1,177-hp Zenvo TSR-S offers "brutal" gearshifts and extreme active aerodynamics
It might look a bit like a Nissan with a body kit stuck on, but Denmark's Zenvo TSR-S is an absolute brute of a hypercar. Its twin-supercharged, 5.8-liter V8 is good for 1,177 hp (878 kW), and it rocks a fascinating double-action transmission as well as the most active rear wing we've seen.
Conceived as a race car for the street, the Zenvo TSR-S is an ultra-exclusive, five-units-per-year slice of rolling unobtanium that focuses far more on performance than visual impact.
There are three engine modes. "Minimum" gives you a mere 700 hp (522 kW) for if you're letting your teenager drive, "IQ" mode is a high-performance street driving mode that uses traction control to give you as much power as the tire-to-road interface can handle, while "Maximum" unleashes the full 1,177 hp and you'd better have your wits about you.
Going from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) is a ballistic 2.8-second proposition – that's almost electric powertrain territory – but the top speed is limited to 325 km/h (202 mph). This is a hard-cornering track beast, not a top speed machine.
The gearbox is a 7-speed paddle shift auto with helical-cut dog gears and two modes – road and race. Normally, that'd mean when you choose the sportier option, the transmission would hang onto gears a bit longer, switch down quicker and give you access to more revs. This goes a little further. I think it's worth quoting Zenvo's press release here:
"In Road setting, the gearchange is electronic, with sensors adjusting the gearchange to remove the harshness so often experienced by a dog box, for a more a more relaxing drive in everyday use. In Race setting, the brutal direct mechanical power-shift gearchange is one of the fastest-shifting powertrains in existence."
That might be the first time we've ever heard a manufacturer describe its own transmission as "brutal," and as a result we're inclined to believe it.
So the powertrain definitely qualifies as capital "E" Extreme (if you quietly discount the fact that electric hypercars are now making even stupider amounts of power), but the TSR-S also offers a fascinating twist on the aerodynamics of the rear wing.
Like many hypercars, the Zenvo's rear wing can tilt fully upright to act as an air brake at high speeds, slamming extra weight on the rear wheels to maximize stopping power. But it also tilts sideways during cornering – go hard left, and the wing will rise on the left-hand side to catch extra air and push the inside rear tire harder onto the ground as it wants to lift.
The wing tilt also creates a centripetal aerodynamic force pulling the car towards the inside of the corner. This must be an astounding car to throw into a fast corner at sketchy speeds; Zenvo says these active aeros help keep grip at the back end to a maximum.
We're not sure it looks like the most sophisticated system in the world, though; the one video we've seen of it operating makes it appear that the wing literally tilts as you turn the steering wheel. It goes without saying that once you're going fast enough to make use of active cornering aeros, you won't be reefing the steering wheel to its stops. We hope and assume that this is just for show at low speeds and things get a lot smarter when you're really going for broke. If not, it would appear to be a pretty crass gimmick.
While Zenvo conceives this as "a usable, easy-to-drive hypercar for the road," don't go looking for comfort on the base model. There's no stereo, no sat-nav, no air-con, no airbags and no fancy electric seats. Such things come with a weight penalty and are thus only offered as options.
Zenvo says "clients can specify any level of equipment they desire," which is fair enough given that only five are made per year. The team seems pretty keen on sticking the buyer's national flag in the cockpit somewhere, but honestly, that would appear to suggest people are buying these things to keep them and personalize them. Our suspicion is that the majority of these things will rarely see the road or track, and will spend most of their time sitting in collectors' showrooms.
The price? Not disclosed, but we'd imagine it's something like "be born rich, or sacrifice your life at the altar of accumulation." If you're one of those lucky or hardworking enough to make this a relevant question, then give Zenvo a ring during Danish business hours.
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On a racetrack it is best to tilt the wing to its optimum angle regardless of road speed. I would expect the wing to tilt to its maximum as soon as the steering wheel is turned by some small amount. It would probably stay there (even if the wheel is straightened or turned to "opposite lock") provided a lateral G force sensor indicates cornering hasn't reversed direction.