De Tomaso has named the De Tomaso SLC/SLS, it’s new crossover/SUV, the De Tomaso Deauville. A name last used for an XJ-style saloon.
So the De Tomaso formerly known as the De Tomaso SLC, and then dubbed the De Tomaso SLS by its octegenarion saviour now has a proper De Tomaso-style name – the De Tomaso Deauville.
Which is all fine and dandy – and sounds a lot better than naming the new Tomato* after past and present Mercedes – but seems an odd name to give a cumbersome crossover come SUV come BMW GT wanabee.
Why odd, you ask? Well, as far as we know, Signore Rossignolo has plans to make the new De Tomaso in to a range of cars. A range that will include a Coupe and Saloon and perhaps even a City Car. Noble aspirations for a troubled and long-comatose marque.
So with plans like that, wouldn’t you think it would make sense to keep evocative De Tomaso names from the past either in the cupboard marked ‘History’ or attach them to a new car that evokes the old car? We would.
And De Tomaso has a De Tomaso Deauville in its history – an XJ-style saloon car with the engine from the Pantera (which sounds exotic, but was actually a bought-in American V8). It wasn’t the most wonderful car ever to stalk the car world, but it would surely make sense to us the name on the new Saloon?
It’s a bit like Lamborghini building a new SUV and calling it the Espada. Yes, it’s evocative. But it evokes the wrong memory. A very odd decision, unless Signore Rossignolo believes his Deauville to be the spiritual successor of the original Deauville.
Confusion over the name apart, what’s the verdict on the new De Tomaso Deauville now we’ve seen it on the floor at Geneva?
It’s less bulky than the earlier photos suggested, although it’s just plain wrong from some angles – particularly rear three quarter. The interior looks better than half decent and not at all garden-shed. Some nice leathers, decent instrumentation, carbon fibre and reasonable ergonomics.
Still not a looker, though.
* When my kids were little, a friend ran a Pantera. They all loved being blasted down the road at ridiculous speeds in it, accompanied by a soundtrack that shook tiles off the roof. But ‘De Tomaso Pantera’ was far too much of a mouthful for little ones to master. So they seized on the part of the name they thought they understood. “Dad, when can we go out in Frank’s Tomato again?”
Which is why any De Tomaso will always be a Tomato to me.