Panoz forged a legacy of creating race-winning endurance and open wheel cars through the late-1990s and early-2000s, but the company has been relatively quiet for the past few years. However, with its 25th anniversary looming, the American sports car brand appears to be on a comeback. It's prepping several new models and opening a new headquarters in Georgia on April 3.

The first among them will be the 25th Anniversary Edition Esperante Spyder and Spyder GT (pictured above in unfinished prototype form). It's all about being a company "driven by customer demand," John A. Leverett, Panoz Vice President of Sales and Marketing, told Autoblog. They will be limited to about 25 units, and the first cars will be delivered by the end of April.

The Spyder is an upgrade of the current Esperante with either a 430-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 or a 575-hp, supercharged 5.4-liter V8 and a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Its chassis is made from roughly 70 percent aluminum, 20 percent carbon fiber and 10 percent steel and an aluminum body, according to Leverett.

The bigger update is the Spyder GT, which still only exists as a test mule, and features a carbon fiber body. It will be offered with a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 tuned to either 575 hp or 800 hp(!). Both tunes are available with a six-speed manual or paddle-shift, six-speed automatic.

The company is also working on a larger version of its Roadster with more carbon fiber, according to Leverett, but the it hasn't announced an exact release date yet. It also plans to begin selling the GTR-1 to interested buyers. Panoz certainly appears to be getting back on track. Scroll down for the press release and get the full specs on the cars in the gallery.
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PANOZ CELEBRATES 25TH ANNIVERSARY WITH VIP EVENT AND NEW ESPERANTE SPYDER SNEAK PEEK

Hoschton, Ga. - Panoz LLC, a leading manufacturer of high performance automobiles and racing cars, will present the all-new 25TH Anniversary Edition Esperante Spyder luxury sports car at the formal opening of its new facilities in Braselton, Ga. on April 3, 2014.

The 25th Anniversary Edition Esperante Spyder is a special exclusive model which celebrates the company's racing heritage as well as Panoz sports cars of the past 25 years. It is the direct result of close technological collaboration among the various Panoz affiliates, including Élan Motorsports Technologies, Élan Composites, Panoz Engineering Services, and Panoz LLC.

From the beginning, the designers and engineers envisioned a limited-edition Esperante that delivers pure sports car performance and reflects the Panoz Le Mans endurance racing and performance ethos. At the same time, the sports car offers many of the highly desirable features customers expect in a 21st Century performance machine such as a state-of-the-art programmable gauge cluster.

Panoz LLC expects to produce about 25 examples of the 25th Anniversary Edition Esperante Spyder and Spyder GT to commemorate the anniversary milestone. Production will be intentionally limited to a handful of custom builds for select customers, keeping with the Panoz LLC's goal of creating America's most exclusive custom sports car.

25th Anniversary Edition Esperante Spyder Details
The 25th Anniversary Edition Esperante Spyder is a lighter, more powerful version of the original hand-built Panoz convertible. It features lightweight carbon fiber and aluminum structures, a unique modular extruded aluminum chassis that is more rigid and durable than many performance coupes, completely revised and fully independent front and rear suspension, and an upgraded and robust sports car anti-lock brake system (ABS) to ensure braking performance is on par with the car's outstanding driving capabilities.

Esperante Spyder customers can choose between two sports car bodies: the "super formed" lightweight aluminum body made in Riverside, Calif. through a process developed for aerospace applications on the standard Spyder, or the carbon fiber body panels produced in the Élan Composites race shop for the Spyder GT. Panoz was the first U.S. auto manufacturer to use super formed aluminum panels for its bodies, a process now used by some of the world's most elite vehicle manufacturers.

Customers can also choose among several high-performance powertrain packages ranging from 430 to 800 horsepower. Other features include electronic traction control, high-tech gauges to monitor the car's vital systems, lightweight and fully adjustable carbon fiber sport seats, high-quality leather
and wood-trim throughout the comfortable cockpit, and modern options such as media player connectivity and a race-inspired carbon fiber steering wheel.

Finally, the 25th Anniversary Edition Esperante Spyder rides on 8.5 x 19-inch front and 9.5 x 19-inch rear BBS wheels with 245/40 ZR19 and 285/35 ZR 19 Michelin Pilot Super Sport ultra high-performance front and rear sport tires.

With a price of $189,000, the 25th Anniversary Edition Esperante Spyder continues to herald the Panoz LLC goal of offering its customers true exclusivity, uncompromising performance and outstanding value.

Next Panoz Era Builds Upon Company's Rich History
Panoz was the first U.S. auto manufacturer to design and build an Aluminum Intensive Vehicle. The modular chassis Panoz developed for the 2001 Panoz Esperante was and continues to be at the leading edge of automotive engineering. The Panoz design and production processes used for the Esperante chassis and other Panoz vehicle projects has always focused on delivering high levels of development and production efficiencies. Today many of these processes have been adopted by major vehicle manufacturers.

