The objective, according to company boss Jesper Jensen, was not to build a road rocket that could outdo the Veyron in terms of raw pace (although the claimed figures – 0-62mph in 3.0sec and 233mph max - aren’t too shabby).
Instead, the idea was to come up with car that could easily be driven every day, yet which could also double as a track weapon.
The ST1 was initially designed as a rolling chassis, built around a steel backbone with double-wishbone suspension and three-way Öhlins adjustable dampers. The massive 7.0-litre supercharged and turbocharged V8 was positioned longitudinally directly behind the passenger cell, and the armoury of radiators and other ancillaries were then scattered around the car.
Once all the hardware was in place and functioning to their satisfaction, the Zenvo crew called on Danish designer Christian Brandt to pen the contours of the carbonfibre bodyshell. The car you see here is the prototype, which has clocked up more than 45,000 miles - and isn't looking at all shabby for it.
The V8 motor is roused into action by twisting an ignition knob on the centre console to the right, depressing the clutch and then pressing the start button atop the chunky piston-shaped gearlever while simultaneously giving the gas pedal a generous prod or two. The 7.0-litre motor erupts into life with a raucous bark, but it immediately settles into a civilised idle.
You'll find that the clutch doesn’t call for Schwarzenegger-esque quadriceps, but slotting the six-speed Ricardo gearbox into first gear (or any other ratio) requires a firm hand. Zenvo technical guru Troels Vollersten explains the gearshift linkages are a bit worn on the prototype car, and that a new set would make for far easier shifting.
The ST1 has three engine modes – normal, sport and race – liberating 650bhp, 850bhp and 1104bhp respectively, and selection of any of these is a mere twist-knob away. Traction control is fully operational in the normal mode, and partially so in sport… but you’re on your own in the full-power race mode.
The seat of my pants tells me even the 650bhp setting will be enough to see off most rivals, provided you’re deft enough with your clutch and gearchange work. This is no Honda S2000-style rifle-bolt gearchange requiring mere flicks of the wrist. Instead you need to manhandle the alloy knob from one ratio to the next as shifts are neither light nor quick (but perhaps the new linkages alluded to earlier would help).