De Tomaso makes a comeback with this R12m stunner

Short on technical details but high on beauty, P72 revives glory days of 60s-era Le Mans racers

11 July 2019 - 11:52 By Denis Droppa
De Tomaso brand is brought back to life by the mid-engined P72. Picture: SUPPLIED
De Tomaso brand is brought back to life by the mid-engined P72. Picture: SUPPLIED

Niche sports car maker De Tomaso, best known for the Pantera introduced in the 1970s, is back with a limited-edition stunner called the P72.

The “Modern-Day Time Machine”, as its maker dubs it, is a retro-styled sports car introduced at last week’s 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK.

The new car marks the 60th anniversary of a firm founded in 1959 by Argentine-born Alejandro de Tomaso and revived by Hong-Kong based Ideal Team Ventures which acquired the brand in 2014.

The P72 pays homage to the original De Tomaso P70, a 7l-engined prototype racer that was a collaboration between De Tomaso and iconic American car designer Carroll Shelby.

The P72’s design is inspired by the curvaceous 60s prototypes that raced at Le Mans, which were known for their timeless and aerodynamically massaged beauty. There’s not a sharp geometric line to be seen in its continuously flowing shape, emphasised wheel arches and low nose.

“It will create a new segment for those who have been yearning for a modern-day classic that is not only dressed with a timeless shape and an unspeakable elegance, but one that will provide a grand touring experience, making you feel as if you are back in 1960s,” says a company spokesman.

Copper-coloured craftsmanship eschews the digital era. Picture: SUPPLIED
Copper-coloured craftsmanship eschews the digital era. Picture: SUPPLIED

Inside, the car lays on a 60s-inspired theme dramatised by elaborate polished copper and diamond pattern detailing.

Some of the details are pure works of art, for example the intricate steampunk-like workings of the sequential gearshifter which are on display instead of stashed under covers.

In obeisance to the 60s-era vibe, no modern touchscreens disturb the all-analogue cabin. Instead, an array of beautifully crafted copper gauges dominate the dashboard.

“The car we are presenting is our statement car, to showcase not only the new design, but also the level of engineering execution and refinement instilled into everything we produce,” says Ryan Berris, De Tomaso GM and chief marketing officer. “This car represents a glimpse into our future, while an ode to the past.”

“Steampunk” workings of the gear lever are on full show. Picture: SUPPLIED
 “Steampunk” workings of the gear lever are on full show. Picture: SUPPLIED

Not much technical detail is known about the P72, except that it’s a mid-engined two-seater coupe built on a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis.

In deference to its name, only 72 of these ultra-exclusive De Tomasos will be produced. Full technical specifications will be revealed in due course, and the company is accepting registrations of interest at a base price of about €750,000.


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