Another shot at glory

Zenvo’s genesis wasn’t exactly an easy one. The Danish manufacturer was founded in 2007 with the noblest of intentions – to make high-dollar, low-volume, ultra-high-performance sports cars for both the street and the track. The marque’s first model, the ST1, was released in 2009, and it looked like it met all the criteria, with an 800,000 euro price tag ($877,040 at current exchange rates, 03/02/2016), a production run of 15 units, and a 233-mph top speed. But there was a problem – it kept catching fire, first during a track test on Top Gear, then again at the Copenhagen Historic Grand Prix. As you can imagine, Zenvo would like to put all that behind it, and as such, it’s unveiled a new model called the TS1, bearing improved aero, a dramatically updated interior, and a new twin-supercharged V-8.

Philosophically speaking, the TS1 follows closely in the footsteps of the ST1. It’s still a hand-built, outrageously powerful hypercar for the enormously well-to-do. However, Zenvo is quick to point out that this new model was carefully refined to meet customer demands, combining extreme performance with daily-driver comfort and high levels of customizability.

While the TS1 got its big reveal at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show, Zenvo left a few important details up in the air. That said, there’s quite a bit left to explore here, so let’s check it out.

Continue reading to learn more about the Zenvo TS1.

  • 2017 Zenvo TS1
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    seven-speed paddle-shifter automatic
  • Displacement:
    5.9 L
  • 0-60 time:
    2.9 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    233 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Zenvo TS1 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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2017 Zenvo TS1 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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2017 Zenvo TS1 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Taking responsibility for the exterior look is the same man who penned the ST1 – Zenvo’s Chief Designer, Christian Brandt, who also lists Alfa Romeo as a previous employer. Brandt says he was inspired by a vision of a “lioness stalking its prey” when coming up with the original sketches, but personally, I’m reminded of an exaggerated iteration of the Lexus LFA (granted, the LFA was released a year after the ST1, but still, the lines and shapes are undeniably similar).

take a closer look, and there are a few discernible changes, most of which pertain to increased downforce and improved aerodynamics

Next to the ST1, the TS1’s lineage is obvious, as the two all-carbon bodies look nearly identical. However, take a closer look, and there are a few discernible changes, most of which pertain to increased downforce and improved aerodynamics.

Let’s start in front, where the splitter was clearly made much deeper. On the sides, small winglets were added to help guide air along the flanks and towards intakes in the rear, feeding the twin intercoolers for improved engine performance. The intakes also get their own vertical splitter elements for better chiller efficiency.

In back, the rear wing was made much taller, gaining an additional 5 degrees of angle for more downforce, balancing out the changes made up front. The rear diffuser is also more aggressive. Further aero improvements come from the relocated exhaust outlets, which were moved inwards, just above the new diffuser.

Zenvo calls the changes “subtle,” reiterating that it did the job right the first time around, and that the minor tweaks were added for extra high-speed performance and a slightly sharper look.

The wheels are made from forged aluminum and come with motorsport-style center locks. As you’d expect, the rollers are massive, measuring in at 9.5x19 inches in front and 12.5x20 inches in back.

Following up on its promise of customizability, Zenvo will paint your TS1 in any color you’d like.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,665 MM (183.7 Inches)
Width 2,041 MM (80.4 Inches)
Height 1,198 MM (47.2 Inches)
Ground Clearance, Standard 160 MM (6.3 Inches)
Ground Clearance, Handling 110 MM (4.3 Inches)
Wheelbase 3,055 MM (120.3 Inches)

Interior

2017 Zenvo TS1 High Resolution Interior AutoShow
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2017 Zenvo TS1 High Resolution Interior AutoShow
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2017 Zenvo TS1 High Resolution Interior AutoShow
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Beyond that little combustion problem I mentioned in the intro, one of the main complaints made against the ST1 was that the interior was as drab and uninspiring as week-old unseasoned oatmeal. While generous with its portions of carbon fiber and Alcantara, the layout and look was nowhere near appropriate for the performance levels on tap.

There’s a new steering wheel, new seats, a new dashboard, and a new center console

Luckily, Zenvo addressed this issue with a total revamp of the cabin space. Not only is it supposedly much more comfortable, it actually looks like a proper hypercar cockpit now. There’s a new steering wheel, new seats, a new dashboard, and a new center console, and the color scheme offsets the driving position with a contrasting hue, emphasizing the “driver oriented” feel.

While not the craziest interior I’ve ever seen (Pagani, anyone?), the TS1 is a huge improvement over the ST1. Everything is geometric and sharp, manifesting that futuristic atmosphere needed for a car in this segment. There are hexagons everywhere – in the upholstery quilting, steering wheel, buttons, and console surrounds, all of which echo the shape of the front fascia. I also really like the climate control vents, which are segmented into three individual outlets.

Zenvo says buyers get to work with the design team directly when customizing their TS1’s interior, with “unlimited” options at their disposal. That includes leather, Alcantara, carbon fiber, and aluminum for the list of materials. No word yet on the availability of Nomex.

Interior Dimensions

Headroom 998 MM (39.3 Inches)
Legroom 1,109 MM (43.7 Inches)
Shoulder Room 1,395 MM (54.9 Inches)

Drivetrain

2017 Zenvo TS1 High Resolution Drivetrain AutoShow
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To better understand the evolution of the TS1’s drivetrain, let’s briefly dive into ST1’s engine bay, where we find a 6.8-liter V-8 boosted by both a supercharger and a turbocharger. All that displacement and forced induction is good for a total of 1,104 horsepower and 1,050 pound-feet of torque, which is routed to the rear wheels through either a seven-speed paddle-shifter automatic, or a six-speed manual transmission. A sprint from 0-to-62 mph takes 3.0 seconds.

The mid-engine, RWD layout remains the same, but the powerplant is all new – a 5.9-liter flat-plane crank V-8.

That’s the benchmark the TS1 has to meet, if not exceed. So then – what’s the strategy?

The mid-engine, RWD layout remains the same, but the powerplant is all new – a 5.9-liter flat-plane crank V-8. Developed in-house by Zenvo, the lump gets a twin centrifugal supercharger system from Rotrex, significantly heightening throttle response. Made from lightweight metals and using carbon-fiber inlet manifolds, the new engine also saves weight and lowers the car’s center of gravity.

But here’s the kicker – Zenvo declined to specify max output figures. We do know there will be three driving modes, with 650 horsepower available in “Wet,” and 850 horsepower available in “Sport,” but figures for the top-tier “Race” mode are yet to be announced as of this writing.

Acceleration figures are also under wraps. However, Zenvo did say that top speed will be electronically limited to an ST1-matching 233 mph.

All of this suggests two things. First, the car should theoretically exceed 233 mph without the nanny, which is pretty insane if you think about it. Second, the TS1 will probably out-accelerate the ST1, but Zenvo is still ironing out the details.

Whether or not my assumptions hold any truth, the TS1 will still be blisteringly fast.

Let’s move on to the transmission. Buyers get two to choose from, both with paddle-shifters – a seven-speed synchronized gearbox with full-auto mode, or a “race inspired” seven-speed with dog-engagement.

A dog box is an odd option for a street car, as it’s often too noisy and hardcore for civilian duty, but Zenvo says it achieved rpm control precise enough to make it viable. The automaker also says it’s the fastest single-clutch transmission available on a street car, with a mere 40 milliseconds required to swap gears.

Chassis And Handling

2017 Zenvo TS1 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Zenvo says the TS1 is lighter than the 3,700-pound ST1, but didn’t say by how much, maybe because it’s still tweaking the engine to find the best possible power-to-weight ratio.

The suspension is a double-wishbone set-up, with adjustable anti-roll bars, plus three-way adjustable shocks from KW

Whatever the reason, the TS1 uses a lightweight steel-aluminum monocoque, just like its predecessor. The suspension is a double-wishbone set-up, with adjustable anti-roll bars, plus three-way adjustable shocks from KW. There’s also a hydraulic lift system to keep that gaping maw away from unyielding speed bumps and steep angles.

The steering is rack and pinion, with 2.2 turns required lock-to-lock. The brakes are now larger, sourced from Brembo and made from carbon ceramic. There are 395 mm (15.6-inch) discs up front and 380 mm (15-inch) discs in back, with six-piston calipers in each corner.

Torsen provides the limited-slip differential, while Michelin provides its Pilot Super Sport 2 tires, measuring in at 275/35 ZR19 in front and 345/30 ZR20 in back.

Prices

Just like the ST1, the TS1 will be limited to only 15 units. Exact pricing is unavailable, but I expect a figure similar to the old model (800,000 euros, or $877,040 at current exchange rates, 03/02/2016).

Pre-orders are open now.

Competition

Apollo N

2017 Apollo N
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Following a corporate reboot in 2015, Gumpert is back, now flying under the banner Apollo and touting a pair of new performance vehicles. The first is called the Apollo N, and it’s got a twin-turbo V-8 good for 690 horsepower and 649 pound-feet of torque. That’s a lot less than what’s expected from the TS1, but the N weighs a lot less too, tipping the scales at just 2,646 pounds. The means 0-to-62 mph takes just three seconds, while top speed is 224 mph.

Read the full review on the Apollo N here.

Tushek TS600

2015 Tushek T600 High Resolution Exterior
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Tushek & Spigel are a fresh face in the exotic game, but they’re coming on strong with the TS600. Thanks to a mid-mounted 4.2-liter V-8 pilfered from the Audi R8, this lightweight sprints to 60 mph in less than three seconds, rocketing on to a top speed of 218 mph. It’s exclusive, too, with a total of just 33 units produced. Pricing, however, is far below that of the TS1, starting at $330,000.

