De Tomaso confirms Pantera’s return in 2011

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 8, 2011

Before the end of 2011, the iconic Pantera will stage a comeback, according to De Tomaso. This November at the LA Auto Show, De Tomaso will present the revived super coupe, nearly 40 years after the model was first launched on the market. The new Pantera is the second car to come out of a new three-model line-up. The first -- the DeAuville SUV – was launched at the Geneva show. The third is an all-new limousine, which is expected to go on sale in 2012.

Many hope that the Pantera will have a better design than the DeAuville, which combines the features of a 5-series GT and a Dodge Avenger, says PistonHeads. Making matters worse is that the DeAuville has a price tag of 89,000 euros and it is equipped with a twin-turbo 2.8-litre V6, which only delivers up to 300bhp.

This much output enables the car to go from zero to 62mph in 6.7secs and reach a top speed of over 155mph. A 260bhp six-cylinder turbodiesel and a 550bhp V8 will soon be available for this model. Observers hope that the 550bhp V8 will also be offered in the Pantera.

It is undeniable that the DeTomaso Pantera is considered as one of the more famous American-Italian hybrids. Featuring the power of an American V8 engine and the styling of Italian descent, the DeTomaso Pantera is a product of collaboration between Lee Iacocca and Alessandro de Tomaso that aimed to come up a version of the AMX/3 that would signal Ford’s return in the exotic car market.

Dallara Automobili took care of laying the groundwork for De Tomaso’s design, eyeing a possible production of 5,000 units annually. This vehicle was endowed with a double wishbone suspension, rack and pinion steering, disc brakes and a 351 Cleveland V8 engine. Body Designer Tom Tjaarda remarked that while working on the DeTomaso Pantera, he wanted to create a body where the location of engine was certain as well as the source of power.

This is the reason why he gave it a powerful haunch look. He also increased the overall interior space by giving it a larger seating position, a higher roof, a less steep windshield than the Mangusta. After the design process, production of the bodies began at Vignale. Produced bodies were then transported to de Tomaso in Modena to install the suspension and drive line. First examples of the DeTomaso Pantera were unveiled to the media in March of 1970, with sales commencing at Lincoln-Mercury dealers in the United States in May 1971.

However, shortly after sales began, the cars were recalled to strengthen the rear sub frames and to update air conditioning and fiberglass fuel tanks. Road and Track described the DeTomaso Pantera in 1971 as “Exciting-but not a finished product.”

De Tomaso quipped that an exotic car couldn't be delivered to corporate engineering standards, for a price of US$10,000 per unit. The Pantera L – with less power and larger rubber bumpers -- eventually replaced the DeTomaso Pantera in 1973.

Topics: la auto show

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