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Didn’t get close enough a look at the new Panoz Abruzzi Spirit of Le Mans yesterday? Well, get used to the idea. Because with 600 horsepower and only 81 examples scheduled to be built, you’re not likely to get a closer look anytime soon. But if you want to hear it straight from the proverbial lion’s mouth, well then you’ll want to talk to Don Panoz (video after the jump).
Not only is Don the father of the Abruzzi, but as the founder of the American Le Mans Series, he is probably the American most familiar with the famous French endurance race and its offshoot series. In creating the Abruzzi, Panoz and company culled all of their expertise from racing and put it into a roadgoing chassis.
From what we we’ve gathered, here are the important highlights:
- Front mid-engine design
- 600+ horsepower/600+ pound-feet of torque from unspecified engine
- Rear-mounted radiators fed through ducts in the rear and side glass
- Recyclable Energy Absorbing Matrix System (REAMS) body, lighter and cheaper than carbon fiber
- 81-vehicle production run over three years, coincides with 81st running of 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2013
- Only available in Europe, delivery at Le Mans
- Two-day professional training course on Bugatti Le Mans circuit with purchase
- Opportunity to drive full Le Mans circuit included with purchase
- Price: 400,000 Euros (circa $480,000 USD)
- Colors: blue, black pearl and red
We’ve got video after the jump of Panoz himself explaining the inspiration for the Abruzzi and all of its special technical details, as well as live shots of the car from its debut at Le Mans yesterday courtesy of our colleagues at Autoblog France.
Gallery: Panoz Abruzzi Spirit of Le Mans
[Source: Panoz, Autoblog France]
Anticipation of a new sportscar from Panoz has been mounting for some time now. Initial reports back in October forecasted the arrival of a successor to the current Esperante, followed by confirmation a couple of months ago, and finally the first cropped teaser image just a few weeks ago. Now the independent constructor has released its second image as it prepares to unveil the first prototype next week during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Called the Abruzzi “Spirit of Le Mans”, the new sportscar features a number of new technologies for Panoz, including Recyclable Energy Absorbing Matrix System (REAMS) construction and a new TrifectaCooling system developed to improve both performance and efficiency.
The Abruzzi – apparently so named in reference to and solidarity with the recently disaster-striken Italian region – will be officially unveiled at La Sarthe at noon on Tuesday, June 8, so stay tuned. In the meantime, you can check out the press release after the jump and the pair of high-res teaser images in the gallery below.
Gallery: Panoz Abruzzi “teaser”