Read the full review on the Tushek TS600 here.

Conclusion

2017 Zenvo TS1 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Oh, how quickly things change.

Not too long ago, a car like the TS1 would have completely baffled the imagination. Now, however, four-digits at the rear wheels, carbon-fiber everything, and a 230+ mph top speed is all pretty much expected.

Does that dilute the final product? Yes and no.

The recent proliferation of extreme performance vehicles is certainly at play when considering the reduced “wow factor” of the modern hypercar, but from a technical perspective, I think we’re rapidly entering territory that the layman has a hard time grasping.

For example, 230 mph isn’t just a little faster than 200 mph, it’s a lot faster. The amount of power and aero efficiency required to go that extra 30 mph is huge, and the fact we’re seeing so many street cars pushing so deep into territory once reserved for aircraft is simply amazing.

And that, in a somewhat circuitous way, brings me back to the TS1. This is a machine that’s pushing the envelope of what’s possible on four wheels, and in that respect, it should be celebrated. As an evolution of the ST1, Zenvo did a good job fixing what was wrong and keeping what was right. The only thing left are those final performance numbers, which I’m sure will be more than impressive.

And that’s good, because by the look of it, there’s an even bigger evolution waiting silently in the shadows…

  • Leave it
    • * No final performance numbers to go on
    • * Very expensive
    • * Plenty of competition
    • * Combustible past

Press Release

Zenvo – the Danish manufacturer of one of the most powerful hypercars in the world introduces a revised model at the 86th International Geneva Motor Show. The Zenvo TS1 combines new remarkable driving dynamics both on street and track, limitless options for customization, with luxury and exclusivity. The manufacturer is planning to build just fifteen cars, making every car a collector’s item.

2017 Zenvo TS1 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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The new Zenvo TS1 conforms to the traditions and principles of the Zenvo ST1 – the legendary Danish hypercar that took the automotive world by surprise in 2009 and was instantly nominated ‘Super Car of the Year’ after its debut at the Le Mans 24hrs ‘Drivers Parade’. The Zenvo ST1 series was limited to 15 hypercars, with a starting price of 800 000 Euro.

The evolutionary model Zenvo TS1 has retained its futuristic, aggressive Scandinavian design, top speed of 375 km/h, and day to day drivability. The refinements over the previous version have been driven by by the desire to fulfil the wishes of the clients and their desired driving experience.

The Zenvo TS1 is powered by a new in-house developed 5.9L lightweight fast revving Twin-Supercharged V8 flat-plane engine that provides high performance and reliability on the road.

According to Zenvo CTO Troels Vollertsen, the engine delivers instant throttle response, a wide torque curve and an incredible power output. The inlet manifolds are manufactured from carbon fibre resulting in significant weight saving on the engine unit and a lower centre of gravity comparing to the ST1.

Top speed is electronically limited to 375 km/h. The new hypercar is available with two types of gearbox: a 7-speed synchronized paddle shift gearbox with auto mode, and a 7-speed race inspired paddle shift gearbox with dog-engagement. This is the fastest shifting single clutch gearbox available in any street car today.

The exterior design has remained true to our core values. Zenvo chief designer Christian Brandt explains; ‘Every now and then with design you strike something that has timeless appeal. We believe the Zenvo has that appeal; that is why we have only introduced subtle changes to the design and made it a bit sharper and more aggressive in keeping with the more sporty credentials of the new engine. In order to optimize downforce the front splitter, rear wing and diffuser have redesigned. We have added a vertical wing in the intercooler inlet behind the doors in order to improve intercooler flow and efficiency. The rear bumper and exhaust system have also been modified’.

2017 Zenvo TS1 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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’In order to meet the customer requirements of a 2016 hypercar we decided to create a completely new interior for the TS1. In decades supercar manufactures have developed driver oriented sport car interiors. For the TS1 we have taken this concept to a new level through highlighting the driver’s side with a contrasting colour. The interior of the hypercar has dramatically changed, from the seats to the dashboard and centre console. The new interior has unlimited customization options of leather, Alcantara, carbon fibre and aluminium finish etc. We offer our clients the direct dialog with our design team in the process of designing every unique interior and in this way provide the option of our clients to become co-creators of their car’.

Like the previous model, the Zenvo TS1 will be limited to just 15 units. Our new hypercar has already drawn significant attention from car collectors all over the world and we have opened our pre-order list.
Furthermore, a Track-day concept of the TS1 named TSR will be unveiled in Geneva. The TSR have been developed specifically for track day use and is featuring heavy aerodynamic changes improving downforce as well as lower ground clearance and stiffer racing suspension. The car is a weight optimized and features a true minimalist racing interior with a roll cage, racing seats and 6 point seat belts.

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