Dramatic P72 is the first De Tomaso production model in decades, and now the firm has revealed where its power comes from.

Autocar UK, By Lawrence Allan

© Image credited by Haymarket Media Group | New De Tomaso P72 packs 700bhp Roush-tuned Ford V8

Reborn Italian manufacturer De Tomaso has revealed that its limited-run P72 supercar is powered by a supercharged Ford V8.
The mid-mounted 5.0-liter unit has been modified by American tuning firm Roush and is expected to produce around 700bhp and 608lb ft. A bespoke dry-sump lubrication system ensures adequate oil flow even under hard cornering, while a new type of supercharger is said to bring enhanced thermal efficiency, higher operating speeds, improved airflow, and reduced noise and vibration. 
De Tomaso claims that the V8 retains "the character of a naturally aspirated engine" despite the supercharger and has been designed to achieve a "smooth, linear power curve without detracting from the old-school American V8 soundtrack". The 1965 De Tomaso P70 from which the P72 takes styling inspiration was also powered by a 5.0-liter Ford V8, with performance upgrades carried out by revered engineer Carroll Shelby. 
Performance details are still yet to be confirmed, but the firm has said it will release video and audio clips of the engine running in the coming months. 
Revived by Hong Kong-based IdealVenture, the team responsible for the Apollo Intense Emozione, the P72 is based around that car's underpinnings, including a carbonfibre monocoque chassis that's built to LMP (Le Mans Prototype) race regulations.
The exterior design takes much inspiration from 1960s Le Mans racers and De Tomaso’s back catalog but with a distinctly modern twist. The interior takes a leaf out of Pagani’s book, with opulent fixtures, the finest materials, and an open-linkage gearshift.
The story of the De Tomaso brand is far less widely known than brands such as Ferrari. After moving to Italy to become a Formula 1 racing driver, Argentinian-born Alejandro de Tomaso founded his eponymous firm in 1959. The company’s long history includes developing F1 cars for Frank Williams and owning Maserati from 1975 to 1993.
New general manager Ryan Berris claims “Alejandro’s journey was never properly told and we feel his name should be commonly recognized among greats such as Enzo Ferrari and Ferruccio Lamborghini”. 
The new venture isn’t the first time a De Tomaso revival has been attempted. In 2009, a former Fiat executive bought the naming rights and planned to put a range of cars – including an SUV, a luxury saloon and a coupĂ© – into production by 2011.
However, by the middle of 2012, the maker was in the process of liquidation, leaving 900 unpaid employees and a former Pininfarina factory to be rescued by a new buyer. Dramatically, the former chairman was then dragged into court and charged with misusing Italian public funds allocated for De Tomaso’s revival. 
Just 72 examples of the P72 will be produced, at a price of around £662,000. De Tomaso hasn’t said how many examples it has already sold. 
This article was originally published in Autocar UK.
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