Qvale Mangusta

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Qvale Mangusta
Qvale Mangusta
Production period: 2000-2002
Class : Sports car
Body versions : Cabriolet
Engines: Petrol engines :
4.6 liters
(260-320 hp)
Length: 4194 mm
Width: 1900 mm
Height: 1315 mm
Wheelbase : 2670 mm
Empty weight : 1520 kg
Previous model De Tomaso Guarà
Rear view
Mangusta. The vehicle shown has the De Tomaso emblem on the hood; On the other hand, the name of Qvale Automotive is used on the tailgate

The Mangusta is a passenger car model presented in 1996 that was sold in Europe, the USA and Canada under the Qvale label . Originally the car was supposed to appear as De Tomaso . It was built by Qvale Automotive Group in a specially set up factory in Modena.


Alejandro De Tomaso had the Mangusta designed to breathe new life into the De Tomaso brand.

The car was presented as a prototype under the name de Tomaso Biguà at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show. The desperate financial situation of the de Tomaso company, which had only produced a total of 40 vehicles between 1990 and 1994, did not allow de Tomaso to develop the car to series production alone; For the same reasons, the development of the Guarà model , de Tomaso's latest favorite project, had stalled. Alejandro de Tomaso was therefore looking for a partner who was willing to finance the development of the new cars. One such partner was found in the American Kjell Qvale and his son Bruce. Qvale has been active in America for decades as an importer of high-quality vehicles and has also become rich with it. He had already supported the British vehicle manufacturer Jensen Motors at the beginning of the 1970s and (initially) prevented bankruptcy.

An agreement was quickly concluded: Qvale took over the new Biguà and was granted the right to manufacture the cars in its own factory and sell it on its own account. One of Qvale's first measures was to rename the car Mangusta. He hoped that this traditional name, which was reminiscent of de Tomaso Mangusta from the first series, established in the late 1960s , would be more attractive to potential customers. However, Qvales hope of being able to market a new de Tomaso Mangusta soon was dashed: Alejandro de Tomaso had contractually given Qvale all possible rights; the right to call the car de Tomaso was not one of them. This negligence of Qvales led to the fact that the new car had to be sold almost everywhere as Qvale Mangusta. The first cars were even delivered with De Tomaso logos, but these had to be replaced by Qvale signs at the dealership. There was an exception for Italy and Great Britain: De Tomaso had reserved the right of sale for these two countries, and indeed individual vehicles appeared here as De Tomaso Mangusta.

The cars were manufactured in a specially built plant in Modena. The first roadworthy prototypes appeared in 1999. Between 2000 and 2002, Qvale produced a total of 292 cars; most of them were distributed in the United States. In the USA Bruce Qvale even started his own racing series with the Mangusta. Three cars are registered in Switzerland: blue metallic / beige; silver metallic / black; mangusta green / beige. In Austria a piece in silver metallic / beige.

Production was stopped at the end of 2002. In a market where prestige is worth a lot of money, an unknown name like Qvale could not seriously position itself. Most observers agreed that the simple, unknown and also meaningless name Qvale Mangusta was a major reason for the failure of the vehicle. The shape, which was described as unusual by positive commentators, did the rest; others found it simply ugly.

In early 2003, MG Rover bought the Mangusta's factory and technology. MG built its XPower SV and SVR models onto the chassis, structure, running gear, technology and engine of the Qvale Mangusta . The vehicles were looked after by MG Rover.

The car

Qvale Modena Logo.JPG

The Qvale Mangusta was a convertible with a removable tin roof. When closed, it appeared as a coupé. The middle part was removable - as it were as a "Targa"; the B-pillar including the rear window could be lowered electrically. This resulted in three possible uses: on the one hand a closed coupé, on the other hand the “Targa” with an open middle section and vertical B-pillar and finally - completely open - the convertible.

The body of the car was designed by Marcello Gandini . The designer was in close contact with de Tomaso; In the past decade he had designed a number of body modifications for the Maserati Biturbo series (including the Maserati Shamal and the Maserati Quattroporte IV). For the new de Tomaso Coupé, he found unusual solutions that were characterized by numerous broken lines. Gandini's trademark, the truncated rear wheel cutout, was also found on the Biguà / Mangusta.

The technology of the car came largely from Ford North America. The engine and transmission had been taken over from the contemporary Ford Mustang , and the electronics, the dashboard and numerous individual components also came from Ford suppliers. The intention was already to primarily market the car in the USA.

Technical specifications

Qvale Mangusta


  • Chassis: steel structure (box chassis)
  • Body: Outer skin made of high-tech plastic
  • Length: 4.2 m
  • Width: 1.9 m
  • Price (in 2000): approx. 85,000 euros
  • The last model was a 4.6 liter automatic with the production number 289, color silver, leather tobacco

landing gear

  • Brakes: Brembo
  • Wheels / tires: 17 ", 18" as an option

Engine: Ford / Visteon (Canada)

  • Light alloy V8
  • Valves: 32
  • Displacement: 4.6 liters (4601 cm³)
version 1
  • Output: 235 kW (320 PS). Originally another variant with a 5.0-liter engine and around 290 kW was planned, but was never offered and was later sold in the form of the MG XPower SV-R .
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual, unchanged from the Ford Mustang. Contemporary test reports criticized the long gear ratio of the gearbox and especially the fifth gear, which prevented a really sporty performance development. There were no alternatives to this. The development of a 6-speed gearbox, which was initiated by de Tomaso - optionally sequentially shiftable - was discontinued for cost reasons.
  • 0-100 km / h: 6.6 seconds
  • V max : 250 km / h
Variant 2
  • Power: 191 kW (260 PS)
  • Transmission: 4-speed automatic with overdrive
  • 0-100 km / h: 6.9 seconds
  • V max : 250 km / h

Sources and web links

Commons : Qvale Mangusta  - collection of images, videos and audio files