Ares Design has revealed the Project Panther, a modern take on the DeTomaso Pantera.
Run by controversial ex-Lotus boss, Dany Bahar, the company was founded three years ago to create properly bespoke, coach-built cars for exacting customers. Bahar says the company has delivered more than 200 cars with unique interiors, exteriors and performance upgrades.
That would be a better hit rate than Lotus enjoyed during his time in charge, then.
Based on the Lamborghini Huracan, the Project Panther is designed to be a modern interpretation of the DeTomaso Pantera. Produced between 1971 and 1992, the Pantera was initially powered by a Ford V8 engine making around 250kW of power, before later models pushed that figure closer to 265kW.
But the car isn't famous for its engine, nor its rakish good looks. Instead, it's best known as the car Elvis Presley shot.
The King bought a Pantera for then-girlfriend Linda Thompson. After a fight, he tried to leave in a blaze of V8-powered burnout smoke and anger, but the car refused to start. Rather than giving it the last laugh, Presley whipped out his revolver and fired three shots, leaving two holes in the steering wheel and one in the floor.
As far as we can tell, there are no bullet holes in Bahar's modern re-interpretation. Instead, it pays homage to the original with pop-up headlamps, retro strakes on the back-edge of the window line and a bespoke rear end. Whether you like will be down to preference, of course, but the Ares team has done a good job of making the car look different to its donor.
Ares hasn't announced any information about what will power the car, which suggests the 5.2-litre V10 from the Huracan will remain. That will likely make for impressive performance – the Huracan hits 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds, after all – but it also seems like a missed opportunity to give it a character all of its own.
The Project Panther will be built in limited numbers – there's no official word on exactly how limited – and deliveries should start in the second half of 2018.