The Vencer Sarthe is a back-to-basics sports car produced in the Netherlands. It costs £250,000, and goes on sale in early 2015.
The first customer cars are already being built at Vencer's actory at Vriezenveen in the east of the Netherlands, following a period of testing and validation with pre-production engineering prototypes.
The mid-engined, rear-drive, two-seater is inspired by Le Mans racing cars from the 1980s and is designed to be free of inhibiting driver aids apart from those required for safety reasons.
Vencer has made more than 100 changes and upgrades to the Sarthe since the pre-production car was revealed by Prince Albert II of Monaco at the Top Marques exhibition in Monaco in 2013.
The Sarthe's 6.3-litre V8 engine is new for the 2015 production car. Vencer has added a supercharger for increased power and torque, as well as immediate throttle response. This engine is now standard for the Vencer Sarthe, whereas the prototype-spec V8 has been discontinued.
Maximum power is now claimed to put at 622bhp at 6500rpm and maximum torque is 618lb ft at 4000rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox with a limited-slip differential and twin-plate clutch.
A 0-62mph time of 3.6sec has been claimed by the manufacturer, which is 0.2sec quicker than the pre-production version, and the top speed is a claimed 210mph.
The basis of the Sarthe is what Vencer refers to as "a hybrid space frame chassis" made of high-grade tubular steel, with a safety structure and rear subframe made of chrome-molybdenum and an aluminium honeycomb floor structure. Body panels are carbonfibre, contributing to an impressively low weight of 1390kg, with weight distribution slightly biased to the rear at 45:55.
The Sarthe is 4515mm long, 1984mm wide and 1190mm high, with a 2791mm wheelbase. The car uses double wishbone suspension front and rear.
Notable design features include a quarter-glass design, which is manufactured from clear-coat carbonfibre, and open C-pillars to increase the aerodynamic flow.
Together with the automatic rear spoiler – which rises when the car reaches 62mph – they provide additional down force on the rear axle. The engine cover design and larger side air inlets have been integrated to ensure a greater airflow and cooling to the engine.
The definitive interior adopts a lightweight, minimalist focus. All interior panels are produced in-house out of carbonfibre. A two-tone leather interior with Alcantara inserts comes as standard and is available in a wide range of colour combinations.
Vencer has developed its own digital display, which it calls Central Information System (CIS). Vencer currently has an additional showroom in China and is working to expand its European dealer network. The company can build one car per month.
The Sarthe was seen in pre-production form at Salon Prive in 2013, where its starting price was initially set at £225,000. At the time, company spokesman Lucas Oosterof said production would be limited to ensure collectability and rarity: "We will not be producing in large numbers," he said. Batches of no more than ten cars per year would be produced, said Oosterof, with no more than one batch being made available per year.
Oosterhof said the Sarthe isn't designed as the first car in an enthusiast's collection, but rather as an addition: "This is the third or fourth car for an enthusiast. Customers want something that is unique, and something that doesn't compromise modern comfort."
"The buyer for this car will be an enthusiast who appreciates pure driving pleasure. This isn't a car full of gadgets, we've tried to keep that to a minimum."