Is Turbo De Tomaso Italian for Kei Car?

By Colin Wood
Oct 15, 2020 | De Tomaso, Innocenti, Turbo

What would an Italian kei car look like? We'll let you come up with your own ideas–the Fiat 500 could be on that list–but we think it would look something like the Turbo De Tomaso: an Innocenti that was styled by Bertone, powered by Daihatsu and built by De Tomaso.

Depending on the model year, the car's kei-car-esque turbocharged 993cc inline-three was rated for 71 horsepower and anywhere from 70-80 lb.-ft. of torque. Not much by today’s standard for sure, but the approximately 1500-pound car was said to be able to hit 60 mph in a hair more than 10 seconds.

Perhaps the best part, though, is the obscene number of "Turbo" and "De Tomaso" logos plastered over the matching red and black interior and exterior.

Read more about this 1985 Turbo De Tomaso—now for sale on eBay Motors—over at Classic Motorsports.

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/14/20 10:31 a.m.

On a sad/related note, I got rid of my leftover Innocenti Mini stuff this weekend--mostly just some wheels, door cards and a cover. It was a good car. 

MadScientistMatt PowerDork
10/14/20 10:48 a.m.

I'm seeing a very strong resemblance to a Yugo - perhaps the same stylist was responsible for both?

MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
10/14/20 12:19 p.m.
MadScientistMatt said:

I'm seeing a very strong resemblance to a Yugo - perhaps the same stylist was responsible for both?

No the Innocenti Mini was done at betrone and the Yugo is a shortened fiat 128 which was styled in house at fiat. The similarities are simply Italian 70s sedan/hatch styling.

brad131a4 (Forum Supporter)
brad131a4 (Forum Supporter) Reader
10/14/20 7:33 p.m.

For that price I'd go with a yugo.

Riley_88 New Reader
10/14/20 9:56 p.m.

I had a 1984 non-turbo model as my first car.  It was a lot of fun.  If you got off the gas while driving in a tight circle it would bring the inside rear wheel up in the air which was pretty entertaining in the school parking lot.  

Appleseed MegaDork
10/14/20 10:30 p.m.

This is not the Pantera I was expecting. 

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/15/20 4:47 a.m.

In reply to Appleseed :

No but it's the Pantera we can (almost) get

Appleseed MegaDork
10/15/20 9:45 a.m.
Wally (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Appleseed :

No but it's the Pantera we can (almost) get

I'm not sure I could afford even that.

MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
10/15/20 11:24 a.m.

Honestly wouldn't surprise me if having an actual pantera might be cheaper overall due to having an American drivetrain vs a combination of Italian and Japanese that isant one of the main manufacturers.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/16/20 8:36 a.m.

In reply to MotorsportsGordon :

That is a good point. I recently wrote a Pantera buyer guide for Classic Motorsports. It's in the current issue, and eventually it will be online. While writing it, I learned that today's parts availability for the Pantera is crazy good–and that's before you get to the Ford engine. OE parts are even still available. Once you figure buy-in, though, the Pantera might cost a bit more as good examples now bring $75k-$95k. But interesting comparison. 

Trent (Generally supportive dude)
Trent (Generally supportive dude) PowerDork
10/16/20 11:45 a.m.

The Innocenti de Tomaso is one of my dream garage cars.


I can pretty much guarantee it will be more comfortable to sit in and drive than a Pantera.

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