De Tomaso, for all its automotive achievements, has never enjoyed the same name recognition as Lamborghini, Ferrari and Aston Martin. In fact, it could very well have made it onto our recent list of the best supercar brands you’ve never heard of. But the automaker, which turns 60 this year, has been on one hell of a ride.
Once owned by Ford, and founded in Modena in 1959, the brand has built sports cars, luxury saloons and even developed a Formula One racer. They’ve gone bust more times than a dodgy tyre, crashed out with some truly disastrous concepts and even once owned both Maserati and Moto Guzzi. And now, to celebrate these past six stop-start decades, the Argentine-Italian brand has rolled out something very special.
The P72 was designed to be a homage to one of De Tomaso’s better-received concepts; the P70 Prototype. After the brand was acquired by IdealVentures in 2014, development began under the code name ‘Project P’, and the car was finally revealed at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
But what really sets this latest launch apart from other modern hypercars is its looks. Most new releases are harshly designed, with more corners than the Nürburgring and space-age styling that rivals most rockets. The P72, however, takes its cues from a more retro breed of racer.
A nod to classic, vintage motorsport styling, the exterior was created by Jowyn Wong of Wyn Design — and attempts to combine modern elements with the classic shapes of 1970s Le Mans racers. And, we have to say, they’ve done quite the job.
Just look at the arching curves of the bodywork; like lithe, sinewy muscles stretched out over the chassis. The strange, sweeping intake on the bonnet elevates what is a fairly standard front end — and those copper side mirrors look straight out of an antique shop.
But the back end is where the P72 really takes off for us. A teardrop of a back window is cut off by one of the harshest lines we’ve seen in modern car making, and that black space beyond it is punctuated by two searing circles of red. It’s an entrancing look.
Inside the car, expect similar surprises. Upholstered in diamond-stitched leather, the cabin has an old-age feel — heightened yet further by opulent instrumentation and more copper elements than you can shake a gearshift lever at. Our favourite touch, however, has to be the circular analogue dials; reminiscent of iconic mid-century car interiors.
Overall, it’s a winner — especially considering the rocky road De Tomaso has driven along to get here. And, with only 72 units of the P72 set to be sold, you’re almost certain to have a future collector’s classic on your hands should you manage to get one. We only hope that, given their track record, this isn’t the last car De Tomaso ever bring us…
De Tomaso P72
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