Ares, the Modena-based coachbuilder and tuner formed by ex-Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, has unveiled the design for its most ambitious car yet: the Project Panther.
Based on the bones of a Lamborghini Huracán, the Project Panther takes its inspiration from another Italian performance machine, the De Tomaso Pantera. All the Pantera elements are there, like the wedge-shaped nose, rear three-quarter grille, and flat engine cover. The car also dons a set of pop-up headlights. Very retro.
Responsible for the design is Ares’ in-house designer Mihai Panatescu. He certainly did a better job than the designers of another Huracán-based coachbuilt special, the overly complex Italdesign Zerouno.
Ares hasn’t mentioned any mechanical upgrades though we know the Project Panther maintains the donor Huracán’s 5.2-liter V-10. Even in stock form the engine is good for 601 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, which should guarantee a 0-60 mph time in the low 3.0-second bracket and a top speed in excess of 200 mph.
The Project Panther will be put into production following the completion of final aerodynamic and crash safety testing. The first examples should be delivered to customers in the second half of 2018.
The car is just the first from a new Bespoke Creations division at Ares catering to well-heeled customers looking for one-off or extremely low-volume cars. It’s a business that’s done very well for another of Bahar’s former employers, Ferrari, and now he’s looking to start it at Ares.
In a statement, Bahar said we can look forward to a lot more from Ares' Bespoke Creations division in the coming year. Some of these will include a Bentley Mulsanne coupe and a rebodied Mercedes-Benz G-Class resembling Mercedes’ Ener-G-Force concept from the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.