Panoz Unveils Abruzzi 'Spirit of LeMans' at the Circuit De La Sarthe

Don Panoz, the mastermind behind the production of hand-built exotic sportscars like the Panoz Esperante and 24 Hours of Le Mans GT2 class winning Esperante GTLM (2006), has outdone himself with this latest creation, the Abruzzi ‘Spirit of Le Mans’.

Built and named to pay tribute to what Panoz considers the world’s greatest motor race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Abruzzi is both a technological marvel and a uniquely delivered ownership experience, with every one of the planned 81 examples being delivered to their European owners at the famed Circuit de La Sarthe racing circuit where the day-long mid-summer classic takes place each year.

The link to Le Mans will go deeper still, with each Abruzzi’s chassis number containing the date of the Le Mans race it was delivered on. Each delivery will also include professional driving instruction on the Bugatti Circuit at Le Mans and all service and repair work will be done at the ACO facilities at the Circuit 24 Hours Le Mans.

The uniqueness of the Abruzzi buying experience doesn’t end there. Panoz will give each new owner the VIP treatment during the 24 Hours of Le Mans race weekend including access to the ACO hospitality facilities and a parade lap of the full 8.3-mile La Sarthe circuit. There will also be a ‘Spirit of Le Mans’ reception held at the clubhouse of the famed 24 Hours golf club in the historic town of Arnage, where new Abruzzi owners can rub elbows with past Le Mans winners including Derek Bell and Jacky Ickx.

Although the Abruzzi will be road legal and available for purchase in Europe and parts of Asia, this front-engine rear-wheel drive very bespoke sports car will not be seen on North American roadways. But if you can afford one, chances are you’ve got a villa in the south of France where you can enjoy this 600-hp piece of rolling art work. And if you do buy one, you’ll have to let us know how its Recyclable Energy Absorbing Matrix System (REAMS) body works out, since its multi-layer composite construction is apparently lighter than carbon fiber and just as strong while also being dent-resistant, shatter-proof and completely recyclable.

A video interview of Don Panoz speaking about the creation of the Abruzzi ‘Spirit of Le Mans’ is available after the jump.

[Source: American Le Mans Series]

Read more
Report: Lotus Exige S Type 72 Celebrates British Brand's Return to Formula One

To help celebrate the brand’s return to the pinnacle of motorsports, iconic British sports car maker Lotus has just announced the release of the Exige S Type 72. As the name suggests, it’s inspired by the Type 72 F1 car, which was driven by drivers like Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fittipaldi, Ronnie Peterson and Jacky Ickx, who took it to 20 victories between 1970 and 75, with two Driver’s World Championships (in ’70 and ’72) and three Constructors’ Championships (in 1970, ’72 and ’73).

Read more