Vinci GT – The disappointing tale of the Portuguese Supercar
What comes to mind when you think of a Portuguese car? Well, 90% of you probably guessed the UMM, or maybe even the Sado 550. But a supercar? Probably not. But that could not have been the case, as there once was a Portuguese supercar in the works.
“But Mark, if there was one, why have I never heard of it?” some of you ask.
Well, it never left the show car stage (not really a prototype), so none of you heard it. But fear no more, as I am here to tell the tale of the tin can known as the Vinci GT.
On the 29th of October 2006, the car was shown for the first time and its specs were revealed. It was a joint operation with the Auto Museu Da Maia and the CEIIA (Centro para a Excelência e Inovação na Indústria Automóvel) and was to be a 100% Portuguese car.
The car was to have a 3.5 litre V6 with over 300 horsepower and 6200 RPMs, and it would be RWD with a 6 speed manual, with a 0-100 (also known as 0-60) time of 5,6 seconds and a top speed of 270 km/h (167 mph) and a weight of 1333 kg.
The outer design was to mimic the beauty of the 50s and 60s sports car legends (which it totally didn’t, just look at it), and 50 units were to be made in 2 years with a price tag of 200k-300k. For that amount of money you could buy a Corvette.
On the 30th of July 2007, the first moving prototype was revealed. This was to be the final prototype and it was the closest thing to the retail version, as only the horsepower would rise.
Various automotive magazines were invited to drive 2 laps…
The excitement was high with the test drivers…
They opened the door to the then future of the Portuguese automotive scene…
AND WERE GREETED WITH THIS SH*T.
YES. That’s the interior for a Corvette C5. The whole time, this tin can wasn’t an original 100% original car, it was just a Corvette in a not-so-pretty dress.
“oh but it was manufactured in Portugal blablabla” That doesn’t count. Not even close.
It turned out that all that guff about a V6 was all lies, and that the car was pretty much made by GM, as the chassis, gearbox, and engine were provided by them.
The 3.5 litre V6 had magically transformed into a 5.7 litre LS7, which is probably the only good thing about this car, apart from the alright design of the car. But since its Corvette, the spongy handling of the car was still present, along with a 4 SPEED MANUAL.
What was the asking price again?
So, why did it fade into oblivion and became a topic for Portuguese forum users with too much time in their hands? Well, the critics were really harsh, blaming its 4 speed manual and its spongy attitude, but mostly for just being a Corvette for 300k, more than 100k more than the asking price of a C5.
The real nail in the coffin was the closure of several GM factories in Portugal. Don’t forget, GM was in some really bad times in these years.
There was to be another Vinci, based on the Lotus Elise, but this time they admitted it.
Some cars would appear at car shows, the latest documented appearance being in 2013.
And with that, ends the known story of the Vinci GT. No, really, I’m not being lazy, this is the end of the story. Nothing more is known.
Now, a bit of something off – if I was too harsh, please let me know.
What did you think of this car?
Could it be a good car?
Or did it deserve this ending?