Vencer Sarthe: New Dutch supercar promises 510 hp and 200 mph

Vencer Sarthe front motion viewMaking a car was beautiful, fast, and technologically advanced as a Ferrari or Lamborghini seems like a tall order, but that does not stop small upstarts from trying. The latest company to try its hand at a supercar is Vencer, a Dutch firm with a V8-powered wedge called the Sarthe.

The Sarthe is named after the French region where the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race is held. Le Mans references can also be found in the car’s styling, which Vencer says is inspired by cars that raced at Le Mans in the 1980s. Vencer may need to hire a new designer, because the result looks a bit too much like the McLaren MP4-12C.

Generic styling won’t completely sink this effort, since supercars are supposed to be all about performance. The Sarthe has a mid-mounted V8, which makes 510 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. The engine is connected to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transaxle; no computerized sequential transmissions here.

That powertrain, combined with the Sarthe’s 3,042 curb weight, should accelerate the Dutch machine from 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) in 3.8 seconds, and on to a top speed of roughly 200 mph. To put that in perspective, the McLaren weighs 3,210 lbs, but can do 0-62 in 3.2 seconds thanks to its 592 hp. A Ferrari 458 Italia is just as quick.

Vencer says the Sarthe has a 45 percent front, 55 percent rear weight distribution. That is slightly closer to the ideal 50/50 than the McLaren’s 42/58 and the Ferrari’s 43/57. Having weight evenly balanced between the front and rear axles improves handling.

On paper, the Sarthe looks like it can hang with the pack, but why would someone choose one over a car from one of the established marques? It will not leave its British and Italian rivals in the dust, but the Sarthe may offer its driver a more involved experience. Unlike the McLaren and Ferrari, the only electronic aid the Vencer offers is ABS. That, and the aforementioned manual gearbox, might attract drivers looking for a purer feel, free of electronic interference.

Selling old school mechanical feel is also a convenient way for a small company like Vencer, which may not have the money to develop driver aids like traction and stability control.

How the Sarthe drives and how it stacks up against competitors is purely academic, for now. It is still under development; a prototype hasn’t even been built. That may seem a bit dubious, but Vencer is not the only small company trying to take on Ferrari. A few years ago another Dutch company, Spyker, placed an Audi V8 in a Steampunk-esque body to create the C8. Spyker owned Swedish carmaker Saab until the latter went bankrupt last December. In Slovenia, Tushek is challenging Lamborghini with its Forego T700. After all, why should countries like Italy have a monopoly on supercars? The more, the better.


From salt flats to sand dunes, adventuring off-grid in Audi’s electric E-Tron

Digital Trends traveled to the Namibian desert to get an early taste of the all-electric 2019 Audi e-tron. We drove prototypes on a variety of terrains, including dunes and a salt pan.

Race car or daily driver? Choose either with the 2019 Porsche Panamera GTS

Porsche has expanded the Panamera lineup with a midrange, GTS-badged model. Part race car and part daily driver, it's the variant we've been waiting for since the current-generation Panamera arrived in 2017.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in October, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Black Panther’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Product Review

With fresh tech and a turbo V6, Ford resharpens the 2019 Edge

The 2019 Ford Edge midsize crossover gets significant refresh, including a host of new tech features and a new ST performance variant sporting a 335-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V6.

Watch this driverless Range Rover tackle one of U.K.’s ‘most challenging roads’

Jaguar Land Rover just sent its autonomous Range Rover Sport vehicle onto one of the U.K.'s "most challenging road layouts," and the automaker has posted a video online showing exactly how it fared.

A public/private autonomous driving institute blooms under the Arizona sun

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced the Institute for Automated Mobility (IAM), partnering government, academic, and private organizations to develop self-driving tech and safety standards. Intel is the first private-sector member.
Product Review

The 2019 Volvo V60 proves it's still cool to drive a station wagon

With the 2019 V60, Volvo argues the station wagon segment isn't as moribund as most other automakers say it is. The company goes as far as arguing we're on the cusp of a wagon revival, and the V60 is poised to lead the charge.

Ford imagines a future without traffic lights or stop signs

Ford is using vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) tech to allow cars to pass through intersections without stopping. The experimental "Intersection Priority Management" system basically acts as air traffic control for cars.

The supersized BMW X7 is coming with a grille you can park a 2 Series on

BMW will soon expand its lineup with a new range-topping SUV named the X7. The first-ever BMW X7 is shaping up to be the 7 Series of the SUV world in terms of size, price, and image.

Can't see all of a sudden? Our quick guide on defogging your car windows

Did you suddenly lose exterior visibility while driving because of foggy windows? Don't panic! Here's our quick guide on defogging your car windows in a safe manner while on the go, and a few steps on how to prevent them.
Product Review

Volvo’s redesigned 2019 S60 sedan is the best kind of remix

The 2019 Volvo S60 borrows almost everything from other recent Volvo models, but that’s not a problem. From its infotainment system to an available plug-in hybrid powertrain, the S60 takes the best bits from a lineup of great cars.

Carbuying can be exhausting: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.

Are European-style self-dimming and glare-free headlights coming to the U.S.?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposes to allow adaptive LED headlights on vehicles sold in the U.S. Adaptive LEDs automatically lower headlight intensity when they detect pedestrians or oncoming vehicles.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!