Coachbuilt Ares Design Panther is tribute to De Tomaso Pantera


Following many enticing teasers and a camouflaged prototype, Modena-based Ares Design has revealed the Panther ProgettoUno – as it’s now known – coachbuilt supercar in final production specification.

Ares Design Panther Resurrects De Tomaso Pantera As 641HP Coachbuilt Huracan

The first product of Ares Design’s ‘Legends Reborn’ program may be named and styled after the legendary Tom Tjaarda designed 1970’s De Tomaso Pantera, but it is actually a Lamborghini at heart. Where the original Pantera brought together the best of two continents, the the retro-styled Panther ProgettoUno is entirely Italians. Instead of an American V8, this upcoming supercar has the same 5.2-liter V10 as the Lamborghini’s Huracan

In this application, however, the engine develops 650 PS (641 hp) at 8,250 rpm and 600 Nm (442 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm courtesy of a tuned ECU and exhaust system. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and electronically controlled Haldex AWD system stay the same.






Despite packing 10 extra horses and the fact that it practically weighs the same (1,423 kg/3,137 lbs vs. 1,422 kg/3,134 lbs), the Panther is 0.2 seconds slower from 0 to 100 km/h than the latest Huracan Evo, covering the sprint in 3.1 seconds. Top speed, on the other hand, is an identical 325 km/h (201 mph). 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’.

The original Pantera and the modern-day donor car share broadly similar dimensions. The donor is considerably wider, but with a wheelbase that is only 12 centimetres longer than the original Pantera it is an ideal basis for the transformation.

Compared to the donor car, the Panther is longer and narrower, thus sporting distinct proportions. The shape of the doors is actually the only thing that gives away the Huracan origins of the bespoke supercar. All the body panels are made from carbon fiber, and the pop-up headlights feature full LED technology.




Since we’re talking about a coachbuilt car, the interior is very different as well and only the digital cockpit reminds us of the Lambo. The cabin features handcrafted artisan interior panels in carbon fibre and leather, as well custom made Nappa leather and Alcantara upholstery. Obviously, Ares Design can fully tailor it to the customer’s wishes, no request or demand from the customer is too hard.

It is exquisitely constructed from carbon fibre and has a unique mix of traditional craftsmanship and modern engineering and manufacturing technologies.

The company will start delivering Panthers to customers at the end of May. If you’re interested, the modern-day De Tomaso Pantera will set you back €615,000 (about $695,000). Building one car takes Ares Design three months, so you’ll have to be patient as well as wealthy.

With cars like the Panther ProgettoUno, it will be more beautiful on the roads. But for us, ‘simple people’, the only way to admire the car ‘live’ is to go to events like Villa d’Este or Goodwood Festival of Speed. Come into the wonderful world of Ares Design.






Isotta Fraschini remains in Italy


Founded in Milan, Italy, in 1900 by Cesare Isotta and the brothers Vincenzo, Antonio, and Oreste Fraschini, Isotta Fraschini was an Italian luxury car manufacturer. Early film stars Clara Bow and Rudolph Valentino drove Isotta Fraschinis. Later the company also produced also trucks, and engines for marine and aviation use.

Seriously affected by the economic crisis of the 1930s and by the disruptions of World War II, Isotta Fraschini stopped making cars after the war (1949). The last model that was produced was the Monterosa. The official presentation of the Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8C Monterosa (1947–1948) took place on October 1947 at the Paris Motor Show in the Grand Palais.


The Monterosa represented the swan song of the prestigious Milanese brand and did not reach the production stage. The chassis pre-built series were set up for a 4-door sedan by Zagato, a two-door sedan by Touring and convertibles by Boneschi. Only five of the Monterosa were produced.

Producing some of the most extravagant autos on Earth until 1934. With the exception of an attempt to get back into cars with the Monterosa, they stayed out of the luxury auto game, and focused on trucks (until the 1960s) and marine engines. But after a pause that lasted nearly half a century, Isotta Fraschini returned to the pavement in 1996 with the beautiful T8 concept, and followed up in 1998 with the T12 concept. (See pictures).


In the 1990s, attempts to revive the automotive industry of Isotta Fraschini were made. The marque, long since defunct, was revived in 1996 by former Fiat executive Gian Mario Rossignolo and Piedmontese businessman Giuliano Malvino.

The Isotta Fraschini T8 and T12 are Italian concept cars revealed in 1996 and 1998 respectively as an attempt by Isotta Fraschini to resurrect their prestigious luxury automotive brand name of the early 20th century.

The Tom Tjaarda designed, Audi A8-based, Isotta Fraschini T8 was launched at the Geneva Motor Show of that year. The aluminium bodied T8 was offered as 2+2 Spider, and available with a hard-top. The Isotta Fraschini T8 used Audi A8 mechanicals, including four-wheel-drive and the same 4172cc 32-valve V8 engine. The Isotta Fraschini T12, like the T8, is also an aluminium bodied, 4-wheel drive 2+2 Spider, available with a hard-top. It was first unveiled in 1998. The T12 Coupé had a V12 engine with 400 hp. at 6000rpm, vented disc brakes.


But ambitious production plans floundered and just a few cars were build. From the T8, two with Audi engines (one red and one yellow) and two with Ford Mustang engines (one white and one blue). From the T12, a four-seater berlinetta, which was produced in a single model. A second one was never fitted with a real engine, but remained only a style model. 

Production of the T8 and T12 would have been undertaken at an-ex military weapons plant in Southern Italy. The company never went into production and closed for bankruptcy in 1999. Late in 2000 the remaining hardware was sold off. 


Now, in Italian judicial auction has been the Isotta Fraschini brand, founded almost 100 years ago, it will remain in Italian hands. Business man Gianfranco Castiglioni from Varese has aquired the rights to the name and has the ambitious plans to relaunch the marque.

Lets hope he can bring this iconic Italian car back to life. It would be so much more beautiful on our roads then. Come into the beautiful world of Isotta Fraschini.