Have you ever wondered what it would be like to drive a Formula 1 car outside of a racetrack and have it be street legal? Thanks to a little company called Advanced Design Tramontana in Catalonia, Spain, you can have one for a moderate price tag. The Tramontana is possibly the weirdest-looking performance car you’ll ever see, but it has all the makings of an open-wheel race car, except this one has wheel arches and turn indicators. It also has air conditioning and can come with a passenger seat. Both can be leather as well. It’s a confusing car and apparently is trying to dip its wheels in two separate ponds.
It uses a Mercedes-Benz engine
Tramontana released its flagship C model in 2007. It uses a mid-mounted 5.2-liter V10 (most likely from the Audi R8) with 600 horsepower or a lean 5.5-liter twin-turbo Mercedes-Benz V12 with 550. Presumably, it’s the M275, which was also in the S600 around the same time. According to the Advanced Design Tramontana website, there are four models to choose from, C, S, R, and XTR. The powertrains are consistent until you get to the XTR, which only uses the V12 and can have between 720-888 horsepower.
It uses open-wheel racer suspension
Tramontana uses push-rod actuated double-wishbone suspension, which is used in open-wheel racing series. This type of suspension is expensive and heavy because it uses more parts than a traditional MacPherson configuration. Pushrod-actuated suspension uses a series of rockers and rods to keep the car flat through a corner, almost eliminating body roll. No doubt, this uncompromising performance suspension setup contributes to the Tramonta’s hefty 2,800-pound curb weight.
The Tramontana is made of wood
Amidst the carbon fiber body parts and the magnesium wheels, which by the way, F1 cars also use, you might notice a sort of granular material lurking beside the side pods. It’s wood. Tramontana cars aren’t just unusual in looks but construction as well. A.D. builds Tramontana cars from a motley crew of carbon fiber, titanium, wood, and even gold. No Tramonta car is the same, so the company should accommodate if you prefer not to use wood in your design.
It’s the price of a Lamborghini
Now we come down to the price, which is considerable. The cars start around $500,000 and can go up depending on the options. With 720-hp selected, the car can reach 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. It’s certainly quick, but is it worth the price tag? Advanced Design Tramontana stipulates it builds its vehicles as luxury grand-touring race cars, which means they’re not exactly built specifically for racing.
Lamborghinis and Ferraris are quicker and have bigger cabins for around the same price, so if the Tramontana isn’t a race car and doesn’t quite match its price-point competition in luxury or speed, then what exactly is it suitable for? Frankly, it’s closer to a race car. If you were to buy one, shed 800 pounds, get rid of the wood, turn indicators, a/c, and leather, and start sculpting your best Lewis Hamilton impression.