The reborn De Tomaso brand has taken the cover off its new Project P road car, for a global reveal here at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard. It’s officially known as the P72, with the name harking back to the classic and little-known De Tomaso P70.
De Tomaso unveils P72 supercar at Festival of Speed
De Tomaso now belongs to the same company which owns Apollo, Ideal TeamVenture, and while the Apollo Intensa Emozione – which won the Showstopper of the Festival Award at last year’s Festival – represented the team’s interpretation of a late-90s GT1 car, the P72 recalls to the prototype era of the 1960s.
Alejandro De Tomaso, the company’s founder who died in 2004, approached Carroll Shelby in 1965 to create the P70 prototype race car. The P70 sported a De Tomaso chassis, Shelby’s V8 engine and a body designed by Peter Brock – the man behind the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe and Chevrolet Corvette Stingray – but the project foundered. Although De Tomaso, now working with Ghia, completed a single car, it barely saw any racing action.
However, it was this era that the new owners of De Tomaso wanted to recapture. Working with Peter Brock again, designer Joe Wong – who also designed the Apollo IE – created the exterior as a throwback to the 1960s prototype racing age.
Brock told us: “Joe has taken that 1960s GT look and elevated it to a new level. It’s a beautiful piece of sculpture and I’m very excited for it.
“It’s going to be pretty special. The fact that they’re calling it the P72 is really an honour for me.”
De Tomaso has been developing the car in secret for the last few years. Just as with the Apollo IE, De Tomaso will partner with HWA, and the P72 uses the Apollo’s carbon fibre chassis, however other details are scarce at the moment. For now, De Tomaso isn’t even revealing the powertrain, although the model here has a manual shifter. Of course the Apollo IE has a 6.3-litre V12, but whether this carries over to the P72 remains to be seen.
Ryan Berris, General Manager of De Tomaso, told us: “The final powertrain we have internally and we’re not revealing it at this stage, but we’re staying true to the core value of the brand. Everything we do, every detail has to align with the six core foundational pillars of De Tomaso.
“This car will create a new category not just from a design standpoint and an experience standpoint, but also that it is going to break the mould the same way the Pantera did in the 1970s. Every other car similar to this on a technical basis and in this space is €2-3 million.”
The P72, on the other hand, has a base price of €750,000, and is limited to a total production run of just 72 cars. De Tomaso will reveal more on the car in due course.
Photography by James Lynch.
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