The law of averages suggests the gestation period for a new elite sportscar marque ranges from two to three years between first sighting and available product, and the Tramontana looks set to fall well within this time-frame despite liberal lashings of leading edge technologies. First seen two years ago at the Geneva Motor Show, the final production version will be seen at this year's show and six are planned for production before the end of the year. a.d.Tramontana is located on the Costa Brava of North-eastern Spain and is one of the new generation of entrepreneurial automotive engineering companies seeking to apply creativity and new technologies to all aspects of automotive design and manufacturing - the company even has a modern distribution model for its bespoke services. Its avowed intention is to create a brand that is synonymous with extreme quality – the equivalent of a Koennigsegg, Pagani and Spyker in performance terms and the modern day flagbearer of Spanish automotive excellence in the same vein as Hispano Suiza or the Pegaso Z-102. The company's first product is very exciting – the Tramontana G-07 – make a note of that name because we suspect it'll fit right in amongst the aforementioned elite. It is a combination of advanced materials (Carbon, titanium, specially treated wood, exotic leathers and gold) and the kind of exquisite craftsmanship and fine detail that is incredibly rare these days. It doesn't really have a fixed price because every car is custom made – a one off vehicle for which you are not only measured as if for a Saville Row suit, but the company's aim is to craft a vehicle that perfectly fits its owner's every ergonomic requirement. Each year from 2008, just a dozen cars will be made, and we're tipping that very few customers will be opting for the base level vehicle which retails for US$660,000.
On the design front, it's part fighter jet and part Formula One. The seating position is straight out of a fighter aircraft and the canopy completes the resemblance. This is not surprising because esteemed aeronautical engineer Manuel Pardo collaborated in the argonomic development of the machine. Pardo is a member the Euro Fighter design team in Germany.
The carbon fibre pod that protects the passengers is pure Formula One, with a further eight shock absorption zones providing exceptional safety.
The powerplant is a centrally-located biturbo V12 Mercedes AMG motor with direct access to the engine management system from the dashboard. electronics system that will enable drivers to adjust the power characteristics from the dashboard, so the driver can choose say, a torquey 550 bhp for a run through the alps, or dial in the full complement of 720 horsepower for a run down the Auto Route. The tandem two-seater has a carbon fibre body and aeronautical aluminium chassis and upweighs just 1150 kg, will have a top speed of 355 km/h.
The car's power to weight ratio gives an inkling of the acceleration potential of the beastie. We could only find a handful of cars which have a better power-to-weight ratio than the Tramontana – they are the Bristol Fighter (0.63), LeBlanc Caroline (0.65), Gumpert Apollo (0.66), Koenigsegg CCX (0.68), the Ultima GTR (0.73) and the LeBlanc Mirabeau (0.86). It has a better power-to-weight ratio than the Saleen S7 (0.56), McLaren F1 (0.55), Brooke RR (0.55), Bugatti Veyron (0.53), Pagani Zonda F (0.48), Ariel Atom (0.48), Ferrari Enzo (0.48), Maserati MC12 (0.47), Elfin Streamliner (0.43), Porsche Carrera GT (0.40), the Caterham 7 Superlight R400 (0.40), Ford GT (0.36), Ascari KZ1 (0.38), Lamborghini Murcielago (0.38), Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano (0.39) and the Mercedes SLR McLaren (0.39).
The car is custom-designed and built according to the personal requirements of each client. This is done first by conducting an ergonomic study of the measurements of the driver, then by using the materials of his or her choice and, finally, by differentiating each unit with an engraving of a poetic verse in the chassis of the car. These characteristics assure that each Tramontana is a unique work of art modelled on the specific desires of the client. What is the difference between the Tramontana and other exclusives vehicles of its class?
The following extract comes from the Tramontana press pack: "In the world of exclusive sport vehicles, there has recently been a conceptual freeze. The multinational companies have absorbed the iconic sports car makers of the past (for example: Ferrari by the Fiat Group or Bugatti, Lamborguini and Bentley by the Volkswagen group). You only have to look around to realise that all the individual human passion of the small manufacturer has been transformed into an "artificial" mass-produced passion, thanks to the large sums of economical investment and huge marketing campaigns. In our case, we identify ourselves with the founding fathers of our industry. Those creators of spectacular machines shared a similar vision: a passion for authenticity, craftsmanship, attention to detail and technical precision. And today, we follow their dreams, contributing to their legacy with a vehicle that has its own uniquely defined character."