Venturi Atlantique

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Venturi Atlantique
Venturi 300 Atlantique 3.4 front.jpg
Manufacturer Venturi Automobiles
Production 1991-2000
Assembly Couëron, Pays de la Loire, France
Designer Claude Poiraud, Gérard Godfroy
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door coupe
Layout mid-engine, rear-wheel drive

2.8L V6 turbo

3.0L V6 N/A, turbo or biturbo
Transmission 5-speed manual transmission

The Venturi Atlantique was a mid-engined, fiberglass-bodied French sports car produced by Venturi Automobiles from 1991 to 2000.

Atlantique 260[edit]

The original 260 was a revised version of the Venturi APC 260, carrying over the 2.8L turbocharged V6 engine with 260 hp (194 kW; 264 PS), but with a reduced weight of 1,110 kg (2,450 lb). It was good for a top speed of 167 miles per hour (269 km/h) and accelerated from 0-60 miles per hour (97 km/h) in 5.2 seconds.

Atlantique 300[edit]

Scotsman Hubert O'Neill purchased Venturi in 1994 and conceived of the Venturi 400GT as well as a revised Atlantique. After a rushed design time of six months, the new Atlantique 300 was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show. Its 3.0 PRV V6 engine was lifted from other Peugeot/Citroën models and was good for 210 hp (157 kW; 213 PS) in naturally aspirated form or 281 hp (210 kW; 285 PS) with a turbocharger which was essentially the same engine as used in the Alpine A610.

Venturi again went into receivership in 1996, and was bought by Thai firm Nakarin Benz, under whom the company focused its concentration upon road cars. The biturbo version Atlantique 300 was released in 1998 and used the later L7X V6 which brought the power up to 310 hp (231 kW; 314 PS). With a top speed of 171 miles per hour (275 km/h) and a 0-60 miles per hour (97 km/h) time of 4.9 seconds, this addition made the Atlantique a serious performance competitor to the Lotus Esprit V8.

Reception and fate[edit]

Venturi Atlantique twin-turbo

Sales of the Atlantique were extremely poor; total Venturi sales over its lifespan amounted to fewer than 700, despite praise from contemporary critics and from Top Gear. In a 1992 episode, Jeremy Clarkson noted that the two most exciting sports cars of the time were the Alpine A610 and the Venturi Atlantique, and that the Atlantique was "like having your own personal jet fighter [...] I love it to death." In comparing the biturbo Atlantique and the Lotus Esprit, Performance Car noted that the Atlantique was "[...] a more relaxing car to drive, its tidier dimensions make it easier to place, it rides more smoothly, generates far less road noise, and has a much slicker gearchange. It's better built too."

Venturi again faced bankruptcy in 2000, and the Atlantique went out of production. Although current owner Gildo Pallanca Pastor, a Monegasque millionaire, has resumed production of Venturi cars, he has shifted the emphasis to electric sports cars such as the Venturi Fétish, retiring the Atlantique badge. Company production will be even more limited at 10 units per year.