Hot on the well-heeled... well, umm... heels of reborn luxury nameplates Maybach and Bugatti, Duesenberg is set to rise from the ashes... in Minnesota of all places. That's because the rights to the fabled American super luxury liner's name was purchased by a Maple Plain corporation in 1996, and the firm has designs on reviving the marque with the Duesenberg Torpedo Coupe seen here. If it makes it to market, this will be the first new Duesie in almost 70 years.

[Many more details including more artists sketches and one funky V12 after the jump]

The car's designer, Jeff Teague, was most attracted by the company's 1931 and 1932 models, and thus chose to incorporate their undulating fenderlines and grille profile into the design seen above. Oversized wheels and turned metal also make for solid historical cues.

Appearances aside, the car's most interesting feature is easily its driveline, conceived by Paul Eddie, a California automotive designer best known for building movie cars. The concept's twelve-cylinder engine, dubbed the 'Cylindrical Energy Module' (CEM) was inspired by a firefighter pump that Paul patented back in 1992. In an odd twist, the CEM apparently rotates on an axis and by doing so sucks fuel into the cas, self-lubricating (and doing away with the need for an oil pump). In a throwback, the engine is air-cooled because the design reportedly generates but one-sixth the heat of a typical petrol powerplant (it only employs one spark plug on each end). Eddie claims that the design of the engine is scalable, and that they've already created 'watermelon' sized powerplants, some tipping the scale at less than 100 lbs. Oh, and just for kicks, the engine's been engineered to run on gasoline and diesel. Got all that?

No word on whether the setup has been bench or durability tested, or even if a running prototype has been seen outside of Eddie's cranium. The company won't say whether or not the engine will grace the first production Torpedo Coupe (a car they hope to debut at next year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance). In the event the exotic powerplant can't make the scene, plans are in place to graft in a Mercedes-Benz V12. Regardless of the final drivetrain, the once-and-future Duesenberg purveyors hope to build somewhere between 25 to 50 TCs per year, with prices comparable to the Rolls-Royce Phantom.

It will be interesting to see how the company's fortunes unfold... perhaps the unusual engine design will prove to be the biggest Duesie of them all. 

[Source: BusinessWeek.com]


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