Page 1 of 1 At the 1996 Geneva Motorshow DeTomaso unveiled the Bigua, a brand new concept car. Its lines were penned by Marcello Gandini, of Lamborghini Countach and Diablo fame. Former F1-engineer Enrique Scalabroni was responsible for the box-type frame chassis. The Bigua hit the road in production form less than two years after its show debut. The production car was named after one of DeTomaso's most beautiful cars, the Mangusta.
Financial difficulties forced DeTomaso to sell the production rights of the Mangusta to Qvale of the USA. Virtually unchanged from the DeTomaso, the Qvale Mangusta made its debut in 2000. The body was produced in Modena, Italy, with the rest of the car being completed in the USA, mostly with Ford bits and pieces. The V8 engine was the most prominent Ford part installed in the Mangusta. Producing 320 bhp, it was very similar to the V8 used in the contemporary Mustang Cobra.
One of the Mangusta's most interesting features was its variable 'Rototop' roof construction. The roof centre section can be removed and stored in the boot, creating a targa. The metamorphosis from coupe to convertible is completed when the powered rear section is completely retracted. Every thinkable luxury option was fitted as standard in the Mangusta, including a Maserati-esque centre-console clock.
Production of the steaply priced Mangusta lasted just two years, with 276 cars completed. Of these 276, just 18 were allocated to Europe, of which the featured s/n '051' is one. The Mangusta rights were sold once more, this time to MG/Rover, forming the base of the MG XPower SV supercar. Page 1 of 1