The Pantera roars again: Say hello to the Ares Panther
Italian styling, American horsepower, and one of the coolest names in motoring. It’s not hard to see why the original De Tomaso Pantera became such a cult icon. Now, nearly 30 years later, it’s back. Sort of.
This is the Ares Design Panther and no, it doesn't actually have anything to do with De Tomaso. Ares is an Italian coachbuilder that specialises in dressing modern cars in retro clothing. Their greatest hits include the Project 6, which is a GTC 4Lusso reimagined as a modern Ferrari 412. Then there’s the Project 2: gorgeous 50s Corvette on the outside, honking great LS3 V8 underneath.
Now, after much teasing, Ares has finally revealed a production-spec version of its take on the Pantera - and it was well worth the wait.
Let’s start underneath. The headline here is that unlike the original, the Panther is not powered by a big American V8. Which is a bit sad until you learn that they’ve instead given it the engine, chassis, gearbox and AWD system from the Lamborghini Huracan. That means you’re getting one of the best powertrains ever made (the engine is even tuned up for the Panther), and a screaming V10 soundtrack from the heavens.
On the outside, it’s nice and wedgy, as a modern Pantera ought to be. The coachbuilt body looks distinctly different to the Lambo it borrows from, and is considerably longer and slimmer. It’s a truly gorgeous piece of design - respectful of the car it pays tribute to, yet thoroughly modern. The side profile in particular is truly trouser-moistening.
Best of all? Fully functional pop-up headlights. A slightly indulgent touch of nostalgia perhaps, but a very welcome one. It wouldn’t be a Pantera tribute without them.
What’s the cost of all this retro magnificence? 6 months of build time and half a million pounds. It remains to be seen whether that figure includes a Huracan donor car or not. Ouch. But don’t worry - you can’t have one anyway. Only 21 will be made and they’re already spoken for.