri, Mar 4, 2011 at 6:41PM | By: Chris Weiss


De Tomaso Launches The SLS

Somewhere along the line, the Sport Luxury Car (SLC) changed its name. Unfortunately, for auto fans, it did not change it to 'Pantera,' but rather to the equally boring but slightly more specific "Sports Luxury Sedan" (SLS). Boring name for a boring car. After showing the car to the Italian government last week, De Tomaso has unveiled the car at the Geneva Motor Show. The SLS represents the first effort of the revived De Tomaso badge.

Known for its sexy sports coupes, De Tomaso went bankrupt in 2004. Former Fiat exec Gianmario Rossignolo purchased the name back in 2009 and has been working with Pininfarina on the first car.

Given De Tomaso's roots in sporty cars like the Pantera and Mangusta and the mundane, utilitarian looks and specs of the SLS, it was just bound to create disappointment. But a luxury sedan is certainly more of a reliable, business-model car than a flashy sports coupe, so it's understandable why Rossignolo chose to start with the SLS.

The SLS sits on an aluminum chassis that is constructed using a unique process called Univis. Gunning for the likes of the BMW 5-Series GT, it will get a series of three engine options: a 542-hp V8, a 296-hp V6, and a 247-hp V6 diesel.

Production on the SLS will begin next year with 3000 units planned. De Tomaso also has two other cars in the works, including a sports coupe that gives the world hope that the name won't become a watered-down shell of its former self.

In fact, Piston Heads reports that the unnamed sports coupe De Tomaso has planned is indeed a Pantera revival. Not only that, but De Tomaso plans to launch the car this year, on U.S. turf. According to the report, the new Pantera will make its debut at the LA Auto Show in November.

I still wish De Tomaso would have led with the car, but it's good to hear the Pantera is on its way.


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