De Tomaso Guara
The Guarà was the last major production by sports car maker De Tomaso Automobili. Owned and founded by Argentinean Alejandro de Tomaso who also raced in two Formula One Grand Prix races, the automobile company produced Guarà between 1993-2004 before it went into liquidation. Offered as an open barchetta, a coupe and a spider model, the Guarà was developed from the prototype of the Barchetta Stradale presented by Maserati in 1991 and was known as one of the few true sports cars that were street legal models as well. The first ever De Tomaso Guarà was showcased at the Geneva Motor Show in 1993. In the coupe avatar, the De Tomaso Guarà was sold in ’94 and though no cars were built after ’04, the barchetta and coupé versions of the De Tomaso Guarà were available in Switzerland, Austria and Italy till ’06. Overall 50 copies of the De Tomaso Guarà Coupe were sold along with 5 Spider models and around 12 Barchetta models.
From 1993-98, the De Tomaso Guarà was powered by a light alloy 4.0-L M60 B40 V8 sourced from BMW. The engine has a peak power output of 282 hp (203 kW/286 PS) ad was offered paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. For models produced between ‘98–04, the De Tomaso Guarà used a light alloy 4.6-L Ford/Visteon V8 engine that had a peak power output of 320 ponies and came mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. With the latter engine, the De Tomaso Guarà accelerated from 0-62 mph in roughly 5.0 seconds offering the barchetta a top speed of 171 mph (275 km/h) and the coupe a max speed of 168 mph (270 km/h). Supercharged versions of both the BMW as well as the Ford/Visteon engines were announced that were to offer peak power outputs of 375 bhp and 430 bhp respectively but neither was ever built.
The first Guaràs that rolled off production lines used BMW interior parts and technology but almost all the Guaràs that were built later on used parts and engines from Canadian Visteon/Ford cars. Even though the Guarà was a slapped together model using parts from various sources, its makers did not hesitate from offering the best of Italian craftsmanship to being the true essence of luxury to De Tomaso interiors. Offering unprecedented comfort, the electrifying design of the Guarà’s cabin is laden with cutting-edge technology and exquisite materials and appears to be designed and built for the sports car connoisseur. Boasting of the finest Italian craftsmanship, the cabin of the Guarà appears to have been reinterpreted through modern techniques with superlative details created using great traditional means that make the hand-crafted finishes look inimitable.
With a tubular frame wrapped with body shell made of carbon fiber, Kevlar and other composites, the two-door sports car was not made for the average driver. Tuned to offer highly agile handling, the De Tomaso Guarà came with a pushrod suspension in the front and in the rear with the upper and lower wishbone being independent. The suspension was derived from both IndyCar as well as Formula 1 racing technology. The De Tomaso Guarà was also supported in its performance by some superb aerodynamic elements like the front sloping, reduced rear overhang and a very sleek, aerodynamic side profile. The exterior masses and proportions were broken up by a line wedge that was accentuated by marked features. As an open barchetta, the De Tomaso Guarà had to be driven while wearing a helmet since it featured just a small air deflector in place of a proper windscreen and roof. The Spider model also came with just a small canvas roof. Created by Synthesis Design’s Carlo Gaino, who was the brains behind the Maserati Barchetta, the rage also featured inputs from Pininfarina Group.