To anyone not 100 per cent clued up on their obscure automobile manufacturers, the letters ATS will mean diddly-squat. But they do in fact belong to a long-deceased Italian car manufacturer, who briefly in the mid 1960s had a go at competing with the likes of Ferrari. In the business sense, the original ATS 2500GT could largely be judged to be a total failure. After just two short years of production during which just 12 cars were produced, the company collapsed. Taken as a piece of engineering the car wasn’t all that bad. It had decent performance for the time and was reasonably good looking. The reborn ATS company will be hoping that their revival of the 2500GT has more luck than the last one nearly 50 years ago.
The 2012 ATS 2500GT is based around a tubular chassis, and like the original it’s fairly easy on the eye. The mid-mounted engine is a turbocharged 2.5 litre flat-four which makes a surprisingly potent 500 horsepower. Hooked up to a six-speed manual gearbox the 2500GT sends its power to the rear wheels through a limited slip differential. Adjustable traction control lets the driver choose how quickly they go through tires. Top speed is said to be 186 mph, and the sprint from 0-62 mph takes just 3.3 seconds.
Other highlights of the new ATS 2500GT include a powerful braking system – which comprises of 12-piston calipers biting down on large diameter discs, a close ratio steering rack, adjustable suspension, underbody aerodynamics, and superlight alloy wheels.
ATS say of their creation; “This ATS GT has been projected for pure driving pleasure both on the road and on the track, offering exclusivity and custom made program for each customer that want be part of the ATS family. It ‘s a timeless style car created to embody the classicism of the mid-engine Italian GT, and the perfect balance of elegance, sportiness and comfort. It is aimed to connoisseur customers looking for the best performance and maximum driving pleasure.”
Only time will tell whether the resurrected ATS will make it as a successful company, or follow its predecessor into the footnotes of automotive history.