Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
By Rick Popely
December 1, 1999
Vehicle Overview Panoz may not be a household name among most consumers, but this low-volume manufacturer is well-known among sports-car enthusiasts and racing fans.
Based near Atlanta, Panoz (pronounced PAY-nose) produced its first hand-built roadster in 1991, using an aluminum body on a steel tube frame. The A.I.V. (aluminum intensive vehicle) roadster followed in 1997, which was an upgrade of the original car. Panoz began racing in major endurance races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans the same year and won the U.S. Road Racing Championship in 1998.
The latest offering is the Esperante, a roadster that goes on sale in May 2000 at a base price just under $80,000. Panoz plans to build 300 units per year, and the company says it already has deposits from more than 160 prospective buyers.
Exterior Graceful, flowing styling with a long hood and short rear deck give the Esperante the look of a classic European sports car, but flush oval headlights add contemporary touches in front. The rear-drive Esperante is built on a modular aluminum chassis, and the aluminum body is shaped by an aerospace industry technique called superplastic forming process that Panoz says is stronger and more uniform than conventional stamping processes.
The front section of the power-operated top is aluminum and the rear section is canvas, with the two pieces hinged in the middle so they lay flat on top of the rear deck.
Panoz says the hand-painted Esperante is available in any color a customer desires.
Interior The Esperante has the requisite leather bucket seats and wood interior trim expected on a high-priced sports car, but it also has an unexpected feature: The gauges are mounted dead center on top of the dashboard, between the driver and passenger, and there is nothing directly ahead of the steering wheel.
Under the Hood Panoz buys hand-assembled 4.6-liter V-8s from Ford for the Esperante. They are dual camshaft versions with 320 horsepower the same engine as the Ford Mustang SVT Cobra and they team with a five-speed manual transmission.
The relationship with Ford means the Esperante can be serviced at Ford or Lincoln Mercury dealers, in addition to the 40 Panoz dealers in the United States.