New supercar and limo to join reborn Italian firm’s recently revealed luxury hatch

Reborn Italian marque De Tomaso is planning two further models to expand its range beyond the BMW 5-series GT rival the firm unveiled at the recent Geneva show.

The five-metre-long Deauville — which is built from extruded aluminium and features a plush, hand-stitched leather cabin — is designed to sell on “luxury, spaciousness, style and exclusivity”. It’s been designed in conjunction with Pininfarina and is powered by a turbocharged 2.8-litre V6 petrol motor producing 300bhp. It’ll cost around £80,000.

However, De Tomaso vice-president of sales and marketing Gian Luca Rossignolo, son of company chairman Gian Mario, has grand plans for his father’s revitalised company, including a new supercar and saloon.

“I would like to think that we could become the Italian Aston Martin,” he said, “dealing in the same kind of exclusive luxury and craftmanship. That’s a dream for us now, but it’s what we’re working towards.

“We hope to have the Deauville on sale this autumn,” Rossignolo added, “and to build 3000 examples a year from 2012. We will also make a Pantera supercar priced from about £250,000, as well as a four-door limousine. Eventual annual production will be around 8000 units.”

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Ex-Fiat Group executive Gian Mario Rossignolo masterminded the rebirth of De Tomaso; he acquired the rights to the brand in November 2009 and Pininfarina’s Grugliasco factory near Turin the following month.

It took most of 2010 to refit the Grugliasco plant, during which time De Tomaso also acquired one of Delphi’s old production facilities in Livorno. The firm’s plan is to assemble chassis and bodies-in-white at Livorno and to fit bodywork, paint and finish its cars at Grugliasco.

Export sales will be key to achieving De Tomaso’s ambitious goals. “We expect northern European markets to be our biggest,” Rossignolo said, “but we’re already receiving a lot of interest from China, where Italian luxury goods are in high demand. I imagine we’ll be exporting at least 1000 units a year to China within two years.”

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Our Verdict

BMW 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series' outstanding performance and handling makes it a complete and consummate all-rounder - but then the Jaguar XE and Alfa Romeo Guilia arrived

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week