Home » Denmark’s Only Supercar Has An 1850 HP Bespoke V12 Engine And Gauges That Physically Flip From Analog To Digital

Denmark’s Only Supercar Has An 1850 HP Bespoke V12 Engine And Gauges That Physically Flip From Analog To Digital

Zenvo Aurora Top
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Quick, what are the two things you think of first when you hear “Denmark?” If you’re like most people, you think of those round metal cans that pretend to hold cookies but really hold sewing supplies, and then maybe you think of, I don’t know, Hamlet. But what you likely don’t think of are supercars, because, generally, the Danes haven’t exactly been cranking those out. But, that may be changing, because while at Pebble Beach this year we got to see, as is tradition, at least one wildly over-the-top supercar, only this time that supercar was from Denmark. It’s called a Zenvo Aurora, and we got to check one out and talk to Zenvo’s bigshot Jens Sverdrup about just what we were looking at.

Auroras

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Generally, I don’t really know what to do with supercars. They’re often beautiful and technically wondrous things, pushing the limits of design and technology and, hell, sometimes even physics. But they’re also so rare and wildly expensive and the ones that do get sold tend to hardly be driven at all, living their inert lives in climate-controlled storage. They’re so far removed from the world I inhabit, I just can’t get that excited about them. It’d be like going to a museum and falling in love with the statue of some ancient god; sure, you can see objectively why it could happen, but it’s fundamentally an exercise in uselessness.

And, look, if I’m absolutely, painfully honest, I still feel that way! If I’m going to be really, really honest I have to tell you that Matt really wanted me to write this up, to frame the little video/interview we shot, and I’m happy to do that, because the interview is great, and I know Beau really enjoys and appreciates these cars, so it’s great to see him all excited about it.

Really, there’s a lot to be excited about: just the fact that the company is developing their own bespoke V12 engine is remarkable enough! In this era of transition to EVs, it’s very likely that that could be the last new V12 to be developed, ever? Could that be? Perhaps another niche maker might come up with one, but at the moment, I think the V12 being developed for this car has a good claim on being at least one of the last.

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Zenvov12

Zenvo is partnering with MAHLE Powertrain to develop the engine, so it’s not like they’re trying to figure out everything on their own. The engine is going to be a 6.6-liter quad-turbo that should make an I guess adequate 1250 horsepower at 8,000 RPM, and can rev to a motorcycle-seeming 9,800 RPM if you’re, say, towing a moon. The drivetrain is planned to be a hybrid, so there’s also a 600 hp electric motor for that absurd total of 1850 hp.

You’ll also be happy to note in the video we did ask about any potential conflict with Oldsmobile about the use of the name “Aurora.” Jens seemed pretty confident that it’s not a problem since Oldsmobile is very, very dead, but their parent GM isn’t, so I am mildly curious if they’re going to have to cut some sort of deal. Also, the logo for the Zenvo Aurora and the old Olds Aurora aren’t all that different, really:

Aurora Logos

I mean, look at those Rs! Sure, it’s a bit more canted rightwards and they’ve eliminated the crossbars from the As, likely for weight reasons, but we’re not talking about a radically different look, here. Maybe they need to be a bit careful.

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If we accept that every car has a punctum, some sort of key detail that encapsulates the essence of it, then I think for the Zenvo it might be the mechanically-flipping round dials on the dash, which have digital LCD screens on one side and mechanical analogue gauges on the other. If there’s any part to pause and re-watch in the video, that’s the bit, because it’s a very cool party trick, and if I were on Zenvo’s engineering team, it’s the little motors that do the gauge-flipping I’d spend the most effort on, because those will likely rack up more miles than any other part.

Gaugeflip

It’s very satisfying. And it’s also the smallest CarPlay screen I’ve seen, but I think it should be usable enough? I mean, really, who cares, you’re just going to be flipping these things around all the time, anyway.

