2005 Panoz Esperante GTLM
While the world of exclusive, limited-production American supercars has gotten larger in recent years, when the Esperante GTLM was unveiled it stood out from the ever-growing crowd and put the tiny carmaker Panoz on the map. While the looks and name are somewhat European, under the skin the Esperante is all red, white, and blue. The classic sportscar proportions place the engine up front under a long hood. The powerplant is something special—a 5.4-liter supercharged Ford V8, assembled by SVT, and making around 420 horsepower. Considering this motor has less than 2,500 lbs. to motivate, courtesy of an advanced carbon fiber chassis incorporating lessons from Panoz’s long experience racing sportscars, the Esperante GTLM is no slouch. In fact, it serves as the basis of the wickedly fast American Le Mans Series Esperante GTLM GT2, giving the already formidable car from legitimate street cred. Seeing as how the Esperante GTLM is built in Georgia fairly close by to the Road Atlanta course that’s fully playable in Forza 4, it’s perhaps no coincidence that that track’s long straight and sinewy turns provide the perfect venue to show off the Panoz’s talents.