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Rumor has it the Leopard originated as a secret project in the Minmatar Republic. In their endless battle against enslavement by the Amarr Empire, the Minmatar have had to develop ways not only to liberate large masses of their people, but also to sneak in and capture individuals of high strategic importance.
The Leopard is a special release ship that was gifted as the final item in the 2013 holiday "Yule Lads" giveaway, one ship to each active account that requested it. The Leopard is the fastest ship (at warp speed) in the game. With the release of the Pacifier, it is now ever so slightly edged out of this spot, albeit at a much greater ISK and SP cost. Additional copies were attainable in the Dawn of Liberation limited time event in 2018.
Since new capsuleers now start with Spaceship Command III and Evasive Maneuvering I, the Leopard (and all other Shuttles) are instawarp capable without any additional skills. Also like other Shuttles, additional skills do not provide any particular benefit for the Leopard.
Given its ludicrous speed the Leopard makes it tempting to move small goods such as injectors, skillbooks, and fashion items very quickly. If you are tempted to try and move valuable items in your Leopard keep in mind that you will be a primary target for hi-sec pirates both for your cargo and for your expensive and unique shuttle. Under no circumstances should you use autopilot when flying the Leopard, as sooner or later you will lose it to a ganker (whether or not you have expensive cargo). Even then, you will always be vulnerable to smartbomb ganks near trade hubs.
|A long, long time ago...|
September 2018 Release - Released 2018-09-11
YC118.8 Release - Released 2016-09-13 (non-balance)
Rubicon 1.0.13 - Released 2014-01-08 (non-balance)
Rubicon 1.0.11 - Released 2013-12-19 (unlisted, speculative)
Before you buy the ship and make it your own, it will show warp speed as low as 5 AU/s instead of 20 AU/s.