With 380mm vented discs in front and 355mm vented discs at the rear, clamped by huge six and four-pot calipers respectively, the RSIII is over-braked for its weight. But thanks to good pedal feel and progression, it stops quickly without drama.
Standing there looking at this imagineered super sports car, you have no idea what it will be like to drive. Intimidating is the first word that comes to mind. Taking my life in my hands, I boldly reach into the cockpit and pull the lever that opens the front-hinged cover over the drivers' compartment.
Climbing in is exactly like doing so in a 1950s classic sports car: Place one and then both feet on the seat, and slide down into the footwell. The bare carbon cabin is absolutely minimalist, the only concessions to luxury well-padded, leather-clad seats.
The otherwise normal-sized steering wheel is open-topped, like the tiller on a B-17 Flying Fortress. This is surrounded by a huge tach and fuel, water and oil temperature gauges all wearing the Stack label.
The instrument cluster is part of the hinged cockpit cover and swings up with it. "The instrument pack is not final, "explained Veritas CEO, Michael Trick. "We are working on our own unique design for the production cars."There is no roof, no stereo, no air conditioning and only a very short windscreen to deflect bugs from your teeth. Even so, you really need to wear goggles or at least large sunglasses to keep the wind and debris out of your eyes.
With its restricted turning circle, maneuvering out of the showroom requires a five-point turn where even a Ferrari F430 would do it in three. A city car the Veritas RSIII is not. But within a few hundred feet and a couple of corners, I realize that it provides a unique driving experience that has to be judged on its own merits.
Its rack and pinion power steering is light to medium weighted and full of feel. It has a purity of response and feedback hard to find in modern cars. It could easily pass for a good unassisted system were it not so easy to turn the wheel at low speeds.
Many cars with quick racks feel twitchy. Not the Veritas. Its relatively long 106-inch wheelbase, broad track and low center of gravity make it stable and predictable. While firm, the suspension has been set to give a good secondary ride. So even on badly maintained Spanish byways, it never becomes unsettled. In fact, it feels better the faster you go.
The seven-speed SMG gearbox has been transported wholesale into the RSIII, and operates in exactly the same way as in the M5. Alloy paddle shifters give you the familiar manual control, but unless you're used to the way the selection lever works, you have to lift the hand-sewn leather gaiter that covers the aluminum case to peek at the shift diagram. But you have to lift the gaiter anyway if you want to select Power mode or disengage traction control.
While I drove the RSIII one-up, the simple expedient of removing the flush cover on the right hand side of the car and pulling the passenger seat back upright turns the car into a two-seater.
The RSIII is the lightest car I've driven powered by this V10 with a power-to-weight ratio of 4.7 pounds per horsepower unit. In the larger M5, the engine's power and torque delivery characteristics are a disadvantage. But at just over half its weight, the Veritas becomes a flying machine without the traction problems that would result from having too much torque arrive at low crankshaft speeds.
While you can monster the throttle and get the back end to step out at will, the progressive power delivery on normal throttle application makes the RSIII easy to drive at a more leisurely pace on real world roads. The paddles make light work of overseeing gear ratios and you can focus on playing racing hero.