Geneva Motor Show: Tramontana brings the open-wheeled to the open road
When it comes to eccentric exotics, a few names spring to mind; today, a new one can be added to the list. The Tramontana has the looks, mechanicals and aura of something very special, and when you dig a little deeper, your interest grows exponentially. To begin with, a V12 Biturbo, producing up to 720 HP and 678 ft.-lbs. of torque, is mounted midship and mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox. 20-inch carbon/magnesium wheels frame 380 mm carbon ceramic discs, squeezed by six piston calipers both fore and aft. Any affection for the styling is strictly subjective, but we will say that the Tramontana's looks increase ten-fold with the glass canopy removed. Only twelve will be made each year and we're pretty sure they were taking orders after the press conference.
We've got a series of live shots accompanying the press pics in our gallery and be sure to check out the press release after the jump for every morsel of information you might desire.
We've got a series of live shots accompanying the press pics in our gallery and be sure to check out the press release after the jump for every morsel of information you might desire.
Concept of the company
"A Return to Excellence"
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Spanish automotive industry was created and a tradition of excellence and superior craftsmanship was born. Today, one hundred years later, a group of young engineers has developed a new automobile instilled with these same values. Building upon the foundations of these first concepts and designs, a.d. Tramontana has created a custom-made, hand-crafted vehicle that is distinguished by
its unique character.
With a glance towards the past and a vision of the future, with passion, initiative and perseverance, a.d. Tramontana has reinvented the automotive industry in Spain and throughout the world.
a.d.Tramontana is a Catalan company that represents a new generation of entrepreneurial engineers. The company is located on the beautiful Costa Brava of North-eastern Spain, a place that has been a great source of creative inspiration. Their objective is to apply creativity to all aspects of the automotive manufacturing process. This creativity is evident in all aspects of the Tramontana: the design, the construction, and the exclusive distribution model.
The Tramontana embodies a revolutionary concept that incorporates the design qualities of the iconic Italian sports cars and the mechanical expertise of the classic British models.
a.d.Tramontana has brought together technical precision, personalized design, and superior craftsmanship using only the finest materials. In this way, the company can be considered as the heir to the iconic Spanish models of the beginning of the twentieth century. These cars, which marked a decisive moment in the history of the global automotive industry, have unfortunately disappeared, but the innovative spirit of their design lives on in the Tramontana.
The Tramontana is unique because its design combines visually stunning lines and personalized accents with powerful machinery and high safety standards.
The car is custom-designed and built according to the personal requirements of each client. This is done first by conducting an ergonomical 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.
Not only is the Tramontana visually attractive, it is also an extremely powerful piece of machinery, including a central V12 bi-turbo, with to options 550 and 720 Hp, by a selector in the dashboard.
The Tramontana also adheres to high standards of safety. It includes a body of carbon fibre and a chassis that has been specially developed for this particular model and introduces a new structural system that combines an indeformable central zone with eight other zones of shock absorption. The body is made of carbon fibre.
a.d.Tramontana presented the original concept car at the Geneva Motor Show in 2005 as well
as at the Top Marques Monaco fair in the same year. In 2006 a.d.TRAMONTANA present a functional prototype and due to its incredible initial success among industry specialists, this year the company, has developed a new carbon fiber monocoque, new suspension system and also new aerodymamic modifications and all this news facts will be presented at the next 77th Geneva Motor Show, from 6th to 8th of March 2007.
a.d.TRAMONTANA will deliver the first units in Summer 2007.
In April, it will open its Technical Assembly Centre on La Costa Brava.
Story of the project and how the company was founded:
The story of the Tramontana began ten years ago, in 1996, when a British car collector mentioned to Josep Rubau that it was unfortunate that cars were no longer manufactured as they had been in the past.
Later, in the Technical centre of VW Wolfsburg in Germany, Josep met Xavi López, an expert in surfaces development with considerable experience in German and Spanish engineering. Xavi had previously worked for carmakers such as VW, BMW, and Lamborghini.
One of the reasons that the members of the Tramontana team decided to base their operations out of La Costa Brava was because they wanted to bring business to local industries, which were suffering due to a widespread trend of industrial delocalization. They contacted the companies in the region that were known for their high quality standards and shared their vision with them.
As the project developed, it became necessary to incorporate new members into the team. Marc Barceló, a technical engineer specialist in industrial development, joined the team in order to develop technical parts. Lluís Balasch joined as the "finishing touches man": the supervisor of both the direction of micro-mechanisms and derivates and of the development of accents and details. Finally, the last member to join was Albert Foncillas, whose expertise is in the field of industrial design and whose own company was a supplier to some of the most important multinational companies. His knowledge and extensive experience continue to improve the business strategy of the company.
Together with this team of entrepreneurs, there are over one hundred collaborators who have contributed to the project and who have understood our new way of focusing the automotive industry on the values and feelings that have been forgotten in the car-making world.
We would like to thank all the people who have collaborated on this project and who have helped us make our dream become a reality.
Board of Directors:
Josep Rubau (General Director):
The original creator of the Tramontana concept. His background in automobile design started at the Royal College of Arts in London.
