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.
Paul Jackson, Jr.'s 1969 Oldsmobile 442 - Jay Leno's Garage
It may only get about 5 mpg, but it's still exactly what Olds called it
back in the day - the "Keeper of Cool."
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shares his passion and expertise on anything that rolls, explodes, and
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Paul Jackson, Jr.'s 1969 Oldsmobile 442 - Jay Leno's Garage
Jay Leno's Garage
British Motor Corporation Story
BMC was the largest British car company of its day, with (in 1952) 39
percent of British output, producing a wide range of cars under brand names
including Austin, Morris, MG, Austin-Healey and Wolseley as well as
commercial vehicles and agricultural tractors. The first chairman was Lord
Nuffield (William Morris) but he was replaced in August 1952 by Austin's
Leonard Lord who continued in that role until his 65th birthday in 1961 but
handing over, in theory at least, the managing director responsibilities to
his deputy George Harriman in 1956.
BMC's headquarters were at the Austin plant at Longbridge, near Birmingham
and Austin was the dominant partner in the group mainly because of the
chairman. The use of Morris engine designs was dropped within 3 years and
all new car designs were coded ADO from "Amalgamated Drawing Office". The
Longbridge plant was up to date, having been thoroughly modernised in 1951,
and compared very favourably with Nuffield's 16 different and often old
fashioned factories scattered over the English Midlands. Austin's
management systems however, especially cost control and marketing, were not
as good as Nuffield's and as the market changed from a shortage of cars to
competition this was to tell. The biggest-selling car, the Mini, was
famously analysed by Ford Motor Company who concluded that BMC must be
losing £30 on every one sold. The result was that although volumes held up
well throughout the BMC era, market share fell as did profitability and
hence investment in new models, triggering the 1966 merger with Jaguar Cars
to form British Motor Holdings (BMH), and three years later leading to the
government sponsored merger of BMH with Leyland Motor Corporation.
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
Do you love the Panoz sports cars, then "Like" us on Facebook:
Panoz Esperante GT1
I film another one of Panoz's insane creations: the Esperante GT1.
Apparently only 2 of these monstrous machines exist, and this example is
finished in an awesome chameleon paint job. Unfortunately I didn't get any
shots of the GTR-1 race car behind it, but maybe next year. ;) Filmed at
the 2010 Petit Le Mans racing weekend at Road Atlanta...