Exclusive: The Reborn De Tomaso P72 Will Use a 700+ Horsepower Roush V8

Italian lines, American horsepower. What's not to love?

The Italian, American, and Argentinian partnership of De Tomaso proved two things: first, you shouldn’t piss off anyone with the last name Ford and second, few things are better than when you bring together fiery personalities, beautiful design, and enough horsepower to make the American military-industrial complex question its legality. De Tomaso’s revival isn’t about to change that historical mandate for the P72 with the announcement of its Roush Performance-sourced supercharged V8. 

Roush might be viewed as an odd choice of engine supplier for the hand-built, and extremely limited, De Tomaso P72 revival from the folks that are bringing you the Apollo Intensa Emozione hypercar. Particularly, De Tomaso’s choice of using a Roush-built supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine, which can trace its single branch lineage to the pedestrian Ford “Coyote” modular V8 plucked from everyone’s favorite sports car, the Ford Mustang. However, not only did Roush provide Ford with the twin-turbocharged V6 EcoBoost racing engines for the new Ford GT, those with long enough memories will also recall that Ford and De Tomaso are inextricably linked. 

De Tomaso

It was after Enzo Ferrari backed out of the sale of his company with Ford that the Blue Oval purchased a majority stake in De Tomaso. After, each production De Tomaso was powered by a Ford. And indeed, the De Tomaso P70, to which the P72 is modeled after, used a 289 Ford V8. So why wouldn’t the P72 charged with the company’s revival? And given that the P72’s supercharged Roush engine will deliver 700+ horsepower via a 6-speed manual transmission, we’re inclined to nod our heads enthusiastically to De Tomaso’s choice.

Unlike other Roush projects, the De Tomaso’s supercharged 5.0-liter engine will use a dry-sump oil system, giving the P72 a far better center of gravity, more regulated flow during high-speed maneuvers, and better weight balance. The company didn’t consider turbochargers nor hybrids as either would’ve either affected the weight and balance, or the sound of the P72. Both of which had to be just right. Final performance numbers are still being worked out, but according to the companies, the supercharged V8 will be able to deliver more than 700 horsepower and 608 pound-feet of torque via its 6-speed manual transmission. 

According to De Tomaso, the engine selection process with Roush “Consisted of taking the Roush Performance modified Ford 5.0-liter 90-degree V8 engine and undergoing an extensive development program, which is still ongoing as it transitions into the final De Tomaso V8.” 

Roush’s involvement is also two-fold. Speaking with The Drive, De Tomaso’s general manager Ryan Berris said, “We could’ve used a number of powertrains, but not only did Roush provide the historical context of the company, but we now have formal approval from Ford, which gives us access to engines, the company’s service centers and dealerships, and access to all of Ford’s homologated parts at our disposal.” Berris added, “ We have a proven team [Roush] working on the powertrain and homologation services. This was significant to us based on being able to deliver something to our customers around the world, and especially to the U.S.” 

De Tomaso

Lastly, De Tomaso calls the P72’s exhaust “Symphonic Bliss,” stating, “In the spirit of our past projects and purist passion for automotive in general, the acoustics of the P72’s powertrain was paramount. It had to invoke emotion for both the user and bystanders. The V8 soundtrack had to be distinctive, as the sound of most V8 supercars today has become quite homogenous. We strived for a sound reminiscent of the American muscle era of the ‘60s, all while creating a silky-smooth refinement that exudes an edgy sophistication.” 

While we don’t know what the sound is just yet, sticking a supercharged V8 at the back of the car, with short exhaust pipes and a righteous redline of “greater than 7,500 rpm” is sure to deliver goosebumps. We’re picturing something that sounds like this, but turned up to eleven.

“In seeking this important aspect of the program, there were no reservations about forging a technical collaboration with Jack Roush and his company, Roush.  Roush has a long list of accolades in the automotive segment and a deep history with Ford,” said Norman Choi, De Tomaso’s chairman. 

Only 72 P72s will ever grace the world, each commanding a price tag of around $846,500 depending on how strong or weak the euro is given the day. When De Tomaso wowed Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this year with the P72, Berris told The Drive, “We’d be head over heels” when we learned of the technical partnership the company had forged with the engine supplier. We’re happy to report he was right. Little will be able to halt our forward momentum when De Tomaso dangles the P72’s keys in our face in the near future. Stay tuned.