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Dallara branches out from track to road with 2017 coupe

By Georg Kacher

Motor Industry

13 August 2014 09:27

Dallara - the company involved in top-end motorsport from Formula E to Indycar - is readying a sports car for the road, CAR magazine can reveal.

In the new September 2014 issue on sale today, Gian Paolo Dallara, the firm's founder, confirms a back-to-basics eponymous sports car due to arrive by 2017.

The Dallara road car will be extremely focused: target weight stands at just 850kg, enabled by the use of carbonfibre, just like on the Alfa Romeo 4C that Dallara helped to develop.

Dallara's sports car for the road: the news

To achieve that low mass, we're talking here about a simple sports car in the vein of the 4C and Lotus Elise: a basic folding roof, few niceties such as air-conditioning and a driving experience unsullied by electronic driver aids.

Steering is unassisted - this a lightweight virtuous circle here - and power is likely to come from a 2.0-litre turbo good for 300bhp; we expect the engine to be sourced from Italian neighbours at Fiat/Alfa.

Expect the Dallara to launch in 2017, priced around €80,000 (£64,000). Production is limited to no more than 100 units a year.

Dallara: a quick history

Dallara the person has become something of a motor industry legend. First hired by Enzo Ferrari in 1959, the engineer introduced wind tunnels to Maranello, worked on the 250 GTO, joined Maserati and then Lamborghini.

'We developed the 350 GT, Miura and the Espada on a shoestring budget and within a ridiculously short timeframe,' Dallara tells CAR. 'The Miura was perhaps the most significant sports car of its era. Bob Wallace did all the test driving with the only two prototypes we could afford - just 30,000km -and even those mules were sold!'

He set up his eponymous automotive engineering company in 1972 and has worked in F1 and all levels of motorsport. Most weekends, 300 Dallara racers take to the track in everything from Formula 3 to Indycar. But Dallara has also worked on low-volume road cars, such as KTM's X-Bow, the Maserati MC12 and even the Bugatti Veyron.

'I'm often been asked why I never did a sports badged Dallara,' says the 77-year-old engineer. 'A lack of money and not enough time. But now I'm ready to go ahead with a lightweight two-seater bearing my name.'

See the full interview with Gian Paolo Dallara in the new September 2014 issue of CAR magazine, out now in print, on iPad and in our digital editions for Android, Google Play, Kobo and Nook e-readers. Click here for a free digital preview.