Dallara has unveiled its first road car, the Stradale, at an event to celebrate the 81st birthday of company founder Gian Paolo Dallara, the Italian engineer whose career began under Enzo Ferrari and included the development of the Lamborghini Miura.
Although his eponymous company has worked on many famous projects and produces more racing chassis than any other manufacturer, this is the first road car to carry the Dallara name.
The Stradale is a carbon-bodied lightweight car that can be transformed from a minimalist speedster to a coupé by the addition of an optional windscreen, roof and doors. The plan is to produce just 600 examples over the next five years, with prices starting from €155,000 before local taxes.
That might seem strong compared with the prices other minimalist track specials – it's nearly twice what Lotus charges for the 3-Eleven – but Dallara’s engineering pedigree is second to none. It builds the carbonfibre structures of the Bugatti Veyron and KTM X-Bow.
Indeed, the company says it has already sold its first year’s production on nothing more than word of mouth. The first customer cars are set to be delivered this week. Power comes from a relatively modest 2.3-litre Ford Ecoboost engine, chosen because of its light weight and tunability. For the Stradale, it has been boosted to produce a claimed 400bhp.
Dallara’s development team are more proud of two other statistics: a dry weight of just 855kg for the roadster; and 820kg of aerodynamic downforce for the coupé when fitted with an optional rear wing.
The Stradale project has had a two-decade gestation. The project was paused several times as engineering effort was switched to projects for external clients. The finished car uses a central carbonfibre tub with aluminium subframes at each end, although the front suspension is mounted directly to the tub. The bodywork is all carbon.
Although the most basic ‘barchetta’ roadster uses a minimal aero screen, a removable plastiglass windscreen with a carbonfibre frame will be offered as a €16,600 option. Buyers can further specify a Targa-style frame roof for €7700 and finally two top-hinged see-through canopy ‘doors’ to turn the car into a coupé for €7300. (All prices are before tax.)
The lack of conventional doors means access involves stepping into the cabin but also allows enclosed air channels to direct flow from the nose to the engine and intercooler without side intakes. The floor is almost entirely flat, with sizeable diffusers front and rear.
The cabin is big on carbonfibre and short on gadgets, with switchgear integrated into the steering wheel and information relayed through a motorsport-spec display screen. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, with the plan being to also offer a single-clutch automated version.
Other options include separate-reservoir adjustable dampers, track-spec tyres and an oil pressure accumulator to help the engine withstand peak track loadings of up to 2g.
Chassis tuning was led by former racer Loris Biccocchi, who has also done development for Bugatti and Pagani. Although the Stradale has stability control, it does without power steering in the interests of purity.
Dallara says the car has been designed to offer the option of right-hand drive, but there are no plans to do so yet. Sales are being handled directly by the factory.
The Stradale is certainly expensive. Fully optioned, its price will be pushing €200,000 or £180,000 at current exchange rates, with 22% VAT on top of that if bought in Italy.