It’s not exactly a new carmaker, but Italian marque, ATS, credited as the first truly authentic supercar manufacturer, is back in business after more than 50 years in mothballs.
The new GT car was recently revealed at the Salon Prive supercar show in the UK, boasting a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 engine and a US$1,050,000 price tag.
Only 12 launch-edition cars will be built initially – meaning exclusivity is the name of the game with the new Italian thoroughbred. ATS hasn’t disclosed the powertrain supplier, but given the engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, you could speculate that it might be sourced from McLaren Automotive.
ATS say that the car is currently making around 515kW of power, but is still in development, and expects customer cars to generate up to 597kW, though there’s no mention of the torque at this stage.
Hand-built using lightweight composites, the ATS supercar tips the scales at just 1300kg, hinting of performance goals that are said to be right up there, too, with a 0-100km/h sprint time of three seconds, while top speed will be around 330km/h.
The ATS exotic will wear 20-inch wheels up front and 21s down back, with braking power courtesy of carbon ceramics by Italian brake specialist, Brembo, and supplemented by an active air brake at the rear of the car.
Naturally, the cabin befits the price, and is wrapped almost entirely in Nubuck leather along with real metal highlights and carbon-fibre inserts.
The car was styled by Emanuele Bomboi, a former lead designer at Fiat and Bertone, in a bid to evoke the spirit of the original 1963 ATS 2500 GT.
The marque’s owner, Emanuele Maritan, said, “We use words like challenge, adventure, beauty and passion to represent the values that were shared among all of the founders of ATS in 1962. Today we find the same values in the talented people bringing back this historically important brand.
“Salon Prive was the obvious destination for us to launch our luxury and historically important supercar this Summer, and we can’t wait to show it off to the public.”
The origins of ATS go back to 1961, when Enzo Ferrari fired six experienced engineers after they complained about his wife’s involvement in the business. They immediately set up their own car company, with the goal of going head-to-head with their former employer.
They quickly developed both a road-going sports car, as well as a Grand Prix racer. The road car was the first mid-engined street car with the body designed by Franco Scaglione and the mechanical design by former Ferrari engineers Giotto Bizzarrini and Carlo Ghitti.
The Grand Prix team operated between 1961 and 1965, whereas only 12 of the ATS 2500 GT road cars were built before the company closed its doors after several wealthy investors withdrew their financial support.