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by Tim Beissmann

After half a century in the automotive wilderness, historic Italian sports car manufacturer Ermini has announced it is reopening its doors to launch a new Barchetta-style roadster from the end of 2013.

Despite coming fifty years after production of the car maker’s original classic sports cars ceased in 1963, Ermini says its new model – dubbed the 686 – will remain consistent with the philosophy that has always been associated with the brand, that of “prioritising the dynamic drive of light and nippy cars over the inertial mass of automobiles with large engines”.

The Ermini 686 will ride on an Osella chassis and will team a rear-mounted 2.0-litre Renault-sourced petrol engine with a six-speed sequential transmission to drive the rear wheels.

Ermini says close attention will be paid to technical details such as the electric-welded space frame and the suspension, while the Italian company plans to use the best available race-bred mechanical components for items like the gearbox, brakes and shock absorbers.

With a body constructed from carbonfibre, Ermini says the 686 will sport an “exceptional power-to-weight ratio”, promising performance on par with the world’s leading sports cars while keeping fuel consumption and emissions under control.

With a design team headed by Giulio Cappellini, a man whose portfolio includes everything from sofas and shelving to light fixtures and kitchen sinks, Ermini says the 686 will respect the tradition and values that have made Italian manufacturing famous around the world.




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