When you’re a startup company offering a supercar with a $1.8 million dollar price tag, having said car catch fire at a very public event is generally sub-optimal. But, that’s exactly what happened when this 2010 Zenvo ST1 recently took to the track at the Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix in Denmark. Luckily, the driver made it out unscathed (and then flailed around like a lunatic while trying to get the attention of a safety crew) before the Dutch supercar completely self-immolated.

It’s actually the second time a Zenvo has spontaneously combusted in the public eye. One also caught fire while in the hands of Top Gear after a cooling fan quit, and because of this (along with the ST1’s crude steel chassis and less-than-great drivability), then-host Jeremy Clarkson didn’t have the nicest things to say about it. Zenvo was nonplussed with Top Gear’s impressions and went into damage-control mode. The company blamed their suppliers for the faulty intercooler fan and Top Gear for excessive and extended high-speed testing, which of course is a load of fish.

According to a news post from Zenvo, this particular ST1 was a development car and was brought to the event to give charity rides to raise money for a children’s program at one of Denmark’s largest hospitals. We certainly can’t ding Zenvo for trying to do some good (though I guess it’s really a good thing there wasn’t a crippled kid in the car), so let’s hope the company gets this fire problem under control.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

If you’re not familiar with it, the Zenvo ST1 is a mid-engine supercar powered by a supercharged and turbocharged 6.8-liter V-8 producing 1,104 horsepower at 6,900 rpm. A seven-speed paddle-shift transmission sends power to the rear wheels. Zenvo claims a 0-62 mph time of three seconds flat and a top speed of 233 mph.

Building a new car from the ground up is an enormous undertaking for any company. Only a handful have made it out of the start-up phase in the last few decades. Not counting ultra-simplified, stripped-down boutique track-car builders, Koenigsegg, Pagani and Tesla are the only ones that come to mind.

For every company that makes it, there are hundreds that don’t. It’s an undertaking that requires loads of expertise, extraordinary attention to detail and mountains of money. Then comes the even harder part of convincing people to shell out enormous sums of money for an unproven product from a company they’ve never heard of. As a result, YouTube videos of cars setting themselves ablaze could be a back-breaker for a small company like Zenvo. Bad luck, that.
But we love supercars and underdogs, so carry on, fellas. Don’t give up.

2010 Zenvo ST1

2010 Zenvo ST1 High Resolution Interior Exterior
- image 373069

Read our review here.

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