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the new de tomaso is so sensual it should come with an explicit warning before you see it
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The new De Tomaso is so sensual it should come with an explicit warning before you see it

That’s not even the best part, it’s a manual... though we're not sure yet what the transmission is attached to

Dinesh Appavu Photo

Dinesh Appavu

5 Jul 2019


When it comes to the fundamentals of automotive design porn, only the Italians get it right. Say what you will but occasionally; at the expense of mechanical dependability, they make some of the sexiest cars on the planet by lightyears.

You just need to look at the new De Tomaso supercar to know the trend isn’t dying anytime soon. In fact, the De Tomaso P72 is so painfully stimulating it should come with a health warning before you lay your eyes on it.

The P72 actually traces its roots back to the stillborn P70 from over a century ago to late 1964 and the legendary Carroll Shelby himself. Can-Am racing was almost upon us and the Shelby Cobras just weren’t cutting it anymore.

Shelby needed a new prototype and across the Altantic, Alejandro de Tomaso was cracking away on his first road car; the Vallelunga, with a 7.0-liter V-8 for racing. The latter required financing and Shelby had the cash for them both to get in bed.

However, Shelby brought an SCCA-approved design from Peter Brock under the sheets and that marked the beginning of trouble in paradise. de Tomaso wasn’t particularly happy that Shelby sent Brock over to ensure the racecars remained true to the design.

As we all know, Shelby eventually shifted his focus to the Ford GT40 project. This left de Tomaso to display the single completed P70 as the Ghia De Tomaso Sport 5000 at the 1965 Turin Auto Show. Following that, he modified the P70 to serve as the base for the production De Tomaso Mangusta; a firm middle finger at Shelby as the car’s name translates to mongoose… the very same mongoose that eats cobras.

Alejandro de Tomaso passed away in 2003 and the company that bore his name was a shadow of its former self. Apollo Automobil’s Norman Choi purchased the brand in 2014 and instead of giving us the modern Pantera we all desired, went one step further and focused on the new-age P70 that made us wet our pants the first time we saw it.

Like all modern supercars, the P72 is built around a carbon chassis that was originally developed by AMG-supplier HWE for the Apollo IE. However, this modern tribute is actually designed by Jowyn Wong, who penned Apollo's GT1-inspired hypercar.

As much as the sultry exterior gets bloody flowing into the nether region, the interior is will have your eyes rolling into the back of your head from pleasure. You’ll have to see the photos because words still escape us in describing its beauty. To say some hints of Pagani are present would in this case be a compliment.

Only 72 units will be made (the name is a dead giveaway) with each starting at $850,000 (RM3.5 million) without taxes. Seeing how Paganis and Koenigseggs go for as much as twice that, it’s a fair price.

Now, if you’re wondering why we haven’t touched on the engine powering the P72; not that it needs one because we’ll be more than happy to just park and admire it, De Tomaso won’t actually divulge that info yet.

Apollo though has its naturally-aspirated (Ferrari-based) V-12 at its disposal and pairing that mill with a proper manual is the only worthy way of propelling this artwork. Perhaps they’ll share more details at the upcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed.



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