Here, you need a GIF of it:

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These Auroras are striking designs, full of improbable gaps and visible components and doors that open in exciting ways and are, really, every inch a supercar, whether they’re Danish or not. It’s exceedingly unlikely I’ll ever get to drive one of these or perhaps even interact with one again, and my work puts me in more positions to possibly do so than you’d think. So, for all of you that adore supercars, I can happily say this Zenvo Aurora absolutely seems to be a fine example of this rarified breed.

As for me, though, I’m more excited to figure out when I could possibly import a first-gen Citroën Cactus to America. And I’m fine with that.

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Ben
Ben
9 months ago

The engine is going to be a 6.6-liter quad-turbo that should make an I guess adequate 1250 horsepower at 8,000 RPM, and can rev to a motorcycle-seeming 9,800 RPM if you’re, say, towing a moon. The drivetrain is planned to be a hybrid, so there’s also a 600 hp electric motor for that absurd total of 1850 hp.

Is the mistake here Jason’s or is the company actually quoting 1850 HP? Because if it’s the latter I suddenly find I have a lot of skepticism about this.

The flipping gauges are cool though.

The Artist Formerly Known as the Uncouth Sloth
The Artist Formerly Known as the Uncouth Sloth
9 months ago
Reply to  Ben

not a typo. 1,250 from the ICE and another 600 from the EV.

Ben
Ben
9 months ago

But that’s not how it works, unless they’re quoting peak HP from the electric motor at the same RPM as the ICE peak, which nobody does. Peak HP from a hybrid system is never just the peak HP of both power sources added together.

Black Peter
Black Peter
9 months ago

This is twice I’ve seen this engine, and I have questions.. I’m seeing “reverse” flow, as in the exhaust is in the V and intake on the outside, OK, feeds the 4 turbos well. However what do the turbo inlet pipes looks like, not to mention the dumps? The rear 2 turbos seem to have exits, the front two, have um, weird bulbus things. Are they feeding back to the rear turbos?

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
9 months ago
Reply to  Black Peter

Same question here. I am guessing the front two (I’m assuming the front is to our left) exit beneath the rear two. The promotional video I found while searching for more info on the engine was pretty cringey to me-wolves and water ripples and force-of-nature suggestions that didn’t appeal to me at all.

But, at 4 million before customization, I’m not the intended audience

Black Peter
Black Peter
9 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Are these just NFTs for sultans?

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
9 months ago
Reply to  Black Peter

Great comment!
-especially as I happened to hear earlier that NFTs are essentially worthless. 4 out of 5 collections remain unsold. Little schadenfreude here, yeah…

Black Peter
Black Peter
9 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

New report from industry researchers finds that 95 percent of the once-hyped crypto assets have hit rock-bottom valuation.
clarkson-ohno-anyway.gif

Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
9 months ago

Where is the video?

Dom
Dom
9 months ago

“they’ve eliminated the crossbars from the As, likely for weight reasons”
Lol

Phuzz
Phuzz
9 months ago

Also, the logo for the Zenvo Aurora and the old Olds Aurora aren’t all that different, really:

The ‘Au’ in the hypercar’s name is a dead ringer for the Autopian logo text. Just saying.

And Denmark is the land of Lego, bacon, and kings who’s name you have to be very careful to spell correctly. (Cnut)

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago

Quick, what are the two things you think of first when you hear “Denmark?”

Legos and this:

https://www.pcgamesn.com/minecraft/breaking-gamers-invade-denmark-devastate-entire-nation

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
9 months ago

Looks like it’s time for an update:
*in Mad Max mechanic voice*
“Yeah, the last of the V12s.”

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
9 months ago

That’s a weird Oldsmobile, but I like what they’ve done with the brand.

Drg84
Drg84
9 months ago
Reply to  Shop-Teacher

As an Aurora driver I have contacted my local GM dealership about trading it in for the new Aurora. They haven’t gotten back to me yet.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
9 months ago
Reply to  Drg84

You’ve kept one running? Good for you! First or second gen?

My dad bought an emerald green ’95 with the Autobahn package off lease in ’97. It did not go well. That thing was pretty constantly in the shop. Mom traded it in for a new Bravada while we were on vacation in early 2001, and never let dad buy her a car again.

