Hagerty’s exclusive interview with Jowyn Wong.
The De Tomaso P72 is powered by a supercharged Roush V-8 with 700+ hp
We’ve been waiting patiently to find out the engine at work in the upcoming, ultra-limited De Tomaso P72, and now we know it’s been worth the wait. Built around the same carbon-fiber monocoque as the naturally-aspirated and V-12-powered Apollo IE, the P72 instead comes with a supercharged American V-8 behind the driver. Tradition is important, after all.
The original De Tomaso company used Ford engines since the Vallelunga’s debut in 1963. After using the European Cortina’s straight-four, Alejandro De Tomaso switched to American V-8s for the stillborn De Tomaso P70 of 1965 (a Shelby race car designed by Peter Brock) and then for the production Mangusta, Pantera, Deauville, Longchamp and Guarà as well, all the way up to 2004. Now, the trend continues as the 2020 P72 gets the 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 massaged to supercar power levels by Jack Roush’s team. De Tomaso cites the P70 as an inspiration for the modern P72.
This Ford-derived Roush engine is currently being developed to produce over 700 horsepower and 608 lb-ft, while offering “a linear power-curve reminiscent of the purity of natural aspiration.” Connected to De Tomaso’s in-house designed six-speed manual gearbox, this dry-sump V-8 should do the trick, even if we’ve seen plenty of Ford-based Roush V-8s pushed over 700 hp already. In this application, the P72 team is aiming for a redline in excess of 7500 rpm.
This emissions-compliant 90-degree V-8 uses a dry-sump lubrication system and a Roots-type positive displacement supercharger that utilizes twin four-lobe rotors that are twisted 170 degrees. Roush says the four lobes and increased helix angle provides a long list of benefits including “enhanced thermal efficiency, higher volumetric capacity, higher operating speeds, increased efficiency of airflow into the engine, as well as pleasant noise and vibration characteristics.”
De Tomaso claims it never aimed for anything with over 1000 horsepower but instead sought to achieve a “smooth, linear power-curve without detracting from the old-school American V-8 soundtrack.”
It is also De Tomaso’s view that these goals can not be achieved using turbochargers, and a hybrid system was “out of the question as it goes against the core spirit of the P72.” Tested over 17 million wide-open-throttle cycles and providing consistent and reliable performance figures, De Tomaso is promising linear power throughout the engine’s entire power band, in the region of 700 horsepower and 608 lb-ft on standard 91-octane pump gas.
The P72 will be solely offered with De Tomaso’s six-speed manual transmission, while its soundtrack is guaranteed by the supercharged crossplane V-8 and a throaty top-mounted exhaust. To confirm (and to satisfy our cravings), De Tomaso promises a sufficiently loud video to follow soon.