Lately, automotive manufacturers like Tesla and Fisker have burst onto the scene aiming to carving a niche selling electric vehicles. Attempts at a being a mainstream independent manufacturer in the automotive industry often don’t fare too well though.
Most don’t get past the vaporware stage. However, De Tomaso is set for a full relaunch. Italian businessman Gian Mario Rossignolo purchased the company in 2009 and set out on a business plan that includes three models: a crossover, sedan and sports car.
Curiously, a new sportscar was not chosen to relaunch the company, but instead a new sedan/crossover. It was known as the SLS for quite sometime, but a name from the company’s past, Deauville, is being used instead. This lends credence to the fact we might be seeing a new Pantera sometime in the future.
The fact that the Deauville is being introduced as a new production model from an independent company is a pretty remarkable feat.
The Deauville is billed as a sedan, but it has interesting proportions for one. The car rides much higher than a typical sedan and is placed in the blended sedan/crossover genre. It brings to mind vehicles like the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo, which is likely to be this car’s competition.
The styling plays it safe – some more originality would have been nice, but the Deauville is clean and looks good from certain angles. What it doesn’t do is set out a certain DeTomaso styling language. Maybe that’s the recipe for sales success though. Attention to detail is apparent, with nice detailing the headlights.
It isn’t clear what vehicle the Deauville is based on (maybe the Cadillac SRX) but there is a liberal use of the Cadillac parts bin in the interior. The steering wheel, door panels as well as the vents and center stack are Cadillac-sourced.
That isn’t a bad thing, as Cadillac’s interiors have garnered praise. One key difference is the Deauville adopts a navigation screen inside the dash rather than the popup one Cadillac uses. Rich details again play a part of the luxury experience, and De Tomaso plans to draw on Italian craftsmanship and heritage as one of the car’s selling points.
By playing to its Italian heritage and craftsmanship, De Tomaso will likely find a good market in Italy. It isn’t clear if the company will enter other markets in Europe or what its future plans are.
Regardless, in terms of sales De Tomaso seems to be off to a good start, with Rossignolo announcing the company has received over 1,450 orders for the Deauville.