2008 Private Preview: Super Commuter
"This is not just a show car,"
proclaims Alfred DiMora, founder and CEO of DiMora Motorcar, a boutique
automaker in Palm Springs, Calif. "In essence, we are bringing Silicon Valley to
Detroit by building the most technologically advanced car in the world right
here in America."
Any other entrepreneur might be considered an eccentric just
for conceptualizing—let alone pursuing the production of—DiMora’s latest
project: a $2 million, V-16 sedan he calls the Natalia SLS 2. But DiMora, who
was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Mich., 20 years ago,
when he was serving as the CEO and chief automotive designer of luxury car
builder Clenet Coachworks, has a history of successes that lends credence to his
"They told me I was nuts, that I could never build the world’s
fastest supercomputer," DiMora says. "But I did it." That high-tech venture was
called Star Bridge Systems, a supercomputer manufacturer that sold its wares to
a number of universities and to NASA. The latest DiMora endeavor involves both
of his fields of expertise. The Natalia utilizes a network of more than 60
computers, all of which are housed in one very fast container.
DiMora estimates that his first production vehicle will achieve
a top speed of 300 mph, which is 47 mph faster than the current production-car
speed record held by the Bugatti Veyron. The Natalia, consisting of a chassis
and body made from ultralightweight carbon and aluminum, will reach that
velocity, says DiMora, powered by a 14-liter, 16-cylinder engine producing 1,200
hp and 900 ft lbs of torque.
No one-trick pony, the Natalia will transport its occupants
from point A to point B quickly but also very comfortably. DiMora plans to equip
the car with an interactive system that will sense the heart rates and skin
temperatures of the vehicle’s passengers and then automatically and accordingly
adjust the ambience of the cabin—the temperature, lighting, and music. "American
car manufacturers are making boxes, not luxury cars," says DiMora. "I want to
push the envelope and make the greatest machines out there."
The 457-pound chassis is the only component of this machine
that has been built, but DiMora insists that the foundation is the most
important step in the creation of an automobile. "We want this car to be an
educational experience for all those who are interested in what we are doing,"
he says. By posting every stage of development on its web site, DiMora Motorcar
hopes to educate automotive enthusiasts and potential investors alike.
DiMora expects to have his prototype ready sometime next year
and his first production car on the road by July 4, 2009. He says he already has
received several orders for the car and that production totals will not exceed
75 cars per year.
DiMora Motorcar, www.dimoramotorcar.com