Venturi Automobiles

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Venturi Automobiles
Type Private
Industry Automotive
Founded 1984
Founder(s) Claude Poiraud
Gérard Godefro
Headquarters Fontvieille, Monaco
Key people Gildo P. Pastor, (CEO & Chairmen)
Owner(s) Gildo P. Pastor (100%)
Employees 140 (2012 est.)[1][2][3]
Divisions Venturi North America
Subsidiaries Voxan (100%)
Website http://www.venturi.fr/

Venturi Automobiles is a French-founded Monegasque-based multinational automotive manufacturer, that designs, manufactures, and sells luxury electric vehicles. Founded in 1984 by engineers Claude Poiraud and Gérard Godefro as MVS (Manufacture de Voitures de Sport), the company's sole purpose was to compete in the "Grand Tourisme" market. However, this plan was immediately faced with many challenges, among them was Venturi's almost unknown existence outside of France, another was Venturi's under-capitalized and under-staffed state. This resulted in Venturi declaring bankruptcy in 2000, nearly sixteen years after its foundation. In 2001, Monegasque Gildo Pallanca Pastor purchased Venturi, and decided to focus on electric-powered engines. This change of direction led to the limited-production Fétish.

In December 2009, Venturi announced its acquisition of French motorcycle manufacturer Voxan. The acquisition would effectively allow Venturi to enter the motorcycle market. In August 2011, Venturi announced the creation of Venturi North America, based in Columbus, Ohio. Venturi North America was primarily created as a research and development center, and as such, maintains a close working relationship with the Center for Automotive Research.

History[edit]

The first Venturi came out in 1984, created by Claude Poiraud and Gérard Godfroy, two former engineers at Heuliez. The goal was to present the only "Grand Tourisme" French car capable of competing with the French Bugatti, the Italian Ferrari, and the German Porsche. The headquarters of the company were located in Couëron, Pays de Loire, where almost 750 cars were produced in 20 years.

Venturi 260 LM 3.4

From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, they built mid-engined coupés and roadsters with turbocharged PRV engines and Renault gearboxes. Engine power ranged from 213 to 264 PS (194 kW) for the Venturi Atlantique series.

A limited-edition 400 GTR was built for racing homologation requirements and later used in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Venturi was also briefly involved with the Larrousse Formula One team. The team's 1992 car, which bore the Venturi name, was designed and built by Venturi Larousse UK, a British company formerly known as Fomet 1, which had previously designed the 1991 Fondmetal Formula One cars.[4] The 400 GT remains one of the best performing French cars ever produced, and it is in fact the very first car in the world to have standard carbon brakes. True to that claim, the Atlantique 400 GT with a 408 hp (304 kW; 414 PS) V6 3.0 24v DOHC twin-turbo delivered excellent performance to put it on par with Ferraris of the early 90s. The 400 GT could hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.7 seconds and 291 km/h (181 mph) top speed, while the 300GT with a 314 PS (231 kW) V6 did 4.9 seconds to 100 km/h (62 mph) and went all the way to 171 mph (275 km/h).

Venturi Transcup 210

High-level competition has also brought fame to the brand. Stéphane Ratel, who would later found the FIA GT Championship, was at the origin of the Venturi Gentlemen Drivers Trophy, which gathered an impressive array of 75 drivers. Venturi has also won fame through its brilliant performances in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, particularly in 1993 with Christophe Dechavanne and Jacques Laffite on Venturi Jaccadi team, and in 1995 with Paul Belmondo racing on the 600 SLM.

However, it is in the BPR Global GT Series races that Venturi established its pedigree defeating Porsche and Ferrari on several occasions. In 1994 in Dijon-Prenois, with Ferté and Neugarten on the 600 LM Jaccadi, at the 1000 km of Paris with Henri Pescarolo and Jean-Claude Basso on the 600 LM, and finally at the 4 Hours Spa race, once again with Michel Ferté and Michel Neugarten.

Revival[edit]

Venturi Fétish in a showroom

In 2001, the Monegasque millionaire Gildo Pallanca Pastor bought Venturi and decided to focus on electric-powered engines,[5] leading to the Fétish model. More recent models are the Eclectic, the world's first energy-autonomous vehicle, a low speed vehicle that has solar panels and a built-in wind charger and can be plugged in and the Astrolab, the world's first solar-electric hybrid car. There has been about 60-65 orders for the Fétish, but only about 30 have been delivered as of 2011.

List of models[edit]

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)

Year Entrant Engine(s) Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points WCC
1992 Central Park Venturi Larrousse Lamborghini V12 G RSA MEX BRA ESP SMR MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR JPN AUS 1 11th
Bertrand Gachot Ret 11 Ret Ret Ret 6 DSQ Ret Ret 14 Ret 18 Ret Ret Ret Ret
Ukyo Katayama 12 12 9 DNQ Ret DNPQ Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 17 9 Ret 11 Ret

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Officials[edit]

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