Winner of prestigious international prizes, including one for the design of a concept motorcycle called "Miura", which was inspired by the shape of a bull. It has been exhibited throughout Europe and was specially solicited by the prestigious Museum of Design in London.
Josep turned down various exciting job offers, among them the job of designing for the Star Wars movies in the US, in order to focus on his career in the automotive field.
His career at Volkswagen was very successful and among his best designs was the design of the New Beetle DUNE 4x4, which was presented in the LA Motor Show in 2000, and in Detroit, Geneva, and Paris, among others.
Josep is also a professor of the Masters program of vehicle design at the Elisava University Pompeu Fabra, where he shares his passion for cars with his students.
Xavi López (Communications Director):
Specialist in the development of 3D surfaces, with extensive experience in German EDAG engineering, which works for the top car-makers of the world. He has worked in several countries including Germany, UK and the USA.
Lluís Balasch (Finishing Director):
Technical micro-mechanic, with extensive experience working at the most prestigious Swiss watch companies. He is in charge of the micro-mechanisms and derivates and has the responsibility of developing all the external and internal exclusive details and jewellery mechanisms that are incorporated into the car.
Albert Foncillas (Associate Consultant):
Trained as an engineer, he comes from a family owned company and is an expert in dealing with multinational corporations. He works at the strategic level and in business development.
Alexandra Mezquita (Sales and Public Relations):
Originally from Barcelona, lawyer during 10 years in companies like Morales& Asociados; PWC (Landwell) o Mullerat. She founded Global Speakers Management, a platform of speakers and the organization of nationals and internationals events.
2. How would you describe the Tramontana?
The Tramontana is inspired by Formula 1 racing cars and fighter jets.
• A combination of a Formula 1 racing car and a Fighter Jet that can be driven on the street.
• A super sports car with a V12 Engine that inspires passion, emotion and transmits elegance and power simultaneously.
• The heir to Spain's automotive legacy, which included the Hispano Suiza and Pegaso and their famous model Z102.
• A combination of contemporary elements, such as carbon and titanium, and traditional elements, such as specially treated wood, exotic leathers, and gold.
The seating position
• The seating position is the same as in fighter jets. One of the most respectable engineers in the field of aeronautics, Manuel Pardo, has collaborated in its development. (Mr. Pardo is a member the Euro Fighter design team in Germany).
• Technically, the weight is centred in an exceptional manner, an important characteristic of cars of its class.
• The visibility of the passenger is superior to that of a conventional vehicle due to the slight elevation of the back seat.
• The gasoline tank is located under the seat of the passenger, the safest place in the car. For security reasons as well, the tank contains an anti-explosive material called Expocontrol. (www.expocontrol.com)
• The position of the seats can be personalized to the following configuration:
o Two passengers: 2 comfort seats
o Two passengers: 2 banquettes
o One passenger and half: 1 seat + 1 banquette
o One passenger sports version: single place
3. What is the difference between the Tramontana and other exclusives vehicles of its class?
"A Passion for Authenticity"
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.
4. What has been the most meaningful challenge when creating the Tramontana?
To create a Jewel for Collectors
Our goal has been to create a vehicle that is conscious of and respectful of our past. To revive the spirit of those local manufacturers who have unfortunately disappeared. This is a vehicle that brings new challenges to the industry and creates a harmony between traditional craftsmanship and the most modern technology. The Tramontana is a car specially designed for motor world connoisseurs.
5. Are there any manufacturers in Spain who are qualified to produce a car like the Tramontana?
"Hispano Suiza i Pegaso".
Historically, there have been highly qualified car manufacturers in our country. They were the sophisticated carmakers like Hispano Suiza and Pegaso with classic models like the Z102. Today, the only Spanish car company left is SEAT and it is under the direction of a multinational company based in Germany. We believe that the effects of delocalization are clearly negative, as most huge multinationals have very strict company policies. This has been fatal for local industries, but fortunately there are still some companies alive. Our experience with working for powerful multinationals has given us a good direction in the sense that we have learned to focus our own company. We believe in supporting local industries, the small and mid-size companies that supply those multinationals. Our results are evident, and thanks to this we believe that our local industry has the capability to regenerate. Outside our borders we have been already catalogued as the "new referent for the European Automotive industry".
6. Will the Tramontana project encourage the automotive sector to start up similar projects?
It all depends on the new entrepreneurs and the administration.
We maintain a positive attitude and believe that the key to success is in the hands of the entrepreneurs; they control the direction of the future and for that they need support. We must not forget that they form the base of our economy and without them the economy will stagnate.
7. Which are the distribution channels that will be adapted?
A direct link with our client.
We have a direct connection with our clients. They either visit us at our Technical Assembly Centre in Palau de Santa Eulàlia or they meet us at the trade shows in which we participate.
We have also received extensive coverage by the specialized media and a very positive reception by the specialised companies of our sector.
8. What in your region do you draw inspiration from?
Catalonia is located in the north-eastern corner of Spain, on the French border, nestled between the Pyrenees Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, A constant cool breeze refreshes the land in the summers and a lovely warm breeze washes over the land in the winters. Rainy days are rare.
