Balletto Bianco: Winter-Testing And Sliding In Switzerland With De Tomaso’s Prototype P72 Supercar
Cars—whether they are of the super or commuter variety—go through a lot of testing in the preproduction stage. Some have a bit more fun doing it than others. For De Tomaso, the revived automaker that’s building and developing its P72 supercar at the Nürburgring, cold weather testing involves sliding through the pristine snow of an alpine valley; not a bad way to spend a snow day.
De Tomaso recently took its development model—referred to as “Isabelle”—to Switzerland to test the powertrain, traction systems, and measure the thermodynamics inside the engine bay during wintry conditions. The company was there to observe the interactions between the P72’s idle behavior, throttle response, and ECU mapping, as well as to calibrate the car’s traction control and ABS on slippery surfaces. Many computers, connectors, Excel sheets, and brains were put to work, but even the most data-driven activities aren’t mutually exclusive from having fun, as De Tomaso has proven with this short film from the occasion, “Balletto Bianco.” The supercharged Ford Coyote V8 might be far from home in snowy Switzerland, but the mountainous walls of the valley make for a perfect recording studio all the same.
Following this testing/playing (working hard doesn’t always mean a hard day’s work), De Tomaso will be sending Isabelle back to the Nürburgring, where the automaker’s production and development partners capricorn Group will start updating this pre-series car with the production-spec components, from the revised chassis, electronic systems, powertrain, and interior (although we’re pretty partial to the no-flourish jet fighter look of the dash as it is).
This conversion process will take place this month, wherein Isabelle will be joined by a few more pre-series P72s being constructed concurrently. De Tomaso also hinted at “a few other special projects in the works.” With a comeback car as potent and pretty as the P72 is shaping up to be, we expect that these other projects will live up to our high expectations.