Italian sports-car brand De Tomaso will move to U.S. as it plans revival

The Italian sports-car brand De Tomaso Automobili, which is planning a revival with the P72 supercar, said it is moving its operations to the U.S. from Europe.

De Tomaso will build the P72 in North America and is “deep” in discussions with multiple states as potential locations for U.S. operations including production, design and corporate facilities, the company said in a statement released Wednesday.

A formal announcement is expected in the next six months, it said.

De Tomaso was founded in 1959 by the Argentinian racing driver and businessman Alejandro De Tomaso in Modena, Italy. It has a strong U.S. connection because of historical tie-ups with American automakers, most notably Ford Motor Co.

De Tomaso said production of the P72 is expected to begin late 2022, almost two years later than promised last year at the car’s unveiling at the UK’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in July 2019.

“Our mission is to bring back the romance, passion and elegance of the luxury American automotive industry with our European sophistication and artisan processes,” De Tomaso said in its release.

De Tomaso was bought in 2015 by Hong Kong-based Ideal Team Ventures for just over 1 million euros ($1.2 million) following an earlier failed revival attempt that saw its then-chairman Gian Mario Rossignolo arrested by Italy’s tax police for misuse of public funds.

De Tomaso has said the retro-styled P72 will be powered by a 5.0-liter V-8 developed with U.S. engine tuner Roush. Power is targeted at 700 hp, the company said.

The P72 will start from 750,000 euros ($890,487) and will be limited to 72 examples, De Tomaso said last year.

Ideal Team Ventures, owned by Hong Kong businessman Norman Choi, also owned Apollo Automobili, maker of the Apollo IE hypercar.

Choi sold Apollo in March to Hong Kong watch and jewelry company WE Solutions, which rebranded themselves Apollo Future Mobility Group to reflect a series of automotive acquisitions and joint venture agreements.

Apollo Future Mobility Group said in a financial report covering the six months to the end of March 2020 that it had licensed the use of the Apollo IE’s carbon fiber platform to De Tomaso for three years for $10 million.

De Tomaso is now an independent company with no outside shareholders, it told Automotive News Europe.

Choi bought Apollo in 2016 from former Audi Sport head Roland Gumpert, and commissioned Germany’s HWA to build the Apollo IE hypercar.

De Tomaso’s most famous car is arguably the Pantera coupe launched in 1971, which used Ford V-8 engines and was sold in the U.S at Ford dealers in a partnership between the automakers.

Tesla’s battery needs propel lithium miner’s stock by over 160% since Battery Day

Tesla’s battery needs propel lithium miner’s stock by over 160% since Battery Day

During Tesla’s Battery Day event, CEO Elon Musk emphasized that for the transition to sustainable energy to happen, an absolutely insane amount of batteries must be produced. This means that the demand for the key materials used in battery production, such as lithium and nickel, are bound to see a massive rise in the coming years. This is something that is becoming very evident to Australian exploration-stage miner Piedmont Lithium, which is currently experiencing what could very well be a “Tesla Effect” or sorts. 

Just days after Battery Day, Piedmont announced that it had signed a five-year lithium-ore supply deal with Tesla, with a possible extension for about five years more. The news was embraced by the company’s investors, and Piedmont stock soared over 200% on September 28. This was despite the deal being expected to fully take effect and start around 2022. Propelled by this momentum, which has allowed the company’s stock to be up 160% so far, Piedmont is now using its stock’s strength to raise more money to fund its growth. 

Piedmont recently announced that it plans to raise money by selling stock, as per a report from Barron’s. The lithium mining firm noted that it intends to sell up to 1.5 million American Depositary Receipts (ADRs), which are essentially American stock in a company that’s listed abroad. This applies to Piedmont, seeing as the company is based in Australia but its assets are in the United States. One ADR for Piedmont represents about 100 shares of its underlying stock. 

If successful, Piedmont could potentially bring in about $45 million, a healthy boost to the $19 million in cash that’s currently on its balance sheet. This additional funding could help the mining firm in the development of its lithium mine in North Carolina, which will be pivotal to its deal with Tesla. This was hinted at by Keith Phillips, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Piedmont Lithium, in a press release late last month. 

“We are excited to be working with Tesla, which represents the start of the US domestic lithium supply chain and a disruption to the current value chain. The Agreement highlights the strategic importance of Piedmont’s unique American spodumene deposit and confirms the trend toward spodumene as the preferred feedstock for the lithium hydroxide required in high-nickel batteries.

“We will now accelerate our mine/concentrator development to support Tesla’s plans, work to further expand our mineral resources, and potentially increase our planned annual spodumene concentrate production capacity. We will simultaneously be advancing our plans to produce lithium hydroxide in North Carolina, using a combination of internally produced spodumene concentrate as well as material sourced from other producers around the world,” he said. 

Tesla’s battery needs propel lithium miner’s stock by over 160% since Battery Day

GMC Hummer EV debuts with 350 miles of range, six-figure price

DETROIT — Hummer is back, and so is its six-digit price tag.