Catalonia is a land of harmony. The old complements the new, the manmade complements the natural and history complements the future.
Though only 32,000 square kilometres (12,000 sq. miles.), Catalonia is home to a variety of people and places. It is home to Barcelona and the Costa Brava. It is home to the surrealist movement of Salvador Dalí, the modernist architect Gaudí, Ferran Adria's culinary revolution and some of the world's best up-and-coming golf courses.
9. What is the inspiration behind the name Tramontana?
"The creative wind"
The "tramuntana" is the treasured wind that blows in the most North-Eastern region of Catalonia, the Empordà. It blows very fast for a few days during the year, at speeds of over 200 Km/h. (It is almost as fast as our car!). When the Tramontana wind blows, it leaves our skies with an incredible brightness and transparency that has inspired many artists in our area, such as the genius Salvador Dalí, who is well known for portraying this charismatic wind in his works of art.
12. What will be the veritable jewel of the Tramontana?
The driver of the Tramontana is the true Jewel.
There are no two clients who are alike, and in consequence no two Tramontana cars will be the same. The human, personal touch is present in every small detail.
13. What are the materials that you utilize?
"Only the finest materials"
We place a strong emphasis on the qualities of the materials that we use, as well as on the production processes. We organize the materials into two groups: "technological materials" such as carbon and titanium and "refined materials" such as wood, leather and gold.
14. How do you ensure maximum quality?
"A meticulous control in all stages of the production process "
Our quality control model is based upon the constant search for the finest materials and the constant monitoring of our suppliers. We carry out a continuous supervision of all the components, from the moment that it arrives at our Centre until the end, always under rigour controls of analysis. Our quality control team uses only the most advanced technologies, including X-rays to detect anomalies in the fusing of certain elements such as ion in the chassis.
15. How is the personalization of the Tramontana done?
"There will never be two alike"
Each vehicle is made to measure and designed and produced according to the specifications of each client.
• Chassis number: instead of using a serial number, we name each unit after a poem that has been made specially for the Tramontana by a famous local Catalan poet. Each car will have a verse of that poem engraved on the chassis.
T orb acèrrim de nítides empremtes.
R ebel i veloç projector de somnis.
A matent zèfir d'oníriques muses.
M agnètic prodigi gestat amb brasa.
U nivers còsmic d'anhels humans.
N oble fúria de caprici lliure.
T abernacle de coratges eterns.
A crobàtica rauxa catalana.
N ou símbol d'austeres i clares veus.
A lenada de vent empordanès.
Autora: Carme Pagès (Costa Brava 19/01/06)
About the poem: The poem Tramuntana is acrostic, which means that it is a poetic composition where the first letter of each verse forms the word "tramuntana" (to be read vertically). The poem is composed "decasilab" verses, the metric of the Catalan language per excellence. Each verse has its own meaning and it also relates to the poem as a whole. It also defines particularities of the well-known Empordà wind as well as characteristics of the singular vehicle.
• Personalization of the preference of driving: circuit, highway, mountain, etc...(more detail)
• An ergonomical study will be conducted. The measurements of the clients will be taken to define the position of the seats, pedals, wheel and door handles. Made to measure.
• Other finishings:
ß Type of wood
ß White or yellow gold
ß Precious stone embedded in the wheel
ß Colours: exact color match
ß Leather: there are various exotic leathers to choose from. Cow, camel, crocodile, snake and ...... ???? We provide the legal certificate of origin for all of our skins.
16. How would you describe your ideal client?
"Connoisseurs of the motor world"
Our clients are people with a strong automotive background and a knowledge of automotive culture. In general, they are experienced car collectors in search of exceptional vehicles that offer distinctive, superior quality.
17. Can you give us the names of some of your clients?
It is our company policy to maintain maximum discretion with regard to our clients.
18. How many orders do you have?
Since the presentation of our concept car in Geneva 2005 and the following announcement that the Tramontana was going into production, we have received several requests from all corners of the world. But we are not taking orders until the delivery dates are established.
The worldwide presentation of the first production car at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2006 will mark the beginning of the commercial campaign of the Tramontana.
19. How many units are you planning to produce each year?
We are very careful with the development of the business and the maintenance of the specialty of our production capacity demands a slow growth:
2007 we plan to produce 5 units.
2008 12 units.
2009 12 units.
The final rate of production will be a maximum of 12 units per year. We don't plan to produce more than that because each vehicle has a soul of its own, and we expend all our passion and feelings in the creation of each one.
The cost of the car will vary according to the personalized details of each individual car. It could possibly become one of the most expensive vehicles on the market, but it will depend on the buyer's choices. Each unit is unique and one-of-a-kind and it has certain requirements that are superior to any other conventional vehicle on the street.
21. What was the initial investment to develop this project?
At the present time, those are confidential figures. We will publicly present our numbers in the near future.
In 2005 our Business Plan received honours from the prestigious Universitat d'Econòmiques (University of Economics) ESADE in Barcelona.
22. How many people does the company employ?
It is a small sized company, but it indirectly employs 150 workers.