The start-up that’s built a supercar

Vencer SartheThis is the Vencer Sarthe, a £250,000 supercar conceived by a former plumber from Holland. That may not sound too promising, says Steve Sutcliffe in Autocar, but in reality the car is surprisingly effective. It is an attempt to capture the spirit of the 1980s Le Mans race cars that so transfixed the creator, Robert Cobben, when he was a young boy.

Cobben and his “amiable team of ten or so employees” aim to build just 12 cars a year, says Sutcliffe. But Cobben should have no trouble finding buyers for them. The car will not be to everyone’s taste – it purposely eschews “all the regular electronic trickery” you find in most modern supercars – but it is designed to be reasonably practical for road use and it looks “pretty spectacular”.

Fire up the V8 engine and drive off, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised: “not for one moment does it feel like it was built or engineered by anyone other than people who knew what they were doing”. And it’s unlike anything you’ll have driven before: it’s unfeasibly rapid with sophisticated and responsive handling, and the engine “war cry” sounds “very, very lovely indeed”. It’s a dream come true for Cobben – and will be too for the 12 lucky customers.

The car makes quite an impression, says Ciprian Florea on, but should Ferrari and Lamborghini be worried? Well, the limited production run alone would suggest not. Vencer is still in its infancy and only time will tell if the tiny start-up will survive. But it is a “breath of fresh air”: very few carmakers make supercars “the old-fashioned way”, so the Vencer delivers what few other modern supercars can.
It gives new meaning to the concept of the supercar.

Price: £250,000.
Top speed: 210mph.
0-62mph: 3.6 seconds.
Economy: 21mpg.
Engine: V8, 6282cc, supercharged, petrol.
Power: 622bhp at 6,500rpm.
Torque: 618lb ft at 4,000rpm.