Legendary race car engineer Gian Paolo Dallara’s plan to unveil a road car project on his 81st birthday on 16 November is moving forward, as the first images of a development car spotted testing have surfaced.
The first target, wheeling out a running prototype, was met last year at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Parma, Italy, on Dallara’s 80th birthday; this car has been spotted testing on public roads ahead of its debut in the winter.
According to an insider, the company plans to produce 600 examples at the rate of 10 per month over a five-year period. It recently started construction of a bespoke manufacturing facility situated alongside its race car factory.
“We bought a factory site next door to us and knocked it down,” the source revealed. “The building work is going to plan and we will start recruiting production staff shortly.”
The as-yet unnamed road car will be aimed at the expanding hardcore road car and track day markets and it will be available in three body styles: a bare barchetta, an open car fitted with windows and a closed version. All will be powered by mid-mounted, transverse 2.4-litre turbocharged Ford Duratec engines producing up to 400bhp. Only manual transmissions will be offered.
Prices are expected to start at €120,000 (£104,000), although that could increase substantially after options have been added.
Although the car’s base technology is derived from development work the company has already undertaken for Alfa Romeo and other manufacturers, the carbonfibre monocoque will be unique to the car.
“Think of a cross between a Lotus Elise and KTM [X-Bow], but with up to double the power,” the source said. “We learned a lot from the 4C project and were able to incorporate that knowledge in the new car. [But] it would be incorrect to suggest that the car is based on the 4C.”