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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

An Italian-designed tiny sports Mangusta powered by V8 Cobra engine

~Tiny Italian Cobra~ When viewed from the physical form, maybe now not many people recognize this unique car model was sold at inflated prices when it was first launched. It has a small, unique and distinctive shape of the work of the renowned Italian designer. Well, the car in question is the Qvale Mangusta (Italian for mongoose) is a sports car that was produced between 1999 and 2002 in a limited number of less than 300 units. 
The Qvale Mangusta is a sports car that was produced between 1999 and 2002 by Qvale Modena SpA. (Picture from: BlackXperience)
As quoted from Wikipedia, this tiny and unique sports car was designed by Marcello Gandini with a front center engine layout and rear wheel drive. Initially the design of this tiny sportscar related to the other Italian manufacturers De Tomaso, due to was developed from the De Tomaso Biguá concept car known as the De Tomaso's last car launched at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show before the company ceased.
The Qvale Mangusta was developed from the De Tomaso Biguá concept car known as the De Tomaso's last car launched at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show before the company ceased. (Picture from: BlackXperience)
At that time, Alejandro DeTomaso being faced a serious health problems since 1993, then looked after investors who could financially support the Biguá production version. In short, then he met and collaboration with the Qvale family, led by Kjell Qvale who is previously known to be a North American car importer for the original De Tomaso Mangusta of the 1960s and later Maserati when it was under the ownership of De Tomaso.
The Qvale Mangusta carries a naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V8 engine of Ford Mustang SVT Cobra, capable of spitting out 320 hp and 430 Nm (317-ft.lbs) of torque. (Picture from: BlackXperience)
Under bussines agreements signed both parties, Qvale agreed to fund the development of Biguá, with the final product would be sold under the De Tomaso marque, as the De Tomaso Mangusta (named after the De Tomaso sports car originally built between 1967 and 1971). However, in the course of the business agreement between De Tomaso and Qvale deteriorated due to licensing and distribution problems. Bruce Qvale, who managed Qvale at that time decided to quit the deal then establish an automotive company called Qvale Modena SpA in 1997 to produce the car under his own Qvale brand.
The Qvale Mangusta has a unique folding metal roof design in the likeness of a Mercedes-Benz SLK made it possible to adjust the top of the car open fully, with a targa, or close by pressing a button. (Picture from: BlackXperience)
Reportedly, this uniquely shaped tiny sportscar is inspired by the TVR Griffith, and was built into a simple sports car. Meanwhile, the Mangusta chassis was designed by former Formula 1 designer Enrique Scalabroni, who has also worked for Dallara, Williams and Scuderia Ferrari.

As for the drive train, the Qvale Mangusta carries a naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V8 engine of Ford Mustang SVT Cobra, capable of spitting out 320 hp and 430 Nm (317-ft.lbs) of torque mated to a 5-Speed manual transmission BorgWarner T45 or an optional 4-Speed automatic transmission systems so that it can accelerate from rest to 60 mph in just under 6 seconds before reaching a top speed of 160 mph (257 kph) for manual transmission; 155.4 mph (250 kph) for automatic transmission.
The Qvale Mangusta was designed by Marcello Gandini with a front center engine layout and rear wheel drive. (Picture from: BlackXperience)
The Qvale Mangusta has a unique folding metal roof design in the likeness of a Mercedes-Benz SLK made it possible to adjust the top of the car open fully, with a targa, or close by pressing a button. The average panel-targa could be removed manually, and the rear and side windows fell down. While its interior felt the influence of Ford: in the elements of the dashboard and in the arrangement of controls. The car was equipped with climate control, CD audio system, power windows, central locking and leather seats.
Indeed, when the sportscar was launched for the first time, which has a unique fascia, it was priced at $80,000 or around Rp. 1.3 billion, which is actually more expensive than the Ford Mustang SVT Cobra without a performance upgrade. Yes, the Qvale Mangusta, this very rare Italian sports car and the only model produced by Qvale in between 2000 to 2002 and sold only 284 units. Where most of the production of Qvale Mangusta is exported to the United States.
However, due to the design, which at that time was considered quite 'weird' and the Qvale brand was not well known to the American automotive public, this made this car unable to compete in the market and forced the automaker to leave in 2002. And today, the Qvale Mangusta is said has affordable tags of price likeness to the Lotus Elise or Honda S2000, so it should be considered, if You wanna have this tiny kind of sportscar. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | WIKIPEDIA | AUTOTALKZ ]
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