ARES Design Project ‘Panther’
Conceived and designed as the first example of ARES Design’s ‘Bespoke Creations’ service, its Project ‘Panther’ is a comprehensive modern reimagining of the iconic 1970s De Tomaso Pantera. It will be exquisitely constructed from carbon fibre and will have a unique mix of traditional craftsmanship and modern engineering and manufacturing technologies.
The basis for the conversion – ARES Design’s clients’ donor cars – will be one of today’s most revered Italian supercars, powered by a 5,204cc naturally aspirated V10 that develops 610PS and 560Nm of torque. The original Pantera and the modern-day donor cars share broadly similar dimensions. The donor is considerably wider, but with a wheelbase that is only 12 centimetres longer than the original Pantera it is an ideal basis for the transformation.
ARES has used its extensive CAD design facilities to carry out the necessary computer modelling for the new car’s configuration, not only in terms of having a similar overall shape but in terms of ensuring the ‘Panther’ has the required aerodynamic performance. The original Pantera wasn’t the most aerodynamically efficient shape but with the ‘Panther’, ARES has achieved very similar aerodynamic properties to the donor. A carbon fibre front spoiler along with a rear diffuser and an aerodynamic element at the top of the rear screen ensure its aerodynamic criteria are met.
In terms of the car’s design ARES has retained the original’s pop-up head lamps but these will be very shallow units fitted with modern LED lighting which have only a marginal effect on aerodynamics when they’re raised. The new design incorporates more extensively flared wheel arch housings than the original but it retains the style of the original’s air intakes behind the side windows while the flat rear deck apes that of the original right down to the central ridge that was a feature of the earlier car.
One of the most challenging aspects of the transformation was the reprofiling of the roof. When viewed in profile it can be seen that the donor car’s A pillar actually starts half way along the top of the front wheel arch so ARES’s designers have reprofiled the roof structure, moving the A pillar back by 100mm to give a more authentic rake to the windscreen. In order to do this ARES looked at the way donor GT3 racing cars have their roll cages installed and have drawn on that experience to position the new A pillar accordingly. An added bonus is that it adds additional headroom for the driver.
The entire exterior is clad in carbon fibre panels hand-crafted by ARES at its Modena headquarters. In overall dimensions it will be approximately 10 centimetres longer than the original car – four centimetres at the front and six centimetres at the rear – and the extra length at the back of the car has allowed ARES’s designers to retain the upswept rear profile of the original which wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
Inside it will utilise the finest materials with carbon fibre backed seats clad in leather and Alcantara. The ethos of the original will be retained in order to maintain the connection with the past despite the modern underpinnings. Overall ARES is aiming for the ‘Panther’ to be in the region of 100kg lighter than the donor but this figure will be confirmed once the project has been seen through to its conclusion.
While the weight loss should ensure the ‘Panther’ has performance equal to or superior to the donor ARES will also be able to offer a 47PS performance upgrade, but instead of outright performance it wants to concentrate on improving throttle response and faster changes for the seven-speed dual clutch transmission. ARES has also designed a titanium exhaust system for the car and its exhaust tips will be repositioned to more closely ape that of the Pantera.
As the project comes to its conclusion later in 2018 the ARES Design’s Project ‘Panther’ will be a unique proposition – an unparalleled blend of traditional styling combined with modern technology finely honed and hand-crafted by ARES’s talented team of designers and technicians. It will undoubtedly be the world’s most stunning bespoke coach-built supercar available today.
ARES Design Project ‘Panther’ from €715,000
On-sale: Summer 2018
Prices are indicative only due to the nature of coach-building and the creation of bespoke automotive projects.