Veritas RSIII

Long-lost name returns with modern 1940s interpretation

Evo rating
Price
from £280,000
  • BMW engines, awesome pace
  • Mad styling a matter of taste

If you recognise the name Veritas, you probably need to get out more. It first appeared in the late 1940s on racing cars built around BMW drivetrains, and its proudest moment was the unveiling of Germany’s first Formula 1 car, in 1951. It branched out into road cars too – and then disappeared without trace just a few years later.

So the second coming of Veritas should hardly give Bugatti sleepless nights, especially as fewer than 15 employees work on the project and the factory itself is such a nondescript German industrial unit that we struggle to locate it. But all that ceases to matter when the prototype RSIII rolls out of the front door. It is simply mad. That front end has a different look from every angle: snake, shark, evil supervillain in the next Transformers film, take your pick. The nose will be smoother on the finished car, and so will the bulging bonnet, which was originally conceived for a V12 engine, but what you see is basically what you’ll get.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

This prototype is powered by a previous-generation (E39) BMW M5 V8, but when the RSIII goes on sale it will be offered with a choice of the new M3’s 4-litre V8 or the 5-litre V10 from the current M5. Both units will be tuned, with the M3 powerplant hitting a more than substantial 475bhp and the M5 engine expected to reach an almighty 600bhp. There’s even talk of a manual gearbox for the latter, or at least a clutch pedal to work with the SMG. There will be no traction control, though, or even anti-lock brakes…

All of which helps focus the mind as I strap myself tightly into the perfectly stitched Koenig sports seat and push my sunglasses firmly in place, not so much for looks as for protection (there’s little in the way of a windscreen). This being a modern BMW-based creation, with a standard clutch, it pulls away effortlessly and handles in-town traffic with just the odd dull thud as the Öhlins suspension reaches the end of its travel. The gearlever is too far away from the driver’s seat and unnaturally high at present, and the TRW brakes come on a little suddenly, but the car handles light driving without the slightest protest, even though that’s not really what it is built for.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

When pushed, the Veritas becomes a whole new animal. Even with this car’s relatively lightweight 473bhp powerplant it bursts through the 60mph mark in just 3.6sec and, it is claimed, can keep accelerating all the way to 204mph. Yet the RSIII goes beyond the supercar numbers. It’s the sheer violence of the engine note, the wind and gravel slicing into your face that mark this car apart. That and the way the wheels will spin in first, second, third and, with a serious stab of that long throttle pedal, even fourth gear. And it stops like you’ve hit a wall.

The RSIII weighs just 1080kg, and with zero body roll it simply cuts to the apex and powers out. It’s absolutely neutral and slides on command, although for big power oversteer it could really do with the faster steering rack that isn’t fitted to this example.

It’s a magnificent car then, the Veritas, but it comes at a price. The cheaper M3-based model will cost £280,000, while the M5-engined car will set you back £330,000 – both prices are plus taxes. And all that for a car that’s built around a spaceframe chassis (albeit a very strong one) rather than a carbonfibre monocoque.

That said, Veritas plans to sell just 30 RSIIIs before moving on to a coupe (with a TVR Sagaris look) and an 800bhp GT fit to take on Koenigsegg. Are there enough rich (and possibly reckless) souls in the world to cover that order book? Quite possibly. Character goes a long way in this world, and the RSIII has it in abundance. Perhaps this time Veritas is here to stay.

Specifications

EngineV8, 4941cc (prototype)
Max power473bhp @ 6100rpm
Max torque442lb ft @ 4800rpm
0-603.6sec (claimed)
Top speed204mph (claimed)
On sale2009
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/honda/civic-type-r/202099/honda-civic-type-r-limited-edition-revealed-amongst-range-wide-updates
Honda Civic Type-R

Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition revealed amongst range-wide updates

Our hopes have been addressed and more, as Honda launches two more Civic Type R versions at the top and tail of the range
20 Feb 2020
Visit/porsche/cayman/202238/porsche-cayman-gts-40-2020-review-a-cut-price-cayman-gt4
Porsche Cayman

Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 2020 review - a cut-price Cayman GT4? 

The 2020 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 regains its flat-six and therefore top-billing in the class. It’s a brilliant package for those whom a GT4 is a bit to…
16 Feb 2020
Visit/aston-martin-valkyrie/17980/aston-martin-valkyrie-1160bhp-hypercar-undergoes-further-testing-at
Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie: 1160bhp hypercar undergoes further testing at Silverstone

Following its dynamic debut last summer, F1 drivers Max Verstappen and Alex Albon have put the Aston Martin Valkyrie to the test
18 Feb 2020
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019