► A cool £1.4 million supercar
► Flat-six turbo sourced from Ruf
► We ride up the Goodwood hill
W Motors is likely a brand you’ve never heard of, but there’s a good chance you’ve seen one of its cars before. If you’ve seen Fast and Furious 7, you’ll recognise the W Motors Lykan HyperSport as the car that double-jumps across three skyscrapers. It’s a memorably silly moment in a film that also includes a character called Mr Nobody, and a weapon called God’s Eye.
But the high-adrenaline Fast and Furious franchise seems a world away as we wait at the bottom of the Goodwood hillclimb. We’re in the passenger seat of a W Motors Fenyr SuperSport, with test driver, racer and W Motors creative director Benoit Fraylon at the wheel – and it’s pouring with rain.
Our guide to the Goodwood Festival of Speed
What is the Fenyr SuperSport?
The slow crawl to the grid gives me time to quiz Ben, and also take a look at the car we’ll be taking up the hill. Despite its SuperSport moniker, the Fenyr is actually more powerful than the Lykan HyperSport it follows. Obviously, the naming department forgot to plan ahead.
The car we’re sitting in is an evolution of the previous model, and keeps many of the same ingredients. The looks are contemporary, to say the least: a mix of manga robot and jet fighter – but the engine behind our passenger seat is not at all sci-fi.
Rather than a V8, V12 or electrified powertrain, W Motors has opted for a turbocharged flat-six sourced from Ruf. Putting out 789bhp and 723lb ft torque, its compact size means it can be buried deeper and lower in the chassis than the usual V-configuration block, aiding the centre of gravity and chassis performance. It’s mated to a seven-speed semi-automatic gearbox.
Inside Ruf: join us inside the famous Porsche tuner
The boxer six is mounted so deep inside the Fenyr that there’s no engine viewing platform like you’d find in most mid-engined supercars – just layers of glass and carbon wrapping over the top, like a mechanical lasagne. And while the engine may be hard to see, the cooling for it is everywhere! There are so many cooling ducts peppering the front, side and roof, it looks like someone’s taken a hacksaw to the bodywork to let that muscular flat six breathe.
What’s it like inside?
Typical Goodwood queuing on the startline gives us a chance to pore over the W Motors’ interior. We’re definitely in a prototype, and one thrown together a little while ago. The switchgear doesn’t really match, the infotainment looks low-res and old, while the machine marks on the car’s metal nameplate are still visible.
I’m told all of this will change once the car hits production – it’s due to be built in a Dubai-based factory later in 2019. Expect a newer infotainment screen that mirrors your smartphone, and a generally premium feel. One thing that will stay, however, is a neat digital rev-counter that sits just in front of the passenger. It’s an entertaining bit of showmanship and reminds us that this car is designed to be as much of a spectacle as a high-performance tool.
Off the start line
The Fenyr SuperSport tries to bolt off the line, but as that Ruf flat-six behind us comes to life – and it sounds extraordinary – so does a good dose of wheelspin. As you’d expect, this much torque and this much moisture don’t really agree, and the back of the car slithers around for what seems like half an hour. We’re nowhere near the SuperSport’s 2.8 second 0-62mph time.
Eventually some of that torque grips the ground and we’re off. It’s wet, so this run is a measured, careful blast up the Duke of Richmond’s driveway rather than a full-bore assault – this car is worth £1.4 million, remember – but it still gives a chance to feel how poised the chassis is.
Although it’s stiff and skittery, our pilot is able to point the car where he wants, and then play with the throttle on corner exits. In the wet we’re barely scratching the surface – but finding the limit in the dry would surely be an altogether other-worldly experience. We’re also more likely to feel the effects of the car’s active aero on a higher-speed run.
What we can talk about is the stonking engine that powers the W Motors Fenyr SuperSport. A slap of torque spins the rear tyres in first and second, delivering a soundtrack that is mechanical but violent, and classic Porsche.
W Motors Fenyr SuperSport: early verdict
This is the first hillclimb run of the day, and my passenger ride in the Porsche Taycan will be the last at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed. And while this car from Dubai sounds more like a classic machine from Stuttgart, Ben tells me that an EV powertrain is on the cards for W Motors, too. There’s no firm when or how – though a previous engineering link with Rimac suggests one plausible route – but we now know that W Motors will be competing with the Pininfarina Battista and Nio EP9 soon enough.
Unlike the Fast and Furious franchise, we might have to take the Fenyr SuperSport and its forthcoming EV counterpart very seriously indeed.
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