The Esperante has been recognized as an industry and class leading sports car, along with other Panoz sports cars such as the Roadster, the GTR1, and the Abruzzi Spirit of Le Mans. The 25th Anniversary Edition Esperante Spyder ushers in the next generation of Panoz creations, including the all-new Panoz Roadster and the Panoz GTR1.

To celebrate the Panoz automotive and racing history and prepare for future growth, the company's Hoschton, Ga.-based headquarters and expansive vehicle workshops have been updated for the anticipated added production. In addition, the headquarters now features a new and spacious 10,000-square-foot exhibition showcasing significant examples of the Panoz sports car and racing history. Displays include:

• The 1997 Le Mans GTR 1
• The 1998 Q9 hybrid Le Mans prototype
• The 2000 LMP winning car
• The 2006 GT 2 Le Mans winner (sister car)
• The GT2 fastback Le Mans Esperante
• The Abruzzi Spirit of Le Mans Petit Le Mans car
• The 2000 Indy 500 winner, Target Chip Ganassi car

Panoz LLC is located at 1089 Hwy 124, Hoschton, GA 30548. Visit www.panoz.com for the most up-to-date information.

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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      EXP Jawa
      • 9 Months Ago
      I hate to admit it, but I didn't realize that Panoz was still making road cars. It seems like its been too long since their prototypes have been on the grid at Le Mans...
      GFB
      • 9 Months Ago
      Is exclusivity enough to offset a dated and unattractive design? Perhaps they can get a sophomore at the Art Center to give them a good rate.
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 9 Months Ago
      They're STILL making this ugly-ass thing?
        dude
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        aside from the Nissan Titan this is the only othe car that literally looks the same from when i graduated high school back in 04'..... SMH
          churchmotor
          • 9 Months Ago
          @dude
          Current Expedidtion is using the same basic sheet metal since it debuted in 1997.
      DTOlness
      • 9 Months Ago
      Looks like it was washed with sandpaper...
      jamiescale
      • 9 Months Ago
      Am I the only one that thinks this car is balls-ugly? There's one in my town and its just hideous... I'd love to know the thought process of someone that pays the insane price for one of these...
        me_not_you
        • 9 Months Ago
        @jamiescale
        I think the Esperante has always been beautiful, but I think most of the commenters so far probably agree with you.
        carguy1701
        • 9 Months Ago
        @jamiescale
        Thought process is simple: exclusivity. They only build, what, 100 cars a year, if that, so chances of seeing another one are slim.
          churchmotor
          • 9 Months Ago
          @carguy1701
          WOW. you are amazing. We learn so much about how and why people buy these ugly expensive vehicles. Thanks so much carguy1701 for being the voice of reason and understanding on autoblog
          h.markowitz1
          • 8 Months Ago
          @carguy1701
          As the owner of one of the 235 Panoz Esperante's produced between 2001 and 2006, you are correct exclusivity is the reason most of us bought a hand build all American sports car. I enjoy driving a rare AMERICAN HAND BUILT CAR.
      Brodz
      • 9 Months Ago
      Hideous.
      Muttons
      • 9 Months Ago
      They make racing cars with poorly aligned surfaces and panel gaps and horrible looking wheel arches. Without a livery those things become glaringly apparent.
      Teleny411
      • 9 Months Ago
      Considering it isn't complete, it's not bad. But $189.000????
      carguy1701
      • 9 Months Ago
      Isn't the Esperante design over 10 years old? You'd think they'd have updated the exterior by now, low volume be damned.
        churchmotor
        • 9 Months Ago
        @carguy1701
        carguy1701, you just argued FOR the Ford Expedition using the same design since 1997. How odd that you think a small specialty car maker like Panoz has the resources to redesign more often. Perhaps you can use your argument that you can't tell the difference in body panels of a 5th and 6th Generation Civic to justify your positions again. Feel free to reference Star Trek episodes again, and thrown in a few Simpsons knowledge to validate your findings.
          carguy1701
          • 9 Months Ago
          @churchmotor
          1. Panoz is trying to play in an arena that demands updates more than once every 5-6 years, and do more than just update the fascias. 2. I (and several others) weren't even aware it was still being built in the first place.
          churchmotor
          • 9 Months Ago
          @churchmotor
          WAIT, You were unaware. omg. I think my opinion of you might be waning
      GRR
      • 9 Months Ago
      Im impressed how ugly this car is, how do they expect to sell it and then release pictures like this, I dont know whats worst, the car or the paint finish...
        me_not_you
        • 9 Months Ago
        @GRR
        What part of, " pictured above in unfinished prototype form," did you not read?
      flammablewater
      • 9 Months Ago
      Maybe it looks better in person?
      h.markowitz1
      • 8 Months Ago
      As the owner of one of the 235 Panoz Esperante's produced between 2001 and 2006, Exclusivity is the reason most of us bought a hand build all American sports car. I enjoy driving a rare AMERICAN HAND BUILT CAR. It is not a fair representation portrayed by using a picture of an unfinished car, I say give them a chance and see what they can do.
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