There are just three new vehicles that qualify in my mind as genuine hypercars; the McLaren P1, LaFerrari, and Porsche 918 Spyder (sorry Bugatti). The Minerva J.M. Brabazon may sound more like a cruise ship than a supercar, but it wants to join this exclusive pantheon with a 1,200 horsepower hybrid drivetrain. Vaporware, or legitimate contender?
I first caught wind of the Minerva (as we’ll call it for short) last spring, when it burst onto the scene with some pretty renderings and bold ambitions, and now its back with more details. Those ambitions haven’t been tempered in the least. A 1,200 horsepower V12 engine remains a cornerstone of the project, able to spin to a mind-boggling 10,000 RPM and send power to the rear wheels, while a pair of electric motors power the front. Power passes through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a four-wheel steering system, and stop/start tech will be standard as well, because fuel economy is obviously of the utmost concern here.
A third electric motor works in conjunction with the V12 to power the Minerva at lower speeds, and fully charged the hypercar can supposedly cruise up to 60 miles on electricity alone. With a curb weight of just 1,200 kilograms, or about 2,500-lbs, owed to a completely carbon fiber body and frame, the builders claim the Minerva can sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in just 2.1 seconds.
On the inside is the kind of opulent luxury you’d expect from this level of vehicle, and yes, that is gold-trim in the (admittedly kinda crappy) computer renderings. Whether that particular option makes it production is as much of a question as the rest of the car, but you can’t fault the automaker for shooting for the stars.