BIGUA - MANGUSTA
First presented at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show, the Mangustaâ€™s shape and concept were a joint effort between Alejandro DeTomaso and Marcello Gandini. Its most unique feature is its modular top design, which can be configured in any of three ways: closed coupe, open-topped targa, or full open convertible. The middle top section is removable, and the rear top / window portion can rotate down into the body. No cloth soft top is required!
The chassis employs a tubular frame, and the bodywork is rendered in a combination of fiberglass, Kevlar and other composite materials. Overall length is 165", with a wheelbase of 105"; the production Bigua is expected to weigh approximately 3100 pounds. Special 17" alloy wheels are specially cast for DeTomaso, and Brembo provides the 4-wheel power disk brakes.
For power, DeTomaso has again partnered with Ford, this time for their latest high-performance V-8. The all-alloy, double overhead cam, 4-valve-per-cylinder V-8 engine is rated at 305 horsepower, and includes complete electronic engine management and direct port fuel injection. One of Fordâ€™s newest designs, it is extremely powerful, docile and sturdy. Both a Borg-Warner 5-speed manual transmission and a computer-managed 4-speed automatic unit will be available.
The interior features a "retro" dual cockpit design, trimmed in handsome Italian leathers. Air conditioning, power windows, door locks and seats are all standard, as is a high performance CD sound system and complete instrumentation.
As of this writing, the Mangusta is being developed for series production as a 1998 model (see the related press release). It will be produced at the new factory in Modena, Italy, with the intent to certify it for world-wide sale by the middle of that year.