Zenvo is trying to break into the independent supercar market, which probably accounts for fewer than 100 cars sold per year. That means that you need to stand out to fit in, and fortunately the Zenvo does that. Most supercars feature aggressive styling. The Koenigsegg Agera, for instance, looks like it would happily eat your puppy. But the Zenvo STI takes aggressive styling to a whole new level; it would murder a whole zoo full of baby giraffes just for kicks.
It goes without saying that I love it. With broad shoulders and headlights like slits, the ST1 looks like a cybernetic jaguar about to pounce. It really has just the right combination of futuristic angles and a classic supine sports car posture.
Despite the slow time at the Top Gear track, don’t think the styling is writing checks the car can’t cash. The ST1 name comes from the fact that this car’s engine has booth a supercharger and a turbocharger, just like a WWII fighter plane. It also has that sort of power, 1,104 horsepower and 1,054 pound feet of torque to be exact. That is good for 0 to 60 in 3.0 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 233 mph.
Thankfully you can even get the Zenvo with a regular manual transmission, a rarity in supercars these days. That’s not the only old-school aspect of the car either. It’s rear drive, while the body is made from high-tech composite the chassis is tube steel. Still, though, the car weighs in at under 3,000 pounds, which promises for some good handling.
What we saw on Top Gear was someone trying to wrangle a rear drive car with more power than a soviet nuke sub on a track with standing water – an endeavor that rarely goes well – and the teething problems of a brand new car company.
As you can see on the video, the interior looks great, but it also doesn’t look as refined as its competitors, and the same seems to be true of some of the dynamics. With a price over $1 million, those faults are hard to forgive. But seeing a Zenvo ST1 should be enough to remind you not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, particularly when that baby is the love child of Usain Bolt and Darth Vader.