Old Italian supercars are often worth their price just for the open-gate manual gearbox alone. As nice as a set of wheel-mounted paddles are, nothing beats a skinny gear lever sitting in the middle of an ‘H’ pattern. Perhaps Ares Design (or their customers) share this view, as the Panther now comes with what looks like a classic open-gate ‘box.
Except, look closely and you’ll see ‘D’, ’N’ and ‘P’ where you’d expect to find first, second and fifth gear. At least the ‘R’ is in the right place. The new gearbox is a sequential unit that links directly to the existing Lamborghini unit, and you can still use the paddles behind the steering wheel. It’s hard to see but, judging by the size of the brake pedal, it looks like there won’t be a good ol’ clutch pedal.
Back in 2018, Ares announced it had sold all 21 cars it was going to make, but now the car is back and available once again. The company says the new gearbox will enhance the car’s driving experience for its lucky owners, even if you or I might feel like a slight fraud for having a fake manual gearbox. Then again, it’s not really much different from using the paddles, and you’ll still be able to downshift and hear Lambo’s V10 in all its glory.
At the same time, the Panther has received a new “distinctive and throaty” exhaust and larger rear wheels. They’re now 21-inchers, and are made from individual pieces of solid aluminium.
The Ares Design Panther is a modern reinterpretation of the classic De Tomaso Pantera, and a stunningly beautiful one at that. The Ares one is based on a Lamborghini Huracan, which certainly isn’t a bad place to start.
If you want one, you’ll need to pay €335,000 (just over £400,000), plus VAT, and plus the Huracan donor car. So let’s call it £550,000 pre-tax.
What do you think of it?