ARES Panther: it’s a Huracan with pop-up headlights! | CAR Magazine

Testing, testing... Dany Bahar's £460k ARES Panther supercar takes to the road

Published: 08 August 2018

► ARES Project Panther revealed
► It’s a Huracan under the skin…
► …with pop-up headlights!

The modern-day DeTomaso Pantera lives! The new ARES Panther has leaped from digital renderings to real prototypes, pictured in these first official photos issued by the new Italian bespoke fitters headed by Dany Bahar, formerly of Lotus.

His new ARES Design company is doing some pretty special custom builds and the first is the Panther, now undergoing final shakedown tests in Emilia-Romagna in Italy. And that camo? It’s called ‘war helmet’ mixed with company branding, reminding us that car disguise is barely worthy of the name these days.

What do we know about the ARES Panther supercar?

The early renderings issued in late 2017 made us think the fruits of Project Panther would be fine-looking. It’s a one-off creation that uses the base of a Lamborghini Huracan.

ARES Panther prototype testing

Project Panther is designed to look like a modern version of the DeTomaso Pantera, with styling cues ranging from a pointy nose and chunky front splitter to aero-destroying pop-up headlights and a huge carbonfibre engine cover.

It’s the first car from ARES to be built at the design brand’s new factory and HQ in Modena, and is described as ‘a future classic that reflects the essence of an iconic car’s exterior style.’

A few more technical specs have been issued: since it’s a Huracan underneath, we know it’ll have the Lambo’s naturally-aspirated V10 screamer and all-wheel drive, plus seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Capacity is bored out to 5.6 litres, giving 641bhp, 413lb ft and ‘sharper gearshifts and throttle response’ are promised.

ARES Project Panther front and rear

It seems the early design renderings (above) have been kept intact for production, judging by the new photos issued today.

Bahar, founder and CEO of ARES (and previously of Lotus fame/infamy), says that the Project Panther and the new factory ‘give a clear sign of our intent to design, engineer and produce the world’s most stunning bespoke and coach-built cars.’

Dany Bahar on his new Panther custom supercar

‘This is a really exciting moment for us,’ he added. ‘Within just six months of announcing the Panther project we have our test car on the road and are ready to present to the world our expression of a car that I dreamt of as a kid. The ARES Panther will be the perfect blend of old school charm and charisma, underpinned with an iconic modern chassis, and clothed in full carbon.’

ARES Panther: inspired by the DeTomaso Pantera

The new coachbuilt supercar will go on sale in October 2018, priced from €515,000, or £460,000 at current exchange rates. Blame the carbonfibre construction for that rather frightening price tag…

At least it’ll remain a very exclusive car; ARES plans to build just 21 of them and says all of 2018’s build slots are taken up. A slightly meaningless stat, since each car takes half a year to build!

Check out our review of the Lambo Huracan Performante

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, gamer, serial Lego-ist, lover of hot hatches