Meet The ATS GT Launch Edition: An 830 Horsepower Italian Beauty

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Automobili Turismo e Sport has our attention.

In a world filled with so many established exotic car manufacturers, it's hard for a small, boutique automaker to make it. Sometimes, a company like Pagani or Koenigsegg can rise up to become an established brand, but more often than not, small, they end up bankrupt and forgotten.

Last year, a company called Automobili Turismo e Sport (ATS) teased a limited-run supercar, which looked pretty intriguing. ATS actually built its first mid-engined car back in 1963 after two disgruntled Ferrari employees left to start their own company. Now, ATS is back with an all-new model called the GT Launch Edition.

We've seen the ATS GT in prototype form in the past, but this Launch Edition model is the production version that will be delivered to 12 lucky customers. ATS says the US is the most important market for its new car, as five of the original 12 cars were delivered there from 1963 to 1965.

GT stands for Gran Turismo and the car itself is meant to be just that, a grand tourer. ATS says it wanted the GT to "offer unparalleled levels of comfort wrapped in a high-performance package. The engineering focused on developing a car made to excel on longer journeys, where the interior is a luxurious cocoon for the occupants."

Even though it utilizes a carbon fiber chassis, ATS clearly wanted the GT to function well as a daily driver.

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On the inside, it's easy to tell that ATS wanted to give the GT Launch Edition a luxurious, hand-crafted vibe. The controls are very minimalistic, with two knobs that allow the driver to alter the engine, suspension and gearbox response.

ATS has also created its own patented open linkage transmission, which can supposedly change from being an automatic to a true manual. The shifter itself was engineered to make a satisfying metallic click sound, as were the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters in automatic mode.

The seven-speed transmission receives power from a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 (perhaps sourced from McLaren?) producing 730 horsepower. Customers will also be able to opt for the Corsa Package, which ups the power to 830 hp. Owners who want to take their GT to the track should add the optional Brembo ATS GTR carbon-ceramic brakes.

Only 12 examples will be built and ATS says the first three are already spoken for. Each one will be bespoke to the customer's tastes and sold at a price of $850,000. It may be a steep price to pay for a car no one has heard of, but remember, Koenigsegg and Pagani were once unknowns, and look at them now.

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