The Siluro is based on the DAF 55, a small passenger which sold close to 200 000 units while rivaling the VW Beetle and Fiat 600. However, it was this prototype which attracted the necessary attention during the Geneva Motor Show in March 1968. The slim looking car was designed and build by the Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti, who styled many of DAF’s production cars, but this prototype was the companies’ most radical.
The two seater coupe, like all DAF 55 models, was equipped with a 67 cu in (1108cc), four-cylinder engine and DAF’s unique Variomatic Transmission. Inspired by the belt-driven machinery in the factory, Huub van Doorne, co-founder of DAF, came up with the idea to produce a car transmission using belts and called it variomatic. It is in fact a stepless, fully automatic transmission and helped secure success in world rally.