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 Godfroy as MVS (Manufacture de Voitures de Sport), the company's purpose was to compete in the "Grand Tourisme" market. This was only the most recent post-war attempt at building a sporty luxury car in France, following in the footsteps of Facel Vega, Monica, and Ligier. The headquarters of the company were located in Couëron, Pays de Loire, where almost 750 cars were produced in 20 years. From 1987 to the mid-1990s, they built mid-engined coupés and roadsters with turbocharged PRV engines and Renault gearboxes. Engine power ranged from 160 to 260 PS (118 to 191 kW) for the MVS Venturi Coupé, in 200, 300, 400 and Transcup Cabriolet series.
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 English Aston Martin, the Italian Ferrari, and the German Porsche. The first car shown had a Volkswagen Golf GTi engine and the name was originally spelled "Ventury", with a "y" at the end. In 1985, the car was shown with a 200 PS (147 kW) Peugeot 505 Turbo engine, but by the 1986 Paris Motor Show it had reached its definitive form with the PRV V6 engine and on BBS wheels. The same mid-engine setup as in the Renault Alpine V6 GT Turbo. With a weight of just 1200 kg and an output of 200 horsepower 100 km/h was reached in seven seconds. Only at 245 km/h the acceleration ended , partly thanks to its favorable Cd value 0.31. Production began in 1987, with five type “210” cars built in the first year.
Just over two hundred pieces of the “210” left the factory in 1989 before the first major changes were presented The main one was the engine. The power of the PRV V6 engine was enlarged to over 260 horsepower. By a larger bore and stroke, the engine became a 2.8 liter, still with a Garrett T3 turbo. That gave a rather brutal turbo lag: up to 3000 RPM nothing happened. Above 3000 rpm the car became a catapult on the boulevard. From 1989 on the MVS brand name got lost and under new ownership the car went further as Venturi 260 through life. He scored very well in several serious tests and here and there the cars was even better as its competitors (like the Lotus Esprit) down on issues such as handling, finishing and everyday usability.
In 1989, there was a gorgeous convertible version appeared, the Venturi Transcup.
Under the new management Venturi also took serious steps in racing and took part in the FIA GT races with the 400 GTR. A derivative street version, the 400 GT was launched in 1994 in a limited series of 15 pieces on the market. A 3.0-liter midengine V6 with two turbochargers and intercoolers. resulted in an output of 408 horsepower, without turbo lag. The Car weighed less than 1200 kg, reached nearly 300 km/ h and acceleration to 100 km/h was covered in just over 4 seconds. Was the Venturi 260 still looks pretty stylish and civilized, the 400 GT set an enormous aesthetic leap with his wide body and exuberant spoilers. At that time it was the fastest French car ever. Moreover, it was the first supercar with ceramic brakes.. But still it was based on the old Venturi model, which had been on the market for almost ten years.
In 1996 the design changed when the Atlantique 300 was launched. With approximately the same, excellent chassis as its predecessor, the supercar now looked much more aerodynamic and potent, but still very recognizable as a Venturi. In the Atlantique 300 the same 3.0-liter V6 block served as the 400 GT, only now with a single turbo delivering a power output of 281 hp.
The 300 Biturbo received the new 24-valve 3.0 liter PRV V6 block in 1998, now with dual turbo. The extra Turbo of the Biturbo delivered 30 Bhp more, to 310 horses, sufficient for a top speed of some 280 km / h and a sprint to 100 km/h in less than five seconds. And despite the fact that the handling, performance and finish with this model were brought to a higher level, only a hundred cars were built of the Atlantique before factory went bankrupt in 2000..
As for its predecessors, Venturi was immediately faced with many challenges ranging from an unknown name to its under-capitalized and under-staffed state. Venturi did nonetheless manage to continue in production for nearly sixteen years. Monegasque Gildo Pallanca Pastor purchased Venturi, and decided to focus on electric-powered engines. This change of direction led to the limited-production Fétish.