Impacted by the energy transition and ever stricter regulations, the automotive sector is changing. However, new manufacturers continue to emerge, including in France where many (small) brands have appeared: Hopium, DeVinci, Quarkus…
Hopium, Quarkus, NamX, Genty Automobile, Devalliet… Whether electric, thermal, avant-garde or neo-retro, the automobiles offered by these new French manufacturers all play the exclusivity card. Panorama (non-exhaustive) of these tricolor brands with productions » new-age « .
Disappeared in 1953, Delage has experienced a real renaissance since 2019, on the initiative of Laurent Tapie and the association « Les Amis de Delage ». The prestigious French firm is back in business with the D12, a hypercar geared towards performance and efficiency capable of reaching a top speed of 360 km/h and going from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.6 s. Developed in collaboration with Jacques Villeneuve, this F1 road car will try to set a new record on the Nürburgring for a car homologated on the road. To achieve this, it can count on its powerful 1,100 hp hybrid engine consisting of a 990 hp 7.6 V12 and a 110 hp electric motor. Will she win her bet? Response in 2023, the year of delivery of the first copies out of the 30 planned in total. Price: 2 million euros excluding VAT.
Devalliet was born in 2019 under the leadership of Hervé Valliet. It produces 100% thermal roadsters with lines close to the competition cars of the 1950s and 1960s. Since 2021, the tricolor brand has been distributing the Mugello roadster in two versions (260 and 375) equipped with a Peugeot Puretech engine and a manual gearbox. Only the Mugello 375 powered by the 4-cylinder 1.6 turbo from the 225 hp 308 GTi remains in the catalog today. Thanks to an ultra contained weight of 680 kg, this propulsion offers breathtaking performance since the 0 to 100 km/h is shot in just 4.9 s. Offered from €79,800, this two-seater roadster is aimed at drivers nostalgic for the rusticity of sports cars of yesteryear.
DeVinci Cars is a brand founded in 2017 by former French driver and tuner Jean-Philippe Dayraut, holder of six Andros Trophy titles. DeVinci currently markets the DB 721, available in four versions: Eugénie (5 copies, €200,000 excluding VAT), Marianne (10 copies, €150,000 excluding VAT), Adèle (20 copies, €75,000 excluding VAT) and Brigitte (40 copies, €55,000 excluding tax). These cars with a design inspired by racing cars of the 1920s-1930s are homologated as heavy quadricycles (L7e) and have the same 15 kW electric motor (about 20 horsepower). Their speed is limited to 90 km/h and they can be driven from the age of 16 with a B1 licence.
The Mehari benefits from all the attention! MCC Automotive (2 CV Mehari Club de Cassis) has created the Eden Cassis brand which offers a modern reinterpretation of the famous herringbone icon. The Eden runs on electricity with its 15 kW power unit whose performance is intended to be equivalent to the 602 cm3 of his illustrious ancestor. On the program, a range of 90 km and a speed capped at 80 km/h. Widely customizable, this Mehari of the 21th century, homologated heavy quadricycle, is displayed at a price starting at €35,000 with an ecological bonus deducted.
Gazelle Tech prides itself on being the first manufacturer of suburban vehicles made entirely of composite materials. Its goal is to reduce the environmental impact of its cars by creating micro-production units directly on their distribution sites. The only model of this start-up has an electric motor allowing it to reach 100 km/h and offer a range of 180 km. There « 2CV of the 21st century according to its creator Gaël Lavaud. Its approval is scheduled before the end of the year for production by 2024 at a price of €20,000.
GCK Exclusive-e is the brand of Guerlain Chicherit, French racing driver and freerider. It produces the Delta GCK-Evo-e, a restomod of the legendary Lancia Delta HF Integrale. Aesthetically faithful to the rally star on which it is built, it retains all-wheel drive and a manual gearbox. Under the hood, there is an electric motor developing 147 kW (200 hp) and 350 Nm of torque. 47 copies of the Delta GCK Evo-e are available to order, including 36 in the “standard” version (€250,000) and 11 in the rally version (€280,000).
Genty Automobile was founded in 2010. The project of Frédéric Genty, its ambitious founder, is to create a hypercar capable of competing with the most efficient productions in the world. The rolling prototype of the Akylone, the first model from the Auvergnate firm, was presented in October 2021. Its characteristics set the tone. Its 3.5 bi-turbo V8 designed by the French engine manufacturer Pipo Moteurs develops 1,200 hp. A rocket capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.7 s and reaching 350 km/h. Production will be limited to 25 units (15 coupes and 10 roadsters). Unit price: 1.5 million euros excluding VAT in the coupé version. Launch date still unknown
Hopium is a start-up founded in 2019 by driver Olivier Lombard, the youngest winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This new French manufacturer intends to walk on Tesla’s toes. Its first model, the Machina, focuses on high-end and innovation. This sedan is characterized by an electric power unit developing more than 500 hp powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. With an announced autonomy of 1000 km and a filling time of barely 3 minutes, it plays the versatility card at a premium price, like its services: 120,000 €. Delivery of the first units is scheduled for 2025.
MLT Automotive is a new French manufacturer born in 2016. Its credo? Build 100% electric hand-assembled Mehari replicas. Its model called E-Story, the result of an artisanal production made in France, is available in 2 or 3 doors as well as in pick-up. This charming E-Story has a 15 kW (about 20 hp) electric motor and a 13.5 kWh battery. The maximum speed is capped at 90 km/h for a theoretical range of nearly 150 km. Approved as a heavy quadricycle (L7e), it can be driven from the age of 16 (B1 licence) and is available at a price starting at around €27,500.
Founded by Franco-Moroccan Faouzi Annajah and Frenchman Thomas de Lussac, NamX is entering the hydrogen vehicle market. The brand’s first prototype, unveiled last May, is a coupé SUV and is called NamX HUV (for Hydrogen Utility Vehicle). Beneath its futuristic design by Pininfarina hides an electric motor powered by hydrogen from a fixed tank and six removable capsules that can be delivered to your home by subscription. All this in the service of an announced autonomy of 800 km. It will be offered in two versions, two and four-wheel drