Dutch company previews upcoming V8-powered sports car

Vencer says that the Sarthe was designed as a subtle tribute to cars built during the LeMans era of the 1980s.

The auto industry is full of tiny companies that try to make a name for themselves by producing hand-built sports cars in limited numbers.

One of the latest such creations comes to us from Vencer, a Dutch automaker that opened its doors recently. It is a two-seater sports car with a tubular frame called Sarthe.

The Sarthe borrows Corvette and McLaren styling cues but Vencer says that it was designed as a subtle tribute to cars built during what it calls the LeMans era in the 1980s.

The Sarthe is powered by a mid-mounted V8 engine that is rated at 510 horsepower and 480 foot-pounds of torque. Vencer did not mention where the engine comes from but it is likely pulled out of General Motors' parts bin.

The eight-cylinder mill is bolted to a six-speed manual transaxle that sends power to the 20-inch rear wheels. Vencer claims that the Sarthe can hit 62 miles per hour from a dead stop in just 3.8 seconds. It goes on to a top speed of just over 200 miles per hour.

Unlike many similar sports cars the Sarthe is relatively well-equipped. It comes with hand-stitched leather-upholstered bucket seats, a modern infotainment system commanded via a LCD screen integrated into the dash, power windows and an automatic A/C unit. Driving aids are limited to ABS and traction control.

The Sarthe measures 163 inches long, 77 inches wide and merely 46 inches high. It registers precisely 3,042 pounds on the scale; 45% of that weight is on the front while the rest lies on the rear.

Vencer did not specify how many examples of the Sarthe it plans on building, when production is scheduled to start or how much each one will cost. The car is still at the prototype stage and a fully-functional model has yet to be built.