“We’re putting Adamastor at the cutting edge of automotive technology.”
PORTO, Portugal, Nov. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Ricardo Quintas is one of the founders of Adamastor and is currently CEO of the Portuguese supercar brand based in Porto. A brand that, starting from a blank sheet of paper and betting on a team that combines experience with young talents, as well as technology and tools developed in-house with cutting-edge digital solutions, aims to design, develop and sell a high-performance supercar scheduled to hit the market as early as 2025.
There will be undoubtedly many more questions to ask and it’s no less certain that the man who gave birth to Adamastor will have much more to tell about this dream that is now materialising. However, as a result of just over a dozen questions, Ricardo Quintas reveals the threads that sew together the present and future of a supercar manufacturer that represents not only, but above all, a lot of passion.
How was Adamastor born and how has it evolved so far?
Adamastor was founded in 2015 following an initial objective of fostering partnerships between the academic and business worlds with a view to developing new technologies with a totally Portuguese signature. Under this project, the research carried out by the universities would be subsidised by the companies. The Adamastor is the final product of this idea, bringing together two inseparables but sometimes somewhat distant fields. The development of a car was the path chosen for this purpose.
How was the Adamastor team formed? How many members does it currently have?
The team was initially formed by the partners. Me and Nuno Faria. We were later joined by Frederico Ribeiro and Ricardo Ribeiro. At a later stage, we called in other engineers and mechanics from universities, or whom we already knew, to add to the company’s ranks. The recruitment of new staff has always kept pace with the need to evolve and acquire new technical knowledge. Half of the team is made up of former university students and the other half is made up of specialised technicians with extensive experience in the market. We have also established partnerships with INEGI and FEUP to strengthen our technical capacity and go further. The Adamastor team is currently made up of fourteen members.
Why does it make sense to launch a supercar brand and not a more generalist, high-volume brand?
A high-volume brand would require much greater investment in various areas. We would have to compete with the likes of Renault, Citroën or FIAT and it would require the construction of huge factories. And then there’s the question of price. I would have to offer something cheap in order to enter the market. So, we decided to invest in a niche sector, a rare, unique, technologically advanced product, where price is not the issue, but exclusivity and performance are. With this investment we are placing Adamastor at the cutting edge of automotive technology, handcrafting cars far from large volumes. I recently visited Ferrari and learnt that they have the capacity to produce 61 cars a day. But our goal is to produce 25 cars a year and for each one to be made exclusively by one team, from start to finish. The customer will know the people who built his car and can turn to them in the event of any problems. We want to offer the customer the latest technology. In terms of aerodynamics, for example, regarding the Venturi effect and ground effect, Adamastor had already developed in 2019 technology equivalent to that currently used in Formula 1. To achieve this, we must adapt to constant changes and developments, for example in terms of the requirements of homologation legislation. We also want to be a technology supplier to the market. Our aim is to licence and sell the technology we develop ourselves or through partnerships.
In an industry where electrification is becoming increasingly mandatory, isn’t this an obstacle to Adamastor’s success? Is there room for an electric supercar in the brand’s future?
The electrification of the car is today’s solution. It may not be a solution for the future. Several operators argue that the current growth in dependence on batteries is creating a bigger problem than the one it is intended to eliminate. But Adamastor has a great advantage in being a relatively small structure, its great capacity to react. If necessary, we can quickly switch from one drivetrain system to another, because we don’t develop them. Adamastor develops chassis and bodywork. The drivetrain system is sourced externally. We therefore have a great and versatile ability to adapt to market demands. As for the possibility of having an electric supercar in the future, it’s important to make a distinction from an ordinary car, a vehicle to get you from A to B. A supercar is about enjoyment. A supercar is about driving pleasure. Of course, there are impressive electric cars, but they are missing something. They are missing the roar. Without that, it’s just a very fast car with an aggressive look.
On a more personal note, how did your passion for cars begin? What do you keep in your garage?
My passion for cars began in 1973, when my father gave me a pedal car. I distinctly remember saying to my friends in the street where I lived: “One day I’m going to put an engine in this little car.” It’s taken me 50 years, but I’m fulfilling what I told them. After I got my driving licence, I always had small, cheap cars and the one I have the fondest memories of is a second-hand Volkswagen Golf. It was the best car I’ve ever had and the one that has remained in my heart. Over the years I’ve never invested much in cars, not least because I couldn’t afford to as life brought me other priorities. So, I saved up so that one day I could have the car of my dreams, which I now keep in my collection and use occasionally. I currently have a fully restored 1955 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL, as well as a 2015 Porsche 911 GTS. But the real dream is to have a car built by myself, by my team, a Portuguese car.
In terms of production and from a commercial point of view, what are Adamastor’s objectives in the short/medium term? How many cars do you expect to produce and deliver to customers over the next few years?
Adamastor’s business plan is to deliver two road cars and another two racing cars by 2025, although Adamastor’s planned installed capacity is the aforementioned 25 cars/year, which we expect to implement by 2026. This in addition to the supply of spare and replacement parts. Adamastor will always produce series limited to 60 units of its models.
Which are the main international markets where Adamastor intends to expand its presence?
Initially, due to homologation requirements, Adamastor intends to set up in the European market and the United Arab Emirates. Subsequently, the aim is obviously to expand into the United States market, South America, Oceania, and Asia.
What is Adamastor’s business model? Will there be showrooms, and what about service and maintenance?
We’re not going to invest in showrooms. Rather, we’re going to invest in services, so that anyone who buys an Adamastor has access to a transversal and integrated service. Adamastor cars will be sold exclusively at its factory, where customers will be able to configure their supercar to their personal taste. And when maintenance or repairs are needed, Adamastor will come to the customer and not the other way round, as usual. The team will get to the vehicle and assess the possible malfunction and/or damage. If necessary, transport is offered to the Adamastor factory so that the vehicle can be restored to its original condition. In the case of a minor repair or maintenance operation, and if the conditions are suitable, the intervention can even be carried out at the customer’s home.
What type of customer does Adamastor want to appeal to?
We have identified three types of customers. Firstly, the collector of unique cars, a customer who appreciates the car as a machine that, like a work of art, will eventually increase in value. Not only in terms of the financial value itself, as it is a very limited edition, but also to enhance their private collection. On the other hand, there is also the customer who loves the high performance of the unique supercar segment and who wants to enjoy a machine that is, in essence, a Formula 1 with bodywork and number plates; and there´s also the driver who occasionally wants to use their supercar on the track, for example, taking part in track days.
Which brands do you see as Adamastor’s main competitors?
Our market research has clearly identified our competitors. Firstly, Aston Martin and its Valkyrie, but also brands like Pagani, Koenigsegg, Rimac, not forgetting others like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche, and Ferrari in the supercar category. We’re going to offer something very similar in terms of performance, but with a ‘keep it simple’ approach, a truly competitive package.
What can we expect from Adamastor in terms of motorsport? How important is this aspect in the development and implementation of the brand?
Adamastor will design two models, one for the road and one for racing. This is an extremely important aspect for us, as it’s a way of showing the market that we’re not just another brand. Firstly, because we’re a Portuguese brand, a country with little presence in the car manufacturing industry, so there’s nothing better than taking our product to the track, among the so-called “sharks” to show the performance, reliability, and resilience of the Adamastor product. The motorsport programme thus makes two important contributions. On the one hand, it will show that Adamastor should be considered for the quality and performance of its cars, but on the other, it will also contribute to their development. Let’s just say that being on the battlefield will force us to improve and find more effective and efficient solutions. Adamastor’s showrooms will thus become the racetracks of the world’s best circuits.
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