Chinese investors are bankrolling the new supercar project.
When a storied but dormant Italian supercar marque resurfaces with the promise of revival, we sit up and take notice. So the prospect of De Tomaso's return has had us on the edge of our proverbial seats for some time now. But based on the latest, we're hoping our captive attention prove not to be in vain.
Though it wasn't represented inside the halls of the Geneva Palexpo for this year's motor show, the latest initiative to revive the De Tomaso name and legacy was reported to have brought a pair of camouflaged prototypes to the streets nearby.
One of them, pictured above, ostensibly previews a new Pantera – a name originally used on one of Alejandro de Tomaso's most recognizable creations. But equally telling is what was driving along with it: a similarly wrapped Apollo IE (pictured below).
Now if you're wondering what the two have to do with one another, it's worth noting that they're both owned by the same Chinese company. Since acquiring and rebranding Apollo from Roland Gumpert, the investment from Ideal Team Ventures Limited has been put to good use in developing the Intensa Emozione (IE), with input from longtime Mercedes racing partner HWA.
Stemming from the Apollo Arrow concept revealed in Geneva three years ago, the Apollo IE packs a 6.3-liter naturally aspirated V12 said to be sourced from Ferrari and rated at 780 horsepower. The powertrain is nestled underneath some rather swoopy bodywork that's decidedly more "dynamic” than either the previous Gumpert Apollo or the decidedly angular De Tomaso prototype under development alongside it.
Emblazoned with the hinting #dtprojectp, the ostensible De Tomaso prototype (though still obscured by camouflage) appears to take its stylistic cues from the original Pantera, built from 1971 through 1992 with a 5.8-liter V8 sourced from Ford.
We're a little short on details at the moment regarding the new Pantera project, with the rebooted marque's web and social-media pages updated only with blank swatches of baby blue and the caption "c. 1959," in apparent reference to the year of the company's original founding.
At any rate, the tie-in between the two supercar initiatives bodes well for both. Better, we hope, than the last one: before Ideal Team Ventures took over, former Fiat exec Gian Mario Rossignolo attempted to revive De Tomaso with the Deauville crossover. The project never got off the ground, but here's hoping this one does.