Panoz Auto Development’s latest wonder is getting closer and closer to appearing on public roadways around the world. The homologation process for the Panoz Abruzzi “Spirit of Le Mans” will be complete by the end of the year. PADC also confirmed that it will begin taking orders at that point for the new American-made supercar.
The Abruzzi “Spirit of Le Mans” made its global premier in June at the fabled Le Mans 24 Hours. Remarkably it will be approved for road use in Europe approximately six months later, an unusually short span for road car homologation.
“Compared to any other manufacturer, we would be considerably ahead of schedule,” said Don Panoz, founder of the Panoz organization to which PADC belongs. “But when we launched this new project our goal was to have the Abruzzi ‘Spirit of Le Mans’ fully road-going and on the market for purchasers by 2011. The fact that we are at this point is testament to the tireless efforts of the Panoz Auto Development team.”
The Abruzzi “Spirit of Le Mans” is more than a technological masterpiece from Panoz Auto Development Company, based in Hoschton, Ga. It represents a new chapter in automotive production and delivery, tied into the 24 Hours of Le Mans – the world’s most demanding auto race.
The super sports car will be offered as a strictly limited edition. Only 81 Abruzzi “Spirit of Le Mans” vehicles will ever be produced, corresponding to the number of Le Mans 24 Hour contests between the inception of the race in 1923 and the race to be held in 2013.
Panoz also reiterated that the American public can expect its first in-person look at the Abruzzi “Spirit of Le Mans” during the upcoming Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA2 at Road Atlanta, September 29-October 2. The 1,000-mile/10-hour endurance classic is the final round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, a championship Panoz founded in 1999.
Panoz noted that because approval of the road-going version must come before racing homologation, the Abruzzi “Spirit of Le Mans” is expected to compete as an unclassified entry at Petit Le Mans. And given that the brand that bears his name is a truly global one, Panoz announced the intention to enter the Abruzzi in the third and final round of the new Intercontinental Le Mans Cup event at Zhuhai, China on November 7.
That’s not all! Panoz also confirmed recent rumors among the automotive media regarding the plan for a future edition of the Abruzzi, the next in a series of versions of the exotic super sports car.
“This is an extremely exciting time,” Panoz said. “These first few months of the Abruzzi ‘Spirit of Le Mans’ are laying the groundwork for what promises to be a tremendously bright future for our brand. These are opportunities to further Panoz’s reputation as the world’s premier constructor of hand-built sports cars.”