The De Tomaso name has been reborn at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with a new supercar, 60 years after the Italian maker was founded.
The new car is called the P72, and rather than paying homage to the brand’s classic mid-engined Pantera supercar, as previously thought, it’s a spiritual revival of the 1960s P70 prototype racer, built in collaboration with Carroll Shelby.
Revived by Hong Kong-based IdealVenture, the team responsible for the Apollo Intense Emozione, the P72 Is based around that car’s underpinnings, including a carbonfibre monocoque chassis that is built to LMP (Le Mans Prototype) race regulations.
The exterior design takes much inspiration from 1960s Le Mans racers and De Tomaso’s back catalogue, but with a distinctly modern twist. The interior takes a leaf out of Pagani’s book, with opulent fixtures, the finest materials and an open linkage gearshift.
The firm has yet to reveal what actually powers the P72, but we can see that it is mid-engined. With a manual gearshift and little in the way of advanced technology inside, the P72 is unlikely to have a cutting-edge hybrid powertrain; it’s more likely that it will be powered by a V8.
Just 72 examples of the P72 are set to be produced, at a price of around £662,000. De Tomaso hasn’t said how many examples it has already sold.
The story of the De Tomaso brand is far less widely known than brands such as Ferrari. After moving to Italy to become a Formula 1 racing driver, Argentinian-born Alejandro de Tomaso founded his eponymous firm in 1959. The company’s long history includes developing F1 cars for Frank Williams and owning Maserati from 1975 to 1993.
New general manager Ryan Berris claims “Alejandro’s journey was never properly told and we feel his name should be commonly recognised among greats such as Enzo Ferrari and Ferruccio Lamborghini”.
The new venture isn’t the first time a De Tomaso revival has been attempted. In 2009, a former Fiat executive bought the naming rights and planned to put a range of cars – including an SUV, a luxury saloon and a coupé – into production by 2011.
However, by the middle of 2012 the maker was in the process of liquidation, leaving 900 unpaid employees and a former Pininfarina factory to be rescued by a new buyer. Dramatically, the former chairman was then dragged into court and charged with misusing Italian public funds allocated for De Tomaso’s revival.