BaT Find: Venturi 400 Trophy

Cars, Features I By Justin Cornelison I July 31, 2023
Venturi 400 Trophy Red

The Venturi 400 Trophy – the coolest car you’ve probably have never heard of.  Now you do – you’re welcome.  One is now available over on Bring a Trailer, which is fresh off the boat from Japan.  This 1992 Venturi 400 Trophy is the 50th of 73 examples built for competition in the single-make Gentleman Drivers Trophy series that was held on circuits around Europe between 1992 and 1995. Chassis 0050 was campaigned throughout the 1992 and 1993 Trophy seasons before moving to Japan, where it was modified for road use and appeared in a 1993 Best Motoring showdown between period supercars. Featuring carbon-Kevlar composite bodywork finished in red, the car is powered by a mid-mounted 2,975cc PRV 24-valve V6 that has been modified with HKS GT-SS turbochargers, coil-on-plug ignition, and MoTeC M48 engine management.

Now, who/what is Venturi?  It’s a bit complicated.  Gildo Pallanca Pastor, a billionaire from Monaco, bought the French sports car company when it filed for bankruptcy back in 2000.  Since then, they’ve been a confusing automotive “manufacturer” who have never really built anything to sell for actual road use.  Instead, they’ve focused on adventures, land speed records, Formula E, and now they are going to the moon, apparently.

However, the development of the Venturi 400 Trophy began in the late 1980s. It was based on the Venturi 260, an earlier model, but with significant improvements and modifications specifically aimed at motorsport. The car was designed to meet the requirements of the French one-make racing series called the Venturi Trophy, which was created to promote the brand and showcase the performance capabilities of their vehicles.

The Venturi 400 Trophy featured a lightweight and aerodynamic body, incorporating advanced materials to enhance its racing potential. Under the hood, it was equipped with a turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 engine developed in collaboration with renowned French engine builder, Renault Sport. This powerplant produced around 400 horsepower, giving the car its name “400 Trophy.”

In 1991, the Venturi 400 Trophy made its debut in the Venturi Trophy racing series. The championship provided a competitive environment for amateur and professional drivers to showcase their skills behind the wheel of the Venturi sports cars. The one-make format ensured that each driver had the same machinery, placing the emphasis on driver ability and promoting close racing.

The Venturi 400 Trophy proved to be a potent contender in the series, demonstrating a good balance of power, handling, and reliability. The car’s striking appearance, combined with its impressive performance, garnered attention not only from fans but also from other racing enthusiasts and potential buyers.

Unfortunately, the Venturi Trophy series faced challenges, and the motorsport venture was relatively short-lived. Financial difficulties and changes in motorsport regulations contributed to the decline of the championship. As a result, the Venturi 400 Trophy’s racing career was cut short, and its participation in competitive events became limited.

Nonetheless, the Venturi 400 Trophy left a lasting impact as a symbol of Venturi’s commitment to high-performance sports cars. Its brief racing history showcased the brand’s engineering capabilities and helped solidify Venturi’s reputation in the automotive world.

We’d wish they would have continued down the sports car path, especially with electric vehicles.  When the original Tesla Roadster came out twenty years ago, an electric Venturi sports car could have made great competition.

For now, let’s revel in the beauty the brand used to be:




Venturi 400 Trophy Rear


Venturi 400 Trophy Engine



Venturi 400 Trophy Interior


Venturi 400 Trophy Vintage


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