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Covering Sports cars & Supercars

The Design of Speed

1999 Panoz AIV Roadster

📸: Courtesy

The Panoz Auto Development Company of Georgia brought this unique little vehicle to life, and we're bringing it up here because it made use of the underpinnings of another top Turn of the Century American car, the Ford Mustang.

The AIV (for Aluminum Intensive Vehicle) was constructed mostly of aluminum, and used the drivetrain and switchgear from the Mustang SVT Cobra. Which meant it benefited from having the 305 horsepower, 4.8 liter DOHC V8 pushing it's 2,500 pounds of topless roadster. Panoz claimed a top speed of 140 mph.

📸: Courtesy

From a design standpoint, the looks kind of grow on you after a while, but first glances are not very rewarding. The bulge on the bonnet particularly stands out as ruinous to whatever line the designer was going for up front; hopefully it serves a function. Fortunately for Panoz, the follow up car, the Esperante, is far more lovely to behold. Production for that model began in 2000.

1999 was the last year of production for the AIV Roadster, and only 176 examples were produced.

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