Vencer, one person’s vision to build the ultimate modern day analogue super car, the sole Sarthe model promised a real driver’s experience without a spine shattering ride. Almost 10 years have passed since Prince Albert II of Monaco unveiled Vencer’s Sarthe prototype, followed by a lengthy “fine-tuning” delay before production made the headlines, and still the Dutch upstart is shrouded in mystery. Digital appearances aside, has any gearhead laid eyes on a Sarthe? Even the companies’ website although still active remains tight-lipped regarding production and delivery.
Launched to a series of favorable “first drive” reviews, the Sarthe praised for its usability and docile nature when called upon are rare commodities in any high-performance driving machine. Gearheads regularly bemoan modern supercars for their intrusive electronics, the Sarthe was different, an old school back to basics drivers’ car from the same vein as McLaren’s F1, one that deserves to succeed, if only more people were aware of its existence.
8th Inspiration Taken From ’80s Le Mans Racers
In either production form or early prototype, Vencer’s Sarthe supercar looks the business and would be equally at home on a track or public roads. Which is just as well, as early media hype centered around the inspiration for the Sarthe, citing ’80s Le Mans racers provided the spark of imagination in what you see above.
A low slung wedge shape profile, that’s a tick for Vencer, aside from that, Le Man’s cars are highly specialized prototypes. Delve under the skin, and it’s not what you see that connects the two eras. Vencer adopting a fully carbon fiber chassis, clad in bodywork of the same material. Exotic materials aside, Vencer adopted the Sarthe name in recognition of the Le Mans 24 hour location.
7 European Supercar
Never heard of Vencer? Well you’re not alone, founded in 2010, Netherlands-based Vencer are one of the younger supercar makers, the Sarthe welcome a first attempt at breaking in to markets dominated by the old-school established brand such as Ferrari, Porsche, and Lamborghini .
Two years after a high profile public unveiling at the Top Marques Motor show of 2013, Vencer inched a step closer to reality displaying a revised “production” version, customer deliveries commencing in late 2015. The first production example sold to a lucky gearhead via a Vencer dealers in China.
6 Hennessey/GM Powered
Naturally, Vencer uses a rear-mid-engined layout for the ultimate chassis balance, keeping as much of the Sarthe’s 3082 lbs weight between the axles delivers sharper handling and higher cornering speeds. Unlike the majority of its rivals, Vencer opted to buy its engines from the US.
Turning to Hennessey Performance, the Sarthe comes with a GM-based 6.3-liter supercharged V8, turning out a lazy 622 hp. While this sounds a trifle modest compared to its rivals, a titanic 618 lb-ft of torque levels the playing field, Vencer claiming an impressive 3.6-second 0-60mph time, and a top speed of 210 mph.
5 A Gearhead’s Favorite; manual transmission
Forget the unending waves of flappy-paddle, semi-automatic transmissions, Vencer only provides an old-school manual transmission with drive to the rear axle only interrupted by a limited slip-differential.
One of the few items that have been bought rather than built, Vencer proudly build the cars’ chassis and bodywork in house, turning to outside suppliers for specialized items that wouldn’t be economical to build itself. UK based Ricardo Engineering design and manufacture the Sarthe’s 6-speed manual transmission previously seen in Ford’s GT, perfectly matching the V8 engine’s wide torque band at either low speed cruising or full throttle sprints.
4 Inside, GT Supercar Basics
Standing out from the crowd is tricky at best, especially with a $350,000 sticker price and limited badge appeal. Wowing crowds and ultimately luring buyers in to its showrooms, Vencer trod the fine line between race car for the road and GT-Supercar, Sarthe’s shipping with just the essentials.
Two leather/alcantara trimmed bucket racing seats are pretty much all you get in the way of luxury, everything else on show kept simple and clean. Largely carbon fiber in construction, a centrally mounted instrument binnacle sits atop a small collection of in-house designed switchgear, the Sarthe is the work of a small team of artisan craftsmen.
3 Keeping It Planted
Vencer’s analogue supercar in an increasingly computerized world is no different from every other performance car out there. Regardless of how much horsepower you have, grip is the deciding factor. In fact, ditching microchips in favor of seat-of-your-pants-thrills makes the whole process of going faster much harder.
Headline grabbing power and engine stats sell cars, tires rarely receiving a second glance. Vencer opted for an unusual brand of rubber for its custom cast aluminum 20-inch wheels. Netherlands-based Vredestein supply the Sarthe’s rubber, 295/30ZR19s at the rear with smaller Vencer exclusive 245/30s up front.
2 Vencer Gives You Wings
The good news for balls-out gearheads, Vencer’s Sarthe comes with traction control as standard, just not in the form you get with a Ferrari, and it’s tailored to each driver. During the engine development stage Vencer tasked Hennessey with delivering big horsepower numbers in a softer more refined way, traction control in the Sarthe literally an extension of your right leg.
Step on the loud pedal too aggressively and the Sarthe kicks its rear end out, neatly stepping back in line with the slightest of lifts and a touch of opposite lock. Analog driver’s car it might be, but Vencer did make one small concession to civility, at the rear stowed for the most part an active rear wing raises and lowers depending on speed and grip, just in case.
1 Vencer Sarthe, A Rare Sight
Gearheads holding onto dreams f getting up close and personal with the Sarthe are going to be waiting a long time. At its debut and subsequent launch 2013/15 Vencer aimed for low volumes, citing 12 cars per year would be the carmaker’s goal. We’ve done a search of the popular auction and classifieds, and none show up, and can find little “proven” evidence to actual production numbers.
Younger gearheads with curiously misshapen hands through countless gaming hours will instantly recognize the Sarthe, prominent in the popular Asphalt series video game. Even then, a low-in-game drop rate could see players waiting a long time to get their hands on the Dutch supercars blueprints.