Panoz Esperante

Panoz Esperante

Panoz , an American sports car manufacturer founded in 1989, rolled out the Esperante back in 2000. Developed as a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, luxury sport convertible , the first Esperante featured an aluminum body and a modular, extruded-aluminum chassis with steel subframes. The first iteration was powered by a Ford -sourced, 4.6-liter, V-8 engine that cranked out 305 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque with modifications made by Elan Motorsport Technologies. First-gen models were capable of 0-to-60-mph sprints of 4.9 to 5.1 seconds and top speeds of up to 155 mph. The Esperante also spawned a GTLM race car with notable results in the American Le Mans series . As we approach the 2015 model year, Panoz has launched an updated version of the Esperante, this time with larger, more powerful engines, a revised exterior and a completely new interior.

As with most Esperantes, the 2015 model is available in both standard and GT versions, with the latter being highlighted by a wider body kit. The revised Esperante Spyder GT comes just as Panoz is celebrating its 25th anniversary as one of America’s most exclusive sports car manufacturer. Let’s see what Don Panoz has in store this time.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Panoz Esperante Spyder GT.

Last time we heard anything about Panoz , the Georgia-based company was busy working on the 2014 DeltaWing Coupe program following Nissan’s withdrawal.

For those of you who are not familiar with the marque, Panoz manufactured a number of competitive race cars , such as the Esperante GTR-1 and its successors and the LMP-1, but also rolled out some limited-run, road-going sports cars as well. Dubbed Abruzzi , the most recent of them all was unveiled four years ago.

Despite this long hiatus, the American automaker hasn’t given up on building road cars, and it has now resurfaced to introduce the 25th Anniversary Edition Esperante Spyder. As the name suggests, the new vehicle was built to celebrate Panoz’ first quarter of a century in the business and represents an update to the manufacturer’s notorious Esperante model.

Aiming to deliver "pure sports car performance and reflect the Panoz Le Mans endurance racing and performance ethos," the 25th Anniversary Esperante Spyder is built on a modular extruded aluminum chassis and its lightweight structure is made out of carbon fiber and aluminum.

Although it’s based on the original hand-built Esperante, the new sports car has received a redesigned fully independent suspension, a performance anti-lock brake system and BBS wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport ultra high-performance tires.

The Anniversary Edition Esperante will go on sale with two different bodies. The standard Spyder will sport a "super formed" aluminum body made through a process developed for aerospace applications, while the Spyder GT will feature carbon body panels constructed by Elan Composites, Panoz’ partner from the DeltaWing program.

Click past the jump to read more about the Panoz Esperante Spyder 25th Anniversary Edition.

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Having been founded in 1989, Panoz has not been around very long in terms of carmaker years. That being said, it comes as no surprise that the number of cars they have debuted is limited with the Esperante being at the top of the Panoz model list. Recently, we received news that the list will become 1 model longer as the Panoz Abruzzi surfaces.

Don Panoz, father of Panoz Auto’s founder Dan Panoz, announced during the 12 hours of Sebring broadcast that the Panoz Abruzzi would debut at the 24 hours of LeMans in June. Little is known as to the specifications of their newest model, but the above rendering was reportedly produced by a former employee of Panoz whose job was designing and building the GTLM bumpers as well as other design projects.

If the rendering above was the sketch for the new Abruzzi model we hope that additional modifications have been made since then. The Esperante is a very nice looking sportscar, but it has its own model and the Abruzzi should have its own identity as opposed to looking like a curvier version of the Esperante as shown in the photo. Additional modifications are likely considering Panoz will be introducing a newer version of the Esperante following the Abruzzi debut.

As if their plate isn’t already getting full, Dan Panoz also said that he is hoping the GT2 racing variation will be unveiled at the Petit LeMans. We’ll keep you updated on all Panoz debuts as they occur.

Source: PanozLife

From its successful introduction on the American Le Mans Series earlier this year, the Panoz Esperante GT-LM race car is on the threshold of making its presence felt on racing circuits in both America and Europe as its builder launches a new customer car program.

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The Panoz GTS features a unique body comprised of fifteen thermoformed panels, making it more durable, less expensive and easier to replace than fiberglass. Also, all Panoz GTS spec racers feature an eight-point integrated roll cage with triple tube side-protection and working doors on both sides of the vehicle.

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It’s not often that a new car company makes its way into Canada, however in the last few years, we have seen Kia and more recently Mitsubishi make their way into our shores, hoping to end up on our driveways.


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