2008 Private Preview: Super Commuter

  • Paul Meyers and Gregory Anderson

"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

unconventional vision.

"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

Photo by Jim Fets
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