Venturi Atlantique 300 | Spotted

You thought Alpines were rare French sports cars…

By Matt Bird / Wednesday, March 10, 2021 / Loading comments

The history of French sports cars in the UK is long and not a little intriguing. Because we love their hot hatches, and we fawn over their bizarre sports car-hot hatch hybrids – yes, Clio V6, that means you – but the actual mid-engined two-seaters have never quite hit the same spot. And before you mention the Alpine A110 – which we all know is wonderful – who do you know other than Dan Prosser and Gordon Murray that has one?

We love Porsches too much, don't we? And Lotuses, too, of course; if it's a two-seat, two-door, mid-engined thoroughbred you're after, why not get one from perhaps the best maker there is? Especially when it's representing the home team; in the same way that an Alpine probably holds additional appeal in France, so a Lotus does in Britain.

Venturi is probably a name best known now for Formula E and weird motor show concepts, but some may remember its dalliance with sports cars once upon a time. Created by Claude Poiraud and Gerard Godfroy, the first Venturi (or Ventury, as it was then) came to being in 1984; by 1987 it had evolved into something like the car it became known as during the 1990s, with the mid-mounted PRV V6 and a GT remit, aimed at Aston and Porsche.

Venturi even went racing, which is perhaps where many will know the cars from – the 600LM took victories in the BPR GT championship, and there was a Le Mans finish in 1995. Nevertheless, motorsport pedigree didn't work in Venturi's favour, nor did ample turbocharged performance and nor did favourable press reviews – as today's Spotted proves.

This 1998 Atlantique 300 V6 is believed to be one of just six right-hand drive cars supplied, an incredible number given the model was produced in various forms for nine years between 1991 and 2000. Think about cars considered extremely rare and how many there are compared to the Venturi: Bentley will build 12 Bacalars (at £1.5m each), 63 Lamborghini Sians will leave Sant'Agata (at €2.5m each) and the decidedly plentiful production run of 88 Aston V12 Speedsters has been allocated – albeit at a mere £765,000 per car. All of those you're more likely to see than the humble Atlantique, and it's only £40k…

As you would hope and expect for such a rare groove sports car (at no point has a Venturi been an accidental purchase), the Atlantique looks to have been doted on in its 23 years and 37,000 miles over here. The advert doesn't have a huge amount of detail, but the pics rather speak for themselves, cream upholstery still looking fresh and the paintwork sparkling. We'll assume that the panel gaps and the plunger of a gearstick were the same on all cars…

Jokes aside, this manual Atlantique looks a gem, the perfect riposte to the obvious 90s' sports car options at this price point. Quite what challenges exist when it comes to running one are unclear, though the V6's more workaday origins should at least mean knowledge exists around that. Nobody needs reminding that £40k buys all manner of Esprit, 911 or TVR right now, just as £60k bought the same sort of thing when new, but those that want to think a little differently should almost always be commended. Surely nowhere is that truer than with a Venturi Atlantique 300.


Engine: 2,975cc, turbocharged V6
Transmission: 5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): [email protected],300rpm
Torque (lb ft): [email protected],500rpm
CO2: N/A
Year registered: 1998
Recorded mileage: 37,000
Price new: c. £60k
Yours for: £39,995

See the original advert here.

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