Panoz unveils its Abruzzi Spirit of Le Mans supercoupe
Making good on its promise, Georgia-based Panoz Auto Development took the wraps off of its limited-edition Abruzzi Spirit of Le Mans at the 24 hour race this weekend and offered a few more details about this hand-built road rocket that will be street-legal in most parts of the world, but not here in the U.S. Envisioned by company founder Don Panoz -- who also heads up its successful motorsport operations -- as the ultimate exoticar, the Abruzzi Spirit of Le Mans will introduce both new technologies and a genuinely unique owner acquisition experience to this exclusive arena.
Panoz has yet to reveal drivetrain specifics on the Abruzzi, however, we do know that this front-engine/rear-drive package will have over 600 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque on hand and feature a rear transaxle as well as an innovative tri-stage cooling system. It will also be constructed of a multi-layer composite that Panoz dubs R.E.A.M.S. for Recyclable Energy Absorbing Matrix System. Providing the structural safety of carbon fiber but with even less weight, it also gives the Abruzzi bodywork that's dent-resistant, shatter-proof and recyclable.
According to Panoz, the firm will build only 81 Abruzzi models ever, a number that commemorates the 81st anniversary of the famed 24 hour race which will take place in June 2013. The company has cut a deal with the Auto Club of the West (ACO) that organizes the annual day-long enduro to allow each buyer of a "Spirit of Le Mans" car to take delivery of the vehicle at the race itself. As an added touch, each car will be linked to a specific Le Mans event, with its chassis number also containing that race date and the initials of the winning drivers as well as the history of that year. Owners will also receive professional instruction on the shorter Bugatti circuit that's contained within the larger Circuit de la Sarthe complex. No word yet on what it will cost to join this elite owner group, but if you really have to ask...