There is no denying Spain’s rich history or presence in the automotive industry today. According to recent figures, Spain is the eighth largest producer of automobiles in the world. Sadly for Spain, the country’s automotive industry has been in decline for some time now. Of all the Spanish car brands that were around in the 19th and 20th century, only SEAT – a subsidiary of Volkswagen – currently operates as the only Spanish brand that is capable of developing its own models in-house and producing them on a mass scale.
Now do a Google search (Bing, if you feel brave) on Spanish sports cars, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find many out there. So when we came across the GTA Spano we were not only impressed by its Spanish roots — and that its gorgeous body is comprised of a long list of exotic (read: expensive) materials like titanium, kevlar, and carbon fiber — but that this Spanish speedster weighs in at a mere 2,970 pounds and is capable of making the sprint to 62 mph in under three seconds, which — if you’re paying attention – already makes it faster off the line than the recently revealed Ferrari F12berlinetta.
You might not be all too familiar with GTA Motors or its GTA Spano. The Spanish supercar began life as a secret side project to sister company GTA Motor Competición back in 2005, and made its world debut as the GTA Concept at last year’s Geneva Motor Show. A full year later, the GTA Concept (now the Spano) is back looking to make a splash and steal the spotlight from the more well-known and established marques out there — and boy have our jaws dropped firmly to the floor.
Building and establishing a reputation isn’t always easy. Just like in the human world, stereotypes and reputations aren’t always kind, or even true (especially negative ones). In the automotive world, it’s no different. However, when it comes to cars, these reputations almost acts as a type of currency – even worn as a badge of honor.
In fact, it’s interesting how over the years different nations have developed special reputations when it comes to the cars they produce. Often, these characteristics mimic or reflect various stereotypes held for the people of those nations. For example, Italians are thought to inject a lot of style, speed, flair into their automobiles. Germans cars – while showcasing a wealth of automotive excellence and engineering — are often found lacking aesthetically. Meanwhile, British cars tend to be considered the hallmark of class and luxury. And of course, American cars are generally thought of as big, loud, and obnoxious.
As we already mentioned, the rear-wheel drive GTA Spano is super-quick. It packs an automatic sequential seven-speed gearbox, an 8.3-liter V10 pumping out a total of 840 horsepower, with a top speed of 217 mph. The Spano’s suspension is a double wishbone configuration with electronically regulated wing and electronic height regulation. Stopping power has also been seen to with AP Racing carbon-ceramic brake system, six piston calipers, and ABS.
It’s no secret that we are thoroughly impressed with the GTA Spano. Apart from being fast and utilizing some of the finest materials available, the car’s design language provides just enough originality without being too over the top and eccentric. If we had to critique the Spano though, it would be that the the car design plays it a little too safe. The rear of the car could provide a little more visual flair and sizzle than it currently does, but that doesn’t detract too much from what the car does right. No official pricing has been given yet for GTA’s first production supercar, but in light of the Spano’s generous use of carbon fiber, titanium, and Ferrari-besting speed, we don’t anticipate it to come cheap.
Of course, in the end, breaking into the elite world of producing successful supercars is no small task. It can take years to establish an identity and reputation the likes of Ferrari, Bugatti, and Aston Martin enjoy. With the GTA Spano, Spain may have found a production ready sports car that is worthy of carrying the bandera de España, and that hopefully does well enough to put the country on the supercar-producing map.