If the name Minerva doesn't sound familiar to you, you're not alone. The automotive manufacturer was founded in the fall of 1897 by a gentleman named Sylvain De Jong, who had prior experience with bicycles, motorcycles and journalism. After building more than 50,000 passenger cars in the early 20th century, with names such as Type C, Type D and Type E, the company shut its doors in 1956.
Now, more than 50 years later, the company has been revived (Minerva says its company has "risen again from the ashes") and has just announced its first modern vehicle - a supercar, no less.
The Minerva J.M. Brabazon, reportedly named after a famous British racing driver, is a plug-in hybrid gasoline-electric built with a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis and Kevlar-carbon bodywork. The mid-mounted combustion engine will be a twin-turbocharged V12, running through a six-speed sequential F1 gearbox, with two electric motors powering the front wheels. The operator will be able to select between five performance modes (Economy, Normal, Sport, Race and Safe Mode), each intended to keep the coupe aligned with the driver's mindset.
With an estimated maximum speed in excess of 400 km/h (248 mph), and a promised power-to-weight ratio of 1:1, we can expect performance to be mind boggling. Minerva has not announced an on-sale date, but a prototype should make an appearance during the upcoming auto show season.