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Panoz confirms new Abruzzi road car

Mon, 03 May 2010

The recurring rumor is now put to rest. Don Panoz, founder of Panoz Auto Development and the American Le Mans Series, said on Monday that the latest Panoz sports car--the Abruzzi “Spirit of Le Mans”--will be formally unveiled in June in France, in the lead-up to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“We wanted to wait until Le Mans to release official photos of the car, but today we are providing a ‘teaser’ image of the Abruzzi ‘Spirit of Le Mans’ that hints at what the final car will be like,” Panoz said. “After seeing numerous illustrations posted on the Internet claiming to be the ‘Panoz Abruzzi’--none of which have been accurate--I thought it was important to provide some factual information in advance of the actual unveiling.

“We are truly excited about the Panoz Abruzzi, not only about the design and performance of the car but by the whole concept it represents,” Panoz added. “The styling is inspired from a classic era when racers would literally drive their own cars to Le Mans to compete and then drive back home. However, the technology of the Panoz Abruzzi ‘Spirit of Le Mans’ is absolutely leading-edge. We will provide many more details about the concept and some very special elements surrounding this exciting new car next month at Le Mans.”

Panoz said the car--which will feature a front-engine, rear-drive layout, if company tradition means anything--employs several groundbreaking technologies. The body is constructed using REAMS (Recyclable Energy Absorbing Matrix System) material. Panoz claimed that this material and process have never before been utilized in a road car and offer unprecedented environmental, performance and structural advantages.

The Abruzzi also introduces three-stage “Trifecta Cooling.” Panoz described this as “an innovative development that improves both engine performance and efficiency. In addition to a typical high-efficiency radiator, there are stage two and stage three cooling systems that lower coolant temperature on both the inflow to and the outflow from the radiator. The Abruzzi also extensively employs LED lighting technologies, both functionally and stylistically.”

The Abruzzi is undergoing early homologation and production testing, and the car will be unveiled at the historic Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans during race week in June. By special arrangement with the race organizer, Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the car will occupy center stage in the “village” at the track June 7-13.

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