Pop-up headlight appreciators, rejoice. Modena-based atelier Ares has confirmed that its Panther supercar - you know, the Lamborghini Huracan-based one that was revealed in concept form last December - will make production this October.
Like the 'Project Panther' we saw last year, the production car is based on the platform of the Lamborghini Huracan, but it gains a stunning new all carbon fibre exterior that wears retro features like those lifting headlights. Ares CEO Dany Bahar has made no secret of the fact that his car's main inspiration comes from the jaw droppingly gorgeous De Tomaso Pantera of the 1970s.
In order to try and recreate that classic car's aura with a "perfect blend of old school charm and charisma", according to Bahar, Ares has chosen to use the running gear of the Huracan because its naturally aspirated V10 engine is arguably more 'old school' than the turbocharged units of rivals.
Ares' engineers have bored the motor out by 400cc to 5.6-litres, so it now produces 650hp and 413lb ft of torque in the Panther. To put that into perspective, it gives the Panther numbers that are 10hp up and 29lb ft down on the Huracan Performante, although we won't be able to gauge how much impact these changes will have on performance until further details are announced. There's still no word on whether the car is four or rear-wheel drive, for example. The Pantera was of course rear-driven, so there's hope for the same here.
One thing we already know for certain is that the car's retro makeover won't include the fitment of a manual gearbox, which is a shame. Instead, there's a seven-speed dual-clutch, but it's at least been taken from the Huracan so should feature the same ideally laid out ratios and rapid shift times.
Right now, test drivers that Ares has apparently pinched from other local supercar makers (Ferrari, Lamborghini and Pagani are among the neighbouring brands based in Modena) are providing input to engineers during the Panther's final weeks of development. A camouflaged car has been testing on the roads of Emilia-Romagna, providing us with the images and footage you see here.
Just 21 cars, all of which have been allocated, are being produced, so there's no hope if you haven't already signed up to purchase the £555,000 Panther. That being said, this is the first car of Ares Design's 'Legends Reborn' series, meaning another retro-designed model is due to follow later on...