For $112,595, the 2022 GMC Hummer Edition 1 unveiled Tuesday comes with underbody armor and cameras, a removable Infinity Roof and a battery range of more than 350 miles via three electric motors. Production of the Edition 1 is scheduled to begin in late 2021, followed by production of progressively less expensive configurations from fall 2022 through spring 2024.

The off-road pickup, which General Motors will build at the Detroit plant it has renamed Factory Zero, will be the first electric vehicle in GMC’s portfolio. The price of the Edition 1, which includes shipping, is about $5,000 more than the highest trim of the Cadillac Escalade ESV.

All Edition 1 models will come fully loaded and look identical, with the same white exterior and a Lunar Horizon interior that includes Edition 1 badging.

Although GM postponed the unveiling of the Hummer by five months because of the coronavirus pandemic, the production timeline has remained on track, company officials said.

“This innovative truck comes to market with speed and purpose, bringing GM another step closer to an all-electric future,” GM President Mark Reuss said in a statement. “Hummer EV is perfect for the customer who wants capability, efficiency and performance.”

The Hummer will compete with electric truckmaker Rivian’s R1T pickup, which will cost about $70,000; the Tesla Cybertruck, which also will cost about $70,000 for its highest trim; and gasoline-powered off-road pickups from Ford and Jeep.

GMC listed three other trims it plans to release after the Edition 1: the 3X for $99,995, starting in fall 2022; the 2X for $89,995, starting in spring 2023; and the 2 for $79,995, starting in spring 2024. All prices include shipping. Customers can reserve any trim with a $100 deposit starting Tuesday night.

Standard equipment on all trims includes GM’s Super Cruise driver-assist system, a six-function MultiPro Tailgate, underbody cameras, 35-inch tires and the Infinity Roof. The 3X is the lowest trim that includes the three-motor e4WD system and Watts to Freedom upgrade necessary for the performance stats GM has touted previously: 1,000 hp, 11,500 pound-feet of torque and 0-to-60-mph acceleration in three seconds.

“This is GM’s chance to showcase a host of technology and features that will be the complete opposite of its Volt/ELR and Bolt offerings,” Ivan Drury, Edmunds’ senior manager of insights, said in a statement. “By launching a halo vehicle, GM will finally have a product that offers a glimpse of the technologies that will trickle down through its lineup, unlike its prior vehicles that were intended to highlight the building blocks of GM’s EV offerings.”

The Hummer will be powered by GM’s proprietary Ultium batteries. It will be compatible with fast chargers, which can replenish nearly 100 miles of range in 10 minutes, GM said.

The original Hummer, later known as the H1, also had a sticker price well over $100,000 when production ended in 2006 — and many used ones sell for much more today, despite their single-digit city gas mileage.

The goal in bringing back the Hummer name on an electric pickup was to build the most capable truck in GM’s history, the vehicle’s chief engineer, Al Oppenheiser, said in GMC’s statement. “It’s an absolute off-road beast with a unique 4WD drive system that provides maneuverability unlike anything GM has ever offered before.”

GMC designed the Hummer to be an off-road supertruck with unique features such as four-wheel steering in CrabWalk mode, which allows for diagonal driving on challenging terrain; steel plates around the battery pack for protection in extreme off-roading conditions; and UltraVision, which includes front and rear underbody cameras to help place wheels on and off a trail.

“The GMC Hummer EV is revolutionary, defying what the industry thinks of as a pickup truck,” Duncan Aldred, vice president of global Buick and GMC, said in the statement. “The Edition 1’s tailored off-road content will make Hummer EV’s unprecedented capability and zero-emissions a very special proposition for customers.”

The 2022 GMC Hummer is the perfect EV, here’s why – Cooley On Cars

It can swallow a battery big enough for 350 miles of range while sort of hiding the cost.

► Subscribe & hit the 🔔 for more Roadshow videos

Visit us online at
Twitter @Roadshow :
IG @RoadshowAutos :

Don’t miss our next video! Hit the 🔔
#GMC #Hummer #EV

Driving A Lamborghini Diablo SV Is Not As Demanding As You Might Have Thought

Driving A Lamborghini Diablo SV Is Not As Demanding As You Might Have Thought

Launched 23 years before the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, the SV sat in the middle of the Diablo’s range.

Slotted beneath the bodywork of the Diablo SV is a 5.7-liter naturally aspirated V12 that produces 510 hp and 428 lb-ft (580 Nm) of torque. Unlike the Diablo VT on which it was based, the SV ditched the four-wheel drive system in favor of rear-wheel drive with the engine coupled to a manual transmission.

Read Also: Have Any Empty Wall? Stick This Lamborghini Diablo VT On It

The Diablo SV could reach 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 202 mph (325 km/h), very impressive figures for the mid-1990s and still quite respectable nowadays. Sure, it won’t keep up with an Aventador SVJ in a straight line, or around the corners for that matter, but it is still more than fast enough for the narrow B-roads found throughout the UK.

Henry Catchpole from Carfection recently had the opportunity to sample one. The veteran journalist says that the owner of this Diablo SV, one of roughly 30 examples sold in the UK, drives the car frequently.

He also states that driving the Lambo is much easier than he expected. He thought that it would be quite a challenge, but comments on the excellent driving position, nice five-speed gated manual shifter and impressive handling.