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  Heuliez Pregunta

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Country of origin:France
Produced in:1998
Numbers built:one-off
Introduced at:1998 Paris Motor Show
Designed by:Marc Deschamps for Heuliez
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 21, 2007
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Click here to download printer friendly versionIn the second half of the 1990s Lamborghini was in a tough spot with decreasing sales figures and really no capital to develop a replacement for the aging Diablo. Launched at the start of the decade, the two-seater Diablo was by that time Lamborghini's only product. Several independent coachbuilders produced their idea of the generation Lamborghini and at Sant'Agata work was under way on the 'Canto'. One of the most surprising third party designs was the Heuliez Pregunta shown at the 1998 Paris Motorshow. All projects were frozen when Audi took over and the design was told to start from the ground, which eventually led to the Murciélago. Sadly it looked a little pale in comparison to the Pregunta or the Zagato Raptor.

Up until the Pregunta's launch, Heuliez was best known for their design and manufacturing work for French manufacturer of niche products. At the time they were entrusted with the production of cars like the Citroen XM Break and Xantia Break and in the past had also produced the Peugeot 205 Group B homologation specials. The company felt it was time to go international and what better way than to produce a very high profile concept car? Early in 1998 a deal was struck between Lamborghini and Heuliez-Torino to supply them with a rolling Diablo chassis. The Italian arm of the French company was at the time headed by Marc Deschamps, who had previously worked as chief designer at Bertone and as such was involved with the original Diablo design.

Spanish for 'question', the Pregunta was given a very aggressive design to make sure everybody would notice it. Dominated by a broad air-intake the nose sported eight small lights, carefully carved out of the fenders. The massive windshield is reminiscent of a fighter plane's canopy. The car's most aggressive features were no doubt the large airtakes on the doors, which made the Ferrari Testarossa's intakes look subtle. Aft of the passenger compartment there was a relatively large and flat rear deck that covers the 530 bhp Diablo engine. The two sets of five tail lights were of a similar design as the front ones.

There was more to the Pregunta than just its bold looks; it was filled with the latest electronic gizmos. The Magnetti Marelli dashboard was lifted straight from a contemporary Formula 1 car. It also featured a state of the art navigation system with a small screen in the dashboard, which could also show the images of the rear view cameras; there were no mirrors on the Pregunta. The passengers were well lit by fiberoptic cables that were draped throughout the cabin. Under the Heuliez built and designed body, the Pregunta was still a Diablo and little was changed to the running gear.

After its Paris debut, the Pregunta was also shown in Geneva, but then disappeared from our scopes. It had achieved its goal as Heuliez has gone truly international and currently constructs several coupe-convertible models for a variety of manufacturers. Much to our delight it was displayed during the 2007 Retromobile show on the Autodrome stand to finally allow for a closer look at this unique machine. It is road registered and would be a great addition to any supercar collection.

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  Article Image gallery (8) Specifications