Venturi or Automobiles Venturi achieved iconic status as a prime manufacturer of sports cars. At the height of its involvement in car racing, it competed toe to toe with Italy’s Ferrari, the French Bugatti and the German Porsche. These industry giants dominated the racing circuit in Europe. In fact, countless times have the Venturi shown superiority against its acknowledged rivals. But in 2001, Monegasque millionaire Gildo Pallanca Pastor bought the rights to the French Automobile Company and soon enough diverted focus to the production of eco-friendly, green cars.
Under new management, Venturi produced the world’s first ever two-seater electric sports car and aptly named it the Venturi Fetish, produced from its Monaco facility. It could have made a big splash over green car advocates but production has been limited to only 25 vehicles. Thus, worldwide only a select few can test the viability of the Venturi Fetish as a sports car, the rest will simply think of it as a concept car.
The Fetish has been designed to perform comparably with sports cars. Equipped with petrol-powered engines, its batteries can produce 250 horsepower (180kW) with acceleration gauged at 0-100kph (0-60mph) for just less than 5 seconds, according to a 2007 press review. Achieving a top speed of 160 kph (100mph) however falls way below its gas-powered counterparts. Nevertheless, this is already considered respectable since the Fetish runs on only on a single gear and is devoid of a need for a sophisticated transmission system. The torque runs constant at 200 Nm and translates this into a ratio of 9.58: 1.
One aspect that makes the car smart is its electric traction motor. The motor delivers constant Nm torque in all phases of the car’s speed spectrum, including the dead stop phase, unlike combustion engines where torque is delivered progressively and full power is only available at defined rpm ranges. The company specification has indicated Lithium-Ion accumulators as the battery pack and the car covers a maximum range of 250 kilometers on one full charge. Complete battery recharging can de done in an hour (under 30kW three phase) and 3 hours on a standard home outlet via its built-in charger.
The Fetish is built lightweight, made entirely of carbon fiber that employed extensive use of available technologies, particularly from the aeronautics sector. It is completely controlled by microprocessors; the intention being to encourage satisfying drives while ensuring reliability and safety while on the road. To promote the viability of an electric car as a major mode of transport, the Venturi Fetish has embarked on a 2-year world trip. The result has been gratifying so far for this changed public perception over its system.
The design innovation expounded by Venturi shows that there is a better and exciting alternative to petrol powered cars. This suggests that the very essence of automobile tradition – rarity, character and passion are all embodied in this compact electric sports car. Some of it may have found expression in the smooth and delicately formed front wings, projecting brutish appeal and agility, contours that mimic ballet dancers in motion and a general feel and passion reminiscent of cars in the 1950s.