Most Ford fans remember De Tomaso, makers of the mid-engine Pantera supercar that was produced from 1971 to 1993. Throughout those years, the Pantera was powered by a variety of Ford engines, beginning with the 351 Cleveland V8, the 351 Windsor, and the fuel-injected 5.0L V8 in later years. Now, the Italian automaker is moving its headquarters, research and development, and fabrication to the U.S., and it’s once again looking to the Blue Oval for powerplants.
De Tomaso CEO Ryan Berris has said that the automaker is in negotiations to secure a 50,000 square-foot building in Detroit, and has a current partnership in place with Ford Motor Company for early powertrain development.
De Tomaso hasn’t sold vehicles in the U.S. since the late ’70s, and isn’t currently producing any road-going cars. It previously debuted its one-million-dollar P72 supercar at last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, which is a tribute to the De Tomaso P70 that competed at the 1966 Sebring 12 Hours race and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Production of the P72 is slated to begin in 2022, which would make it the first vehicle produced by De Tomaso in the U.S. Power for the new supercar will come from a supercharged Ford 5.0L Coyote V8 backed up by a six-speed manual transmission, which the automaker says will produce somewhere between 700 and 750 horsepower. A total of 72 units will be produced, all of which are already spoken for.
De Tomaso has experienced its ups and downs since the automaker launched back in 1959, when it was founded by Argentine racing driver Alejandro de Tomaso. Ford purchased a 71 percent stake in the company in 1971, but after its founder suffered a stroke in 1993, his heirs liquidated the company. Hong Kong-based Ideal Team Ventures acquired the rights to the brand in 2014.
In addition to the P72, the automaker has several other as-yet-unannounced vehicles in development, including at least one future EV. But for now, the company is focused on building sports cars with Blue Oval power, just as has many times in the past.