I got to drive it a few times, and was impressed with how quick and how well such a big front wheel drive sedan could handle.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
9 months ago

“and mechanical analogue gauges on the other”

Are they really mechanical though, or just digitial converted to a physical gauge like most modern gauges?

It would be interesting if they are truly mechanical as the gauges would continue to work when they are backwards (and upside down). Unless they are somehow uncoupling the cables that drive the gauges when they turn around.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago

The cables could be routed through the pivots.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

that’s what I’m picturing and for some reason I think it would really neat if it were true and they still functioned when flipped around.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago

Have a camera focused on them when flipped and display the image on the screen because why not?

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
9 months ago

That Citröen Cactus will feel right at home in the US: The rear windows don’t open..

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago

“The rear windows don’t open..”

If that’s all you want you can go buy a 3rd gen Dodge Caravan RIGHT NOW!

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

My thoughts were on Miami’s Bob Mayer testing crap malaise era four doors 😉

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago

You can buy those here RIGHT NOW too ????

EricTheViking
EricTheViking
9 months ago

So nice to know that V12 engines are still trucking on in spite of evil eyes of soulless, faceless, nameless EU technocrats and the useless Euro 7 emission regulations. Pity that Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Benz ditched the V12 for its S-Class, leaving the V12 exclusivity to Mercedes-Maybach S 680.

Still looking for the wrecked S 680 so I could transplant the V12 engine into my S 580…

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  EricTheViking

Sounds like a lot of $$$ and hassle just to spend $$$$ on even more premium gas and maintainence.

EricTheViking
EricTheViking
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Well, I don’t care. You’re too cheap, bastard.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  EricTheViking

Your (viking) funeral…

EricTheViking
EricTheViking
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

You started it so it’s your cheap funeral, bastard.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  EricTheViking

Whatever. Enjoy your money pit.

EricTheViking
EricTheViking
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Still hassling me because you don’t like what I enjoy in my life and don’t like my “sassy” mouth? What’s the matter with you? Can’t stand seeing others being successful in their lives while your life is heinously cheap and crappy? Perhaps you need to start reading the books such as Millionaire’s Mind, Think and Grow Rich, and How to Win Friends and Influence People. That’d be a cheap start for you, bastard.

Engine swapping has been done for decades. Some are done for free or fun while others are done out of necessity.

Mercedes-Benz S 580 4Matic and Mercedes-Maybach S 580 4Matic/S 680 4Matic are more or less the same car except for the length, rear passenger doors, and C-pillar. Both have the same engine bay, and it’s more of plug-and-play without any extensive rework as you assumedly believed.

Get a life, Cheap Bastard.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  EricTheViking

OK troll.

Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
9 months ago

Are you guys really planning to ignore the fact that Beau was on MrBeast???

Wolfpack57
Wolfpack57
9 months ago

This is the first time I’ve ever actually seen something Mahle worked on. I’ve always knew them as the sponsor under Moog on the front fender of racecars.

NotFlyingIsNotTrying
NotFlyingIsNotTrying
9 months ago

Didn’t these guys sue TopGear when their old car caught on fire during a review? Also how could you forget about Lego as a great Danish contribution to the world?

The Dude
The Dude
9 months ago

After visiting Denmark, I’m convinced they are the greatest country in the world.

NotFlyingIsNotTrying
NotFlyingIsNotTrying
9 months ago
Reply to  The Dude

I used to live in Tasmania which is full of Danes, at least at the university, (the crown princess of Denmark is from Tasmania). I have several great Danish friends and was supposed to visit for the first time a few weeks ago, but had to cancel due to a death in the family. All that to say the Danes I know are awesome, their city planning is awesome, and it’s a country I’ve always wanted to visit.

Last edited 9 months ago by NotFlyingIsNotTrying
Maymar
Maymar
9 months ago

I don’t know if it’s because my family’s Danish and I’m one of the few to make this association, but skipping right by Lego? I bet the engineering team even has a set of flipping gauges mocked up in Technic.

Last edited 9 months ago by Maymar
Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
9 months ago

Ah yes, supercars. Where you can do fake math to get 1,850 horsepower by wrongly adding electric motor and ICE power ratings, but the car will never be driven enough for anyone to notice.

Last edited 9 months ago by Sensual Bugling Elk
Acid Tonic
Acid Tonic
9 months ago

Well when you max the electrics 600hp at idle yet the gas engine is making 200hp, and when the gas engine is making 1200+ above 8000rpm the electric motor will have fallen down from 600hp to 150ish.

It never at one time is ever making more than 1300ish at any given time.

Most arent smart enough to know that.

Cool Dave
Cool Dave
9 months ago
Reply to  Acid Tonic

I’d wager that anybody buying these could not care any less about if the number is real, as long as it’s bigger than the number slapped on that other rich jerks car down the street.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
9 months ago
Reply to  Cool Dave

My car goes to eleven.

Cool Dave
Cool Dave
9 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Don’t touch it.. don’t even look at it..

VanGuy
VanGuy
9 months ago

I mean….my 2012 Prius v supposedly has “134 combined horsepower” (I can find one source saying the ICE is 98 of that.) Should I not reference the 134 if asked? (…as if I’ll get asked power spec questions about a Prius, but that’s just as hypothetical as owning a supercar.)

V10omous
V10omous
9 months ago
Reply to  VanGuy

The difference is that Toyota (correctly) doesn’t simply add up the peak power ratings of the 98 hp gas engine and the 80 hp electric motor and claim your Prius has 178 hp.

The maximum the two power sources can produce *at the same time* is 134 hp.

The same principle will be true with this car; there is zero chance it will ever produce 1850 hp.

Last edited 9 months ago by V10omous
VanGuy
VanGuy
9 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Interesting! Had no idea the electric motor’s peak was 80 hp…do you have a source for that? I see the 98 hp for the ICE on multiple sites and the 134 total on multiple as well.

V10omous
V10omous
9 months ago
Reply to  VanGuy

I just got it from Wikipedia, I can’t vouch for its accuracy beyond that.

The general idea is correct for every hybrid I’ve ever seen though. The electric motor peak power and the gas motor peak power are not going to be at the same time, so when one is maxed, the other is making less than peak power.

Strangek
Strangek
9 months ago
Reply to  VanGuy

I just love the idea of someone coming up to you and your Prius and being all “what’s that baby got under the hood?”

Defenestrator
Defenestrator
9 months ago

It’s a matter of design goals, right? I mean, most hybrids are focused on efficiency and that usually means offsetting the power peaks to let the ICE spend as much time as possible in the most efficient range (and not have to build the downstream drivetrain to deal with full combined torque), but it’s also totally possible to design a hybrid for maximum performance where the peaks line up. No idea if Zenvo did that, but the Porsche 918, McLaren P1, and LaFerrari all seem to have power peaks very close to the sum of ICE+electric.

Marc Fuhrman
Marc Fuhrman
9 months ago

I do quite like the rotating gauges. Seems like a good way of incorporating infotainment screens into a dash without taking up tons of space.

Jonathan Hendry
Jonathan Hendry
9 months ago

What’s that gesture made at the gauge after it turns digital and before it starts flipping back to analog? Does the guy tap on it to make that happen?

Gee See
Gee See
9 months ago

I think they press the button on the steering wheel.. one for each side.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
9 months ago

I’m kinda meh on super-hyper-mega-gigamobiles anymore: Top Gear ruined me a decade or more back. The picture of the engine caught my eye, though: looks like a hot-V. What I can’t quite sus out is which end we’re looking at: is the front on lower left, and power outputs at the end we can’t see? And, the two turbos at left—do they exhaust under the turbos to the right?

Ok: the flipping gauge is cool. The commercial for the car (found when googling the engine) is a bit over the top, though

Last edited 9 months ago by TOSSABL
Chronometric
Chronometric
9 months ago

Did they call the engine a Northstar V12?

Drg84
Drg84
9 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Would be a downgrade after the Cadillac Sixteen.

Gubbin
Gubbin
9 months ago

Dangit, gotta wait until 2039 to import that Cactus!

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