Like Monaco, Marbella is a place where the rich and famous live and play, so the sight of a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Porsche hardly merits a passing glance with the locals. You have to be driving a Veyron or Zonda to really raise eyebrows here.
This car, however, turns heads like no other. If I could collect one euro for every picture snapped, I'd be dining well for a week.
Unlike most of today's semi-anonymous cars, the Veritas RSIII definitely has a face. And while some modern cars do have a "face" of sorts, this limited-production German roadster's visage sends a clear message to anyone who crosses its path.
Just as the shark mouths painted on the noses of the P-40 Kittyhawk fighters struck fear in the hearts of the Axis forces in WWII, the RSIII's angry face says in no uncertain terms that you should get out of the way or something very bad will happen to you. Resistance is futile.
This new face makes the front of 2001's RS3 concept car look tame by comparison. That one had a face, but it was more gaping maw that looked like a cross between a fish and a Cyberman.Things have changed radically with the rest of the bodywork too. Where the concept had more linear flanks, the RSIII morphed into a much more organic design with a significantly greater amount of form and detail.
The compound curves along its flanks suggesting rippling muscles to back the face up front, whose slanted and gold-backed headlamp clusters and chrome-toothed grille give it a look like something out of a comic book.
While it looks like a predator homing in on its hapless prey, maybe even striking terror into the hearts of supervillains as it races along the road, the Veritas RSIII is user friendly to its occupants-even those who keep their underwear hidden beneath their street clothes.
Those same comic-book-hero looks obviously captured the imagination of the car loving public. At the 2009 Salon Privé in London, the Veritas RSIII was voted the People's Choice over spectacular but otherwise predictable new supercars, a clear message that people are getting bored with the designs from established manufacturers.
This perception was further reinforced at Monterey 2009, where the team encountered a strange phenomenon as they stood watching public reaction to their car. While most men were drawn to the Ferraris and other established marques, the Veritas was a huge hit with wives and girlfriends. The ladies were visibly pulling their partners over for a closer look, as if the men were afraid.
The heart of the Veritas pumps with the strong ten-cylinder beat of BMW's M5 engine. While you can have the 600-hp BT Racing-tuned 5.5-liter version, in a car weighing just 2,400 pounds the stock 500 hp is more than adequate, and probably gains a few extra horses from the bespoke titanium exhaust.
This all-alloy V10 and its SMG gearbox are mounted as far back in the chassis as they'll go, making the RSIII effectively a front-mid-engine car. At 51/49 percent, weight distribution is about as good as it gets.
Under its strong and light carbon-fiber body, the Veritas RSIII follows conventional supercar methods of construction with a tubular steel frame chassis. Reinforced sections in the sills and central backbone areas further boost structural rigidity.
The suspension uses race-style double wishbones at each corner with pushrod-operated, horizontally opposed coilovers made by Ohlins. A Drexler mechanical limited-slip differential helps deploy the power.
As Veritas shares its ownership with Brabham Racing, or BT Racing as it is now known, the RSIII fills its big wheel arches with a bespoke, in-house wheel design in 10.0 and 12.0x20-inch sizes wrapped in 275/30 and 325/25 Dunlop Sport Maxx GT rubber. They are also testing 22-inch wheels that will visually fill the arches better, but if those detract from handling, they'll stay with the 20s.