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The Best of the Best 2003: Undiscovered Bests – Panoz Esperante

Although the Panoz name has been associated exclusively with Le Mans racing, the Panoz Esperante, a race-ready performer that can double as a daily driver, has expanded the realm of the Georgia-based marque. The street-legal version of Panoz’s racecar is a hand-built machine that blends a seductively shaped aluminum body, a hand-stitched leather interior, and a trunk large enough for two golf bags with performance that humbles the more renowned GT machines in its class.

Panoz’s racing technology is abundant in the slick-shifting 5-speed Esperante. The chassis is a rigid modular construction of aluminum, steel, and carbon fiber. A hand-built version of Ford’s dohc, aluminum-block V-8 provides a zero-to-60-mph time of 4.9 seconds.

When you receive delivery of your $88,950 Esperante at Panoz’s Hoschton, Ga., facility, the company treats you to a stay at the Château Elan in nearby Braselton, where you can play golf and visit the Château Elan Winery. Or perhaps you will be too eager to drive the Esperante home to enjoy Panoz’s hospitality.

Panoz Auto Development, 770.867.4796, www.panozauto.com

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