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Unleashing Manticore on the World at CES to Shape the Future of Automotive | Cypress Semiconductor

Unleashing Manticore on the World at CES to Shape the Future of Automotive

The following post contains excerpts from an article published in Automobile Magazine in February 2019.

Our CEO Hassane El-Khoury fell in love with American muscle cars when he saw the movie Bullitt as a young boy in Lebanon. He spent the next 20 years dreaming of owning his own classic Ford Mustang.

In 2008, he finally came across a 1969 Mustang coupe and “knew right away that this was the car that I wanted. It had a distinct look. The lights, the stance of it. Just everything about it excited me. It was on my mind for 20 years until I had the opportunity to get one.”

The car didn’t run when he bought it, and he spent the next decade doing what he could do in his apartment’s carport — like changing the fuel pump and removing the green moss that had accumulated on the exterior of the car, thanks to the moist Seattle air.

When asked why he decided to take a classic car and upgrade it with modern technology, he says that he wants to have his cake and eat it too. What he means is that he loves classic American muscle cars — the rumble of the engine, the way they drive — but doesn’t like the bare-bone interior. He envisioned integrating a vintage Mustang with the comforts of modern technology. And Aaron Gold at Automobile Magazine thinks he succeeded:

“… he had the resources to craft it to his personal vision. A 785-hp supercharged Coyote V-8 lives under the hood, a six-speed manual transmission stirs the gears, and the cabin doesn’t have a single button, dial, or even an ignition slot. It’s a rolling testament to both internal combustion and computational wizardry, and El-Khoury hopes it can serve as an inspiration and wake-up call to the entire automotive industry.”

The car ended up morphing from being a personal passion project to being Hassane’s effort to try and inspire the automotive industry.

As Hassane told Gold, “The reason I wanted to build this car is because traditional OEMs have self-created barriers,” he says. “One of my mentors a long time ago told me, you can sit in a room full of adults and say, ‘I’ll give you $5 million for the greatest idea,’ and nobody will come up with one. You go to a bunch of five-year-olds and say ‘I’ll give you candy for great ideas’ and you will get a ton. Why? Because they have no constraint. They’ll just give you ideas. We all say, ‘That’s not going to work, nobody would like it’—we sit here and self-filter. We have constraints. Well, I have no constraints. My perspective is, ‘Try it. Do it.’What does it take to shake up an industry? It takes an event. This interior has to break the norm.”

With these ambitions to challenge the norm, the logical place to unveil the car and attempt to shake up an almost 125-year-old industry was at the largest consumer technology show in the world, CES.

Only time will tell how the automotive OEMs will respond, but there is no doubt that Hassane fulfilled his promise to himself!

Don’t forget to check out the Manticore website to learn more about Hassane’s journey, and how his passionate team of gearheads brought the Manticore vision to life — https://muscle-car.cypress.com/.

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