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Panoz Abruzzi Spirit of Le Mans – Click above for image gallery

Didn't get close enough a look at the new Panoz Abruzzi Spirit of Le Mans yesterday? Well, get used to the idea. Because with 600 horsepower and only 81 examples scheduled to be built, you're not likely to get a closer look anytime soon. But if you want to hear it straight from the proverbial lion's mouth, well then you'll want to talk to Don Panoz (video after the jump).

Not only is Don the father of the Abruzzi, but as the founder of the American Le Mans Series, he is probably the American most familiar with the famous French endurance race and its offshoot series. In creating the Abruzzi, Panoz and company culled all of their expertise from racing and put it into a roadgoing chassis.

From what we we've gathered, here are the important highlights:
  • Front mid-engine design
  • 600+ horsepower/600+ pound-feet of torque from unspecified engine
  • Rear-mounted radiators fed through ducts in the rear and side glass
  • Recyclable Energy Absorbing Matrix System (REAMS) body, lighter and cheaper than carbon fiber
  • 81-vehicle production run over three years, coincides with 81st running of 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2013
  • Only available in Europe, delivery at Le Mans
  • Two-day professional training course on Bugatti Le Mans circuit with purchase
  • Opportunity to drive full Le Mans circuit included with purchase
  • Price: 400,000 Euros (circa $480,000 USD)
  • Colors: blue, black pearl and red
We've got video after the jump of Panoz himself explaining the inspiration for the Abruzzi and all of its special technical details, as well as live shots of the car from its debut at Le Mans yesterday courtesy of our colleagues at Autoblog France.

[Source: Panoz, Autoblog France]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car is beautiful, from only the rear...

      I see a ghost of the 1953 Nash Healy 'Le Mans' coupe in the front end, but it's too bad more homage wasn't paid to that design.

      With a few tweaks, the body could match the car's othewise awesomeness, and sell like hotcakes in the U.S.

      P.S. The LED headlights in the gallery images are just wretched. The two pin-point headlamps on the closeup are nice.
      • 5 Years Ago
      For all of those who think of this as ugly....you wouldn't know a beautiful car if it walked up and slapped you. While the design is very much panoz (at least the center section in the front and the top) The rear reminds me of the center section of the '53 Corvette coupe prototype mixed with the rear fenders and tail lights of the '57. the front fenders also remind me of the early corvettes. So in part (not in whole) the Abruzzi, is paying homage to the early corvettes. If you disagree, look at the C1 Vettes including the '53 coupe prototype.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Opportunity to drive full Le Mans circuit included with purchase"
      This alone is a good enough reason to get this car. Not my favorite design out there, but...
      1. It certainly has presence. No one will think it's boring or bland or imitating any other design out there..
      2. I like what the company does and represents too much to talk smack about this car. Can honestly say this is by far my favorite domestic car company.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm with you. Everything about this vehicle and that company is awesome... except for it's appearance.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I thought the Batmobile was black?
      • 5 Years Ago
      "I just took an upper decker in the master bathroom (abruzzi)... Ah, you look lovely (AIV roadster)"
      • 5 Years Ago
      hmmm yup still ugly......
      • 5 Years Ago
      Autoweek has photos shot by someone who has a clue. The gallery above is embarrassingly bad photography, or snap shots I should say. You have little idea what the car looks like with the wide angle distortion of those amateur images.

      Look here for a more realistic view: http://tinyurl.com/232srhl
      • 5 Years Ago
      The real thing actually looks a LOT better. Those headlights were nasty...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm sorry, have they updated the design already from yesterday?? Those headlights definitely look different, and so does the arse-end. Maybe they read Autoblog comments and actually take note. Still looks unresolved, but much more integrated now. Almost there.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is the most beautiful car I have ever seen and can't wait for really nice desktop images. When I saw those computer images attched on the autoblog post I threw up a bit in my mouth. But then I saw these (link below, scroll down a bit) and there is no doubt in my mind, this baby in black is the most beautiful car ever (red would be sick too). Congrats to Panoz, he deserves it. A pioneer. Came up with something lighter and cheaper than a carbon fiber chassis?!?! A pioneer, indeed. Can't wait for some specs and road tests. Amazing.... it's like fusing McLaren purpose engineering and Buggati class.

      • 5 Years Ago
      This thing even got a cool reception on the ALMS Facebook page. And ALMS is run by the Panoz family. Not good.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's because the design is too artsy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      the front looks super cool, the side could use some work but its ok, and that back end is just un inspiring and frankly butt ugly.

      fix the rear and this will sell like crazy, maybe swoop the back end upwards instead of downwords!
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