Bernard Tapie's son wants to compete with Bugatti by relaunching a forgotten French luxury brand – BFMTV

Laurent Tapie will market in 2022 the D12, a Formula 1 approved for the road, the first model to revive the luxury brand Delage.

A luxury car brand asleep since 1956, a Formula 1 world champion, a well-known businessman in the business world, this is the equation that must revive Delage.

A star brand bankrupt in the 1950s

Launched in 1903, the manufacturer made automobile history in the first half of the 20th century. Symbol of luxury born in the Parisian suburbs, Delage distinguished himself in motorsport by winning in particular the title of world champion of the Grand Prix in 1927.

It is this story that Laurent Tapie, son of the businessman, has chosen to relaunch this year with a brand new model: the D12. A name tribute to the Delage road cars who always bore a "D" as their surname, 12 marking the number of cylinders in the engine.

"Delage is, along with Bugatti and Delahaye, one of the most beautiful brands in French automobile history," Laurent Tapie explained to Paris Match in June. World constructor champion in 1927, it has established an impressive number of records and shone more than any other in the Concours d'Elegance. Car enthusiast since childhood, I always wanted to create my hypercar and when I started, more than two years ago, I immediately thought of Delage ".

Bernard Tapie39s son wants to compete with Bugatti by relaunching - Bernard Tapie's son wants to compete with Bugatti by relaunching a forgotten French luxury brand - BFMTV
A historic model of the Delage brand, a D6 Competition, here in 2014 at the Grand Palais in Paris. © FRANCOIS GUILLOT / AFP

After going bankrupt in the 1930s, the brand had disappeared in 1956. Only an association "Les Amis de Delage" remained, which provided a link between the owners of Delage models. Laurent Tapie has entered into an exclusive license agreement with a purchase option.

"At the start of our discussions, the members of the association were quite cautious. But the quality of our team and the seriousness of our project convinced them. They were thrilled by the D12", continues Laurent Tapie in Paris Match .

1598119269 328 Bernard Tapie39s son wants to compete with Bugatti by relaunching - Bernard Tapie's son wants to compete with Bugatti by relaunching a forgotten French luxury brand - BFMTV
Laurent Tapie is a sports car fan, passionate about Formula 1. © Delage

Over 350km / h top speed

The D12 is impressive. Its look is reminiscent of a Formula 1 single-seater. It boasts more than 1230 horsepower for the most powerful version thanks to an atmospheric 7.6-liter V12 and an electric motor. A version with only 900 horsepower will also be available and according to Le Maine Libre, the D12 will have a 100% electric driving mode dedicated to the city. For the rest, the D10 could reach a top speed of 360km / h!

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The D12 has two seats one behind the other. © Delage

Enough to meet Laurent Tapie's lofty ambitions: to beat the record for the lap of the north loop of the Nürburgring, where all the supercars are competing. One way to go and fight against Bugatti, which claims the title of the fastest car in the world.

To achieve such performances, Delage will benefit from the skills of the Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, in charge of the development of the vehicle, the sensations reminiscent of those of Formula 1. Benoit Bagur takes the position of technical director, he had previously worked in WTCC at Seat. The supercar will be produced in France, the V12 has been developed in-house with elements from Australia, as explained in November at Maine Libre Laurent Tapie.

More than two million euros

The D12 is currently only in the prototype version and the covid-19 pandemic has postponed the various events (Geneva Motor Show, Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix) where the supercar was to be presented.

According to AutoPlus, five buyers have already made known their interest, a presentation having been made to customers in California late last year. Announced price: around 2 million euros, in line with the prices charged by Bugatti, Pagani and other manufacturers of ultra-powerful hypercars. Laurent Tapie hopes to build around 30 D12s within five years. The first deliveries are expected in early 2022.

1592676477 295 Test X1 xDrive25e the small BMW plug in hybrid SUV - Bernard Tapie's son wants to compete with Bugatti by relaunching a forgotten French luxury brand - BFMTV
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