Zenvo ST1: One of the Most Expensive Cars You’ve Never Seen
There’s no firm definition for the designation “hypercar,” but it’s generally accepted that a hypercar is rare, beautiful, pushes the limits when it comes to speed and handling, and is expensive — think Bugatti’s Veyron Super Sport, Lamborghini’s Veneno, or Ferrari’s LaFerrari. Simply put, a hypercar is a supercar on steroids.
Moreover, there are some hypercars that are so rare most people don’t know they exist. This includes Zenvo Automotive’s ST1. It’s so scarce that when I first started writing this article, I had to contact Zenvo to see if it was still manufacturing the ST1. Luckily, Zenvo confirmed that it is, and in fact had added a few new bells and whistles to the 2015 ST1. So, lets take a look at this beast — the first hypercar to be designed and manufactured in Denmark — and find out what makes it so special.
Zenvo ST1 specs
According to Zenvo, the ST1 is one of the fastest and most thrilling hypercars in the world. Thanks to its hand-built 7.0-liter V8 engine that’s not only supercharged but also turbocharged, Zenvo may not be wrong. At its peak, the ST1’s engine produces a whopping 1,104 horsepower and 1,054 pound-feet of torque. This allows the ST1 to accelerate from zero to 60 miles-per-hour in about three seconds (for comparison, Ferrari’s LaFerrari goes from zero to 60 miles-per-hour in about 2.6 seconds).
However, according the company, the goal for the ST1 isn’t to be the fastest car on the planet — it’s to be a “true man’s car,” which means that while speed is an important factor, so is drivability. Thus, Zenvo designed the ST1 as a mid-engine rear-wheel drive sports car, with a 44% front/56% rear weight distribution and multi-adjustable double wishbone suspension. This distribution is similar to what you’d find in a racecar, and theoretically should help with traction, braking, and cornering. Plus, the chassis is made of lightweight steel and aluminum monocoque, and the body is full carbon fiber. This gives the ST1 a total curb weight of 3,944 pounds.
More importantly, Zenvo felt that the ST1’s power distribution could be improved. To help achieve this, Zenvo created a completely new gear-shifting system for the 2015 model. Zenvo teamed up with transmission manufacturer CIMA, and they co-developed a new seven-speed gearbox that features helical cut wheels combined with dog engagement rings. This allows the ST1 to change gears in as little as 35 milliseconds, which means the power distribution is almost uninterrupted. Furthermore, because the new gearbox improves the distribution of power, the overall performance of the vehicle takes a big step forward, according to Zenvo.
Angry goldfish or work of art?
Obviously, the specs on the ST1 are impressive, but when it comes to hypercars, looks are also an important factor. Luckily, there’s no question that the ST1 is an eye-catching car. Thanks to its sharp lines, integrated rear spoiler, front hexagonal grill flanked by large air intakes, eye-catching angular headlights, and jutting front fenders, the ST1 has a distinct and aggressive look. However, the ST1 does make me think of an angry goldfish. Especially in orange.
Of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as a number of supercars and hypercars have distinct facial expressions. The Pagani Huayra, for example, definitely looks like some sort of mutant bug. More importantly, the ST1 is the kind of car that stands out and leaves an impression. Considering that the price to own an ST1 ranges from $952,000 according to Bloomberg to $1.8 million according to Top Speed, a memorable look is definitely a plus.
But how does it drive?
Arguably, one of the most important factors behind a hypercar is how it drives. While Zenvo clearly put together an impressive car on paper, there are mixed reviews when it comes to how the ST1 handles the track.
You can drive the ST1 in three different power modes: Wet, with 650 horsepower; Sport, with 850 horsepower; and Race, with 1,104 horsepower. Unfortunately, when Top Gear tested the ST1 on the track, then-Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson found that when someone puts the car in Sport or Race mode, the traction control is disengaged. This, according to Clarkson, renders the car “un-drivable.”
Additionally, during Top Gear‘s test drive of the ST1, there were problems with the brakes; the clutch went out (the car had to be returned to Denmark to be fixed); and when it was returned to the Top Gear track, the cooling fan broke — this literally caused the ST1 to catch on fire. More pointedly, because of these issues, Top Gear was less than impressed with the ST1, and obviously, this wasn’t great for Zenvo or the ST1’s reputation.
In response to this review, Zenvo fired back at Top Gear and pointed out that Top Gear Magazine named the ST1 “The Stig’s supercar” in 2010, and also claimed that there were positive elements of the ST1 review that never made it on the show — among others, this included Top Gear clocking the ST1’s acceleration from zero to 62 miles-per-hour in 2.69 seconds. However, other than Top Gear, there aren’t many reviews for how the ST1 performs on the track. As such, how the ST1 drives is still up for debate.
Ready for your next hypercar?
With a total planned production run of 15 and pricing starting around the $1 million mark, the Zenvo ST1 is anything but mainstream. But considering that the ST1 is a hypercar, this is to be expected. More importantly, if cash isn’t an issue and if you’re looking for a rare, exotic sports car that’s heavy on power and won’t let people forget what they saw, then the ST1 might be for you. On the other hand, if you like the ST1, but still think it needs some work, you might want to hold out for the ST2 — Zenvo’s rumored next big project.