Panoz Esperante--D&M Motorsports Video Test Drive Review 2012 Chris Moran
SEE OVER 100 IN-DEPTH AUTO REVIEWS @ www.SUPERCARNETWORK.com. A first drive for Chris in the Panoz Esperante. Presented by D&M Motorsports, hosted by Chris Moran.
Our intentions were good. This would be the first magazine to pit two similarly priced, low-volume, Ford SVT Mustang Cobra-powered sports cars from a pair of young and eager companies in a breathtaking shootout.
The fatal flaw was the timing. Qvale Modena is already shipping Mangustas to customers. The company diverted one for this test and certified that it was fairly representative of that which citizens of the land may purchase. On the other hand, Panoz Auto Development Company in Hoschton, Georgia, is still developing its Esperante. It did produce a prototype with Irish-green paint and oatmeal leather for testing, but the car was clearly yanked out of the oven while still a little squishy.
Regular production of the aluminum body panels had yet to begin, the interior is still undergoing minor revisions, and raising the unperfected convertible top occupied two engineers with tools for 20 minutes. In short, the Esperante's test numbers have too many asterisks to be used in an honest comparison with the Mangusta.
Not to say that the time spent with the Esperante was a complete waste. The Panoz shows promise of maturing into a shapely, competent roadster, and Danny Panoz promises the first buyers will be able to unload their extra $81,961 on one by this fall, once he obtains tops and bodies for the 100 or so completed chassis sitting in his factory.
That's just a few thousand clams shy of the Mangusta's price, but philosophically, the Esperante is a completely different animal. Panoz splices in far more Mustang DNA, including the steering rack, the ABS-equipped brakes (not available on the Mangusta), the independent rear suspension (IRS) module, and parts of the floorpan and fire wall. After modifications, those bits bolt to a space frame of interlocking aluminum extrusions that form the main structural skeleton.
Oddly enough, despite the high Mustang content, the Esperante feels less like a Mustang than the Qvale does. Panoz is aiming for a more classic sports-car experience and succeeds in part with a lower driving position, a compact three-spoke steering wheel that neatly conceals its airbag, and two pontoon fenders that bracket the view out the windshield.
The crisply tuned Panoz also behaves lighter on its feet. It turns in with Ginsu sharpness and bites the pavement hard in corners. But the Esperante demands a smooth hand near the limit because the rear end is easy to fluster and difficult to collect after it breaks loose.
Blame may lie with the Cobra's IRS module. Ford engineers designed it first and foremost to bolt directly to the Mustang's live-axle pickup points, sacrificing weight and performance for packaging convenience. Panoz adds only a cantilevered coil-on-shock assembly to make it work in the Esperante's space frame. Perhaps more tweaking will get the Panoz and Ford ends working in better harmony.
Throttle response is lustier in the Panoz, and it trounces the Mustang Cobra and the Mangusta in acceleration and braking. An oppressively boomy, low-restriction Exhaust may have helped contribute to the scorching drag-strip times. Danny says they are still tinkering with different systems.
Since it last appeared on these pages (January 1999), the Esperante has experienced some noteworthy revisions. "Nobody liked the pursed lips," admits Danny, so Panoz widened the tiny oval mouth that gave the first Esperante a face out of The X-Files. Inside, the company inched the shift knob closer to the driver by installing a remote shift linkage. It also repositioned the center-mounted gauges so that their binnacle is flat to the panel a la BMW Z8. Fine, except that they are even harder to read quickly and the reflection of the sky washes out the dials.
The Panoz may need to bake some more, but with Qvale out booking sales, the temperature should be hotter than ever.
Panoz AIV Roadster Loud sound
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Chris Ashworth records a very rare Panoz AIV Roadster revving and driving
away. AIV stands for Aluminum Intensive Vechicle. This car has the engine
of a Mustang SVT Cobra.
Panoz Abruzzi Spirit of Le Mans
I film the all-new, limited edition Panoz Abruzzi Spirit Of Le Mans at it's
North American debut during the 2010 Petit Le Mans endurance race at Road
Atlanta. Besides possibly being the most evil-looking production car ever,
it is also a technological marvel. I am pleased to present the first full
video of this car on youtube.
The Abruzzi Spirit of Le Mans consists of only 81 examples, which in 2013
represents the number of 24 Hours of Le Mans races since the event's
inception in 1923. All of the Spirit of Le Mans editions will be sold in
Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The Corvette ZR1's V8 engine is used to
produce over 600 hp in the Abruzzi, which, like every other Panoz, is
handbuilt in Hoschton, Georgia. In addition to the mammoth power and torque
from the LS9, the car is super light and super strong, being the first road
car built with the new REAMS material, which is stronger and lighter than
carbon fiber. I could go on about all of the incredible details
incorporated into this car, but I'll let the car speak for itself. :)
The song is Genesis by Justice.
2001 Qvale Mangusta Start Up, Exhaust, and In Depth Tour
In this video I give a full in depth tour of the very rare 2001 Qvale
Mangusta. I take viewers on a close look through the interior and exterior
of this car while showing details, over viewing of features, and noting
unique styling cues to the vehicle itself. I also show the engine and the
details of it, start it up and see how it sounds under acceleration. A
thorough tour/review of this car designed to give others a greater overall
appreciation of the vehicle.
Thanks a lot to Hendrick BMW in Charlotte, NC for allowing me to make this
video! For more info on this car as well as others visit
Ferrari Testarossa--Video Test Drive with Chris Moran
Ferrari Testarossa--Automotive Media Group Test Drive and Video Walk Around
Review 2011 with Chris Moran.
In 1982 Pininfarina was commissioned to style a 12-cylinder Ferrari with
radiators in the flanks like a racing car, GT-level luggage and storage
space, extreme comfort, and performance to top the road-car line of the
world's premier sports car manufacturer. The Testarossa was to be shaped
partly by the wind tunnel to ensure clean airflow, low noise and high speed
stability. Rear location of the radiators made the car's aerodynamics even
more important as passive direction of air to and from the engine bay had
to be very effective. The result of Pininfarina's labors was easily the
most recognizable and influential car of its time. The Testarossa is
unmistakable at any distance, and impossible to ignore.
Based on the outgoing Berlinetta Boxer that had so admirably preceded it,
the Testarossa was intended to be a faster, better handling, more spacious and
more luxurious car than the BB, a machine that wasn't initially legal for
sale in the US due to federal safety and emissions legislation. However,
the Testarossa was designed from the outset as a world car - legal in every
Testarossa debuted at the Paris Auto Show in September 1984 as a
replacement for the 512 BB. Ferrari's Testarossa was half of perhaps the
greatest double act in supercar history. An era defining rivalry saw it
pitched head-to-head with Lamborghini's awesome Countach and between them,
they were the kings of the road.
Technically the Testarossa was almost identical to the 512 BBi it replaced,
but on the outside the two were quite different. Functionality was the
entire reason why the Testarossa looked so different. The single rear
mounted radiator used in the two 'BB' models was replaced by one on either
side of the engine. The engine alone was already quite substantial in
width, but with a radiator on either side, the complete package needed a
two meter wide rear body to house it properly.
This was not the first Testa Rossa in Ferrari's history. It was first used
as 'TR' almost thirty years earlier for Ferrari's four and twelve cylinder
engined sports-prototype racers. Italian for 'red head', Testarossa
referred to the bright red cylinder heads used on the engines. The most
famous of these was the multiple 24 Hours of LeMans winning 250 TR.
Motor racing had proven in the preceding decade that mounting the engine
behind the driver was an improvement over mounting it in front.
The engine was a modified version of the 512 BB. It had four-valves per
cylinder, Marelli electronic ignition, Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, and
capable of producing 390 bhp from the 4943 cc horizontally opposed 12
cylinder. The zero-to-sixty time was about 5.3 seconds and top speed was
above 180 mph.
Ferrari's five-lite Flat-12 was ultimately derived from the 1975 312 T
Grand Prix contender, these cars going on to win both F1 Drivers and
Constructors Championships. The Testarossa's look, performance and
reputation made it perhaps the ultimate eighties status symbol, a
reputation it could well do without today. Using a welded tubular steel
frame, the chassis wasn't too dissimilar from the outgoing BB, just a few
dimensional tweaks being made here and there. The wheelbase was stretched
from 2500 to 2550mm, the track widened and a removable engine subframe used
that could be un-bolted from the main chassis in order to allow easier
access to the engine. Displacement of the 180° Flat-12 motor was 4942cc,
this thanks to a bore and stroke of 82 x 78mm respectively. Output was
390bhp at 5300rpm, compression being set at 9.2:1. An important revision
came in the form of Ferrari's four-valve cylinder heads (known as
Quattrovalvole), all the various Berlinetta Boxer's having only ever
featured two-valve heads.
This Testarossa was built for the US market and made its way into those
showrooms during 1985. The vehicle was designed to comply with the US
emissions, regulations, and safety restrictions.
Panoz LMP1 - Panoz LLC - Sports Cars - Racing - Luxury - Don Panoz
Dr. Don Panoz talks about the best moments in history for the Panoz LMP1
Learn more about Panoz sports cars - America's Most Exclusive Sports Car by
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2015 Panoz Esperante Spyder GT Prototype - Jay Leno's Garage
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2015 Panoz Esperante Spyder GT Prototype - Jay Leno's Garage
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Range Rover Sport HSE--D&M Motorsports Video Test Drive and Walk Around with Chris Moran
An in-depth look at a 2006 Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE with Chris
Moran. Presented by D&M Motorsports. www.dmautosales.com
The Land Rover Range Rover Sport is a premium SUV that represents a shift
in focus for this SUV-oriented luxury brand. While traditional Land Rover
models have combined unbeatable off-road performance with the amenities of
a luxury sedan, the Range Rover Sport represents Land Rover's first entry
into the burgeoning high-performance SUV arena. It is designed to offer
sporty road manners and traditional Land Rover luxury without completely
sacrificing the go-anywhere abilities of other Land Rover models.
Despite its name, the Range Rover Sport is actually a modified and
shortened version of the old Land Rover LR3. As such, the Sport is the
smallest and most nimble SUV in the company's lineup. Overall, it is an
enjoyable and luxurious vehicle to drive as well as look at. Shoppers
seriously interested in getting maximum on-road performance out of an SUV
would probably be better served by a few of this Land Rover's competitors,
however, as they are able to deliver better acceleration and handling.
Handling performance is a definite step up from other Land Rover models.
The Range Rover Sport is the first Land Rover to offer the company's
Dynamic Response suspension system, which is standard on the Supercharged
model and optional on the HSE. Land Rover says that this
computer-controlled system senses cornering forces and automatically
adjusts the antiroll bars to optimize body control and handling. Dynamic
Response works as advertised, giving the Range Rover Sport a more agile
feeling when the roads get twisty, as compared to previous Land Rovers.
Off-road performance is still within the Range Rover Sport's repertoire as
well. A permanent four-wheel-drive system with a two-speed transfer case is
standard, and features an electronically controlled, infinitely variable
locking center differential that automatically distributes the available
torque to both drive axles as needed. Additionally, the Range Rover Sport's
Terrain Response System assures that the driver will be up to nearly any
off-road task. It offers five different settings that adjust throttle
response, gearchanges, vehicle ride height and the differentials to
optimize mobility in varying environments, ranging from pavement to sand.
Land Rover is also synonymous with luxury, which doesn't take a backseat in
the Range Rover Sport. Just about any premium feature that you will find on
most luxury sedans, or any of its luxury SUV competitors, is available on
the Range Rover Sport. The same holds true for safety items, with the usual
complement of airbags and electronic crash-prevention aids.
Unlike the Sport's older cabin design, the current RR Sport offers the sort
of ambience its big Range Rover brother has been renowned for. Occupants
are surrounded by supple leathers, rich wood trim and top-notch materials,
while the dash design is not only visually appealing but easy to use as
well. As always, though, the Sport isn't as passenger-friendly as its Land
Rover siblings. Headroom can be at a premium, and the backseat is best
suited for two people.
We are impressed with the Range Rover Sport's dual-natured capabilities on
and off-road. Its 5.0-liter V8s provide the sort of power this hefty truck
requires, and the cabin yields the luxury its well-heeled customers
deserve. However, besides the above concerns, there's also the matter of
its thirsty fuel consumption and Land Rover's poor record for reliability.
Used Land Rover Range Rover Sport Models
The Range Rover Sport debuted for the 2006 model year and is still in its
first generation. However, there are notable differences between the
current model and those made from 2006-'09.
Originally, the HSE was equipped with a 4.4-liter V8 that developed 300 horsepower and 315
pound-feet of torque. The Supercharged model was equipped with a 4.2-liter
V8 that, logically, employed a Supercharger to produce 390 hp and 410 lb-ft of
torque. However, the relatively high curb weights put a damper on
performance and fuel economy for both models. Both engines were backed by a
six-speed automatic transmission with different tuning than the current
1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28--D&M Motorsports Test Drive and Video Walk Around Review Chris Moran
A gorgeous 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 tribute car. Ground
up restoration...incredible daily driver material! Hosted by Chris Moran.
SEE OVER 100 IN-DEPTH AUTO REVIEWS @ www.SUPERCARNETWORK.com.
Before any official announcement, reports began running during April 1965
within the automotive press that Chevrolet was preparing a competitor to
the Ford Mustang,
code-named Panther. On June 21, 1966, around 200 automotive journalists
received a telegram from General Motors stating, "...Please save noon of
June 28 for important SEPAW meeting. Hope you can be on hand to help
scratch a cat. Details will follow...(signed) John L. Cutter -- Chevrolet
Public Relations -- SEPAW Secretary." The following day, the same
journalists received another General Motors telegram stating, "Society for
the Eradication of Panthers from the Automotive World will hold first and
last meeting on June 28...(signed) John L. Cutter -- Chevrolet Public
Relations SEPAW Secretary." These telegrams puzzled the automotive
On June 28, 1966, General Motors held a live press conference in Detroit's
Statler-Hilton Hotel. It would be the first time in history that 14 cities
were hooked up in real time for a press conference via telephone lines.
Chevrolet General Manager Pete Estes started the news conference stating
that all attendees of the conference were charter members of the Society
for the Elimination of Panthers from the Automotive World and that this
would be the first and last meeting of SEPAW. Estes then announced a new
car line, project designation XP-836, with a name that Chevrolet chose in
keeping with other car names beginning with the letter C such as the
Corvair, Chevelle, Chevy II, and Corvette. He claimed the name, "suggests
the comradeship of good friends as a personal car should be to its owner"
and that "to us, the name means just what we think the car will do... Go!"
The new Camaro name was
then unveiled. Automotive press asked Chevrolet product managers, "What is
a Camaro?" and were
told it was "a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs."
The Camaro was first
shown at a press preview in Detroit, Michigan, on September 12, 1966, and
then later in Los Angeles, California, on September 19, 1966. The Camaro officially went on sale in
dealerships on September 29, 1966, for the 1967 model year.
First generation: 1967--1969
debuted in September 1966, for the 1967 model year, up to 1969 on a new
rear-wheel drive GM F-body platform and would be available as a 2-door, 2+2
seating, coupe or convertible with a choice of 250 cu in (4.1 L) inline-6
and 302 cu in (4.9 L), 307 cu in (5.0 L), 327 cu in (5.4 L), 350 cu in (5.7
L), or 396 cu in (6.5 L) V8 powerplants. Concerned with the runaway success
of the Ford Mustang,
Chevrolet executives realized that their compact sporty car, the Corvair,
would not be able to generate the sales volume of the Mustang due to its rear-engine
design, as well as declining sales, partly due to the bad publicity from
Ralph Nader's book, Unsafe at Any Speed. Therefore, the Camaro was touted as having the
same conventional rear-drive, front-engine configuration as Mustang and Chevy II Nova. In
addition, the Camaro
was designed to fit a variety of power plants in the engine bay. The
would last until the 1969 model year and would eventually inspire the
design of the new retro fifth-generation Camaro.
Second generation: 1970--1981
A second-generation Camaro
Introduced in February 1970, the second generation Camaro was produced through the
1981 model year, with cosmetic changes made in 1974 and 1978 model years.
The car was heavily restyled and became somewhat larger and wider with the
new styling. Still based on the F-body platform, the new Camaro was similar to its
predecessor, with a unibody structure, front subframe, an A-arm front
suspension and leaf springs to control the solid rear axle. Road & Track
magazine picked the 1971 SS350 as one of the 10 best cars in the world in
August 1971. RS, SS and Z28 performance packages gradually disappeared. The
Z28 package was reintroduced in 1977, largely in response to the huge
success of its corporate stablemate, the Pontiac Trans Am. 1980 and 1981
Z28s included an air induction hood scoop, with an intake door that opened
under full throttle.
Third generation: 1982--1992
Main article: Chevrolet Camaro (third generation)