The Ares Panther is the Lamborghini-based Pantera tribute of your dreams

Even as Ares Design begins delivering the gorgeous Panther ProgrettoUno, a modern De Tomaso Pantera based on the Lamborghini Huracán, the company says it will offer a convertible next year.

When the Modena coachbuilder announced the $700,000 car in December 2017, it planned to build just 21 examples. With nine of them already spoken for, the company, led by former Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, says it now plans to build a dozen coupes and spyders each year for the next five years. Total production will be capped at 70 vehicles, and each will be built to order with bespoke options.

Designer Mihai Panatescu did a masterful job with a carbon fiber body that retains the Pantera’s distinctive silhouette while giving it a modern look with retro touches like the original’s pop-up headlights.

Ares technical chief Matteo Vezzani oversaw development of the drivetrain. Ares Design increased the displacement of the Lamborghini V10 to 5.6 liters and recalibrated the ECU to improve throttle response. The engine produces at least 650 horsepower. The coachbuilder’s engineers also sharpened the dual-clutch seven-speed transmission to improve shifting, and retuned the exhaust to produce a more pronounced roar.

The company plans to reveal a Panther spyder prototype later this year, and according to Top Gear is concentrating on equipping its factory with the latest technology so it can produce vehicles with the same quality you’d find in a mainstream automaker.

This is “an integral period for [Ares] because we’re trying to expand, to set up our facilities to get the latest technology that is out there for our work,” Behar said. “We will grow slowly and for us this year, probably also next year will be a very busy year. We have sensational projects coming on, but these take time.”

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