A bleak February afternoon was to become very colourful as I parked outside the Zenvo factory in Præstø, an hour’s drive south of Copenhagen. Throughout Zenvo’s eleven years, they have presented cars in a wide variety of colours, ranging from modest brown to striking turquoise, and their design language has always been recognizable as an original look. From the first ST1 model, Zenvo have moved on to the TS1, the race-spec TSR, and now with the the Geneva launch of the TSR-S, the model range counts three cars. But let’s first return to February, where PR man Peter Van Rooy welcomed me into his office for a quick chat.
After sharing a few words about Zenvo’s past and future, we headed out into the production facilities. The Zenvo factory has recently been revamped and increased in size, and the various production areas appeared to be well-functioning. It’s always impressive when a small manufacturer decided to do as much as possible in-house, such as electronics and carbon fibre moulding, but I guess it would also be quite costly to order externally for such low volume production. Zenvo have produced twelve cars so far, and I was somewhat surprised to find the majority of these dwelling inside the factory.
I counted four cars in production, one in early stages and three nearing completion. The main attraction was of course the new TSR-S being prepared for its launch a few weeks later. Zenvo’s co-founder and CTO Troels Vollertsen was hands-on together with several of his colleagues to get things just as they should be on the new car. The new headlight cluster gave the new car a more modern fascia than its siblings, but what really caught my eyes was the daring combination of red and orange paint. Surprisingly, it worked quite well, as was also apparent when the car caught the spotlight in Geneva.
After the factory tour, I was invited for a ride in the TS1 prototype, and Peter drove me around a few local roads to give me a taste of what the car offers. Seeing as they were small public roads, what could be demonstrated in terms of acceleration, speed and handling was highly limited. However, I found the inside of the TS1 a pleasant place to be, with ample room, good outward visibility and sufficient presence from the twin-supercharged V8 in the engine bay. I hope that a later visit will allow me to take it out myself for a longer drive to find out more about it.
Fast forward to early March in Geneva – the TSR-S in launched, and it’s immediately obvious why the car had no wing mounted when I saw it at the factory; the rear wing is unlike any other I have seen, as it tilts both longitudinally and transversely. Vollertsen tells me this was an idea he had been playing with since last summer, and simulations indicate that the angled downforce creates a significant increase in road holding ability during cornering. It will be highly interesting to see what real-life testing says. Oh, and about that later visit to the Zenvo factory, I’d be happy to take the TSR-S out for that drive and let the TS1 rest a bit.