The Ares 'Panther ProgettoUno' has arrived | Top Gear
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The Ares 'Panther ProgettoUno' has arrived

Deliveries of De Tomaso Pantera-inspired supercar start in May. Isn't it pretty

Published: 15 Mar 2019

Good news, everyone - Ares Design’s homage to the DeTomaso Pantera has finally shed its psychedelic camouflage, and it looks just as good as we hoped it would.

Deliveries of the Lamborghini-based Panther ProgettoUno, as it’s now known, will commence in May. This one. Between 60 and 70 will be delivered over the next five years. Company boss Dany Bahar - formerly of Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus - tells us Ares has sold nine cars so far, to customers who haven’t driven or indeed really seen the finished article in the metal. “Once we have the car ready, which will be around three to four weeks time, I believe we will close our target [of 17 cars] for this year very, very soon,” he says.

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Let’s go over the specs. The Panther ProgettoUno is based on the Lamborghini Huracan, sharing its engine and basic structure, but modifications have been extensive. Not to the engine, though. Bahar says Ares isn’t about outright power or speed, but “the pleasure of driving”. He says the company “mainly modifies the engine characteristics, the calibration, the gearbox changing times and the way the gearbox changes and of course the exhaust system” to give the driver a “more emotional and more passionate experience”.

To that end, the Panther’s 5.2-litre V10 makes 650bhp - a little more than the Huracan, admittedly - enabling 0-62mph in 3.1 seconds and a top speed of just over 200mph. Ares has tweaked the ECU and fitted its own exhaust. The gearbox is the same seven-speed DSG as the Lambo, sending drive to all four wheels. As for whether it’s more “emotional” and “passionate” to drive than a Huracan, watch this space…

The exterior is all carbon and completely bespoke, as is much of the interior (though its Lambo origins are more apparent in here). But of course Ares is all about personalisation. With so few of these set to be built, it’s eminently possible no two will be the same. Bahar says “each car will be individualised and personalised to the maximum. No request or demand from the customer is too hard”. That is, until someone asks for a built-in wine cellar or something.

Though maybe the requests won’t be quite so outrageous, given the kind of people buying them. Bahar says “it turns out our customers are not the super billionaires and the mega-rich”. He says most only have two or three other cars in their garage, and have some connection to DeTomaso.

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The idea behind the Panther is that you get the retro look, but without the questionable reliability of owning a classic. Bahar says the Panther has undergone 200,000km of testing, so it’s as close as can be to an OEM product in terms of quality. It’s Ares’ first proper car after all, so it’s got a lot riding on its fabulously retro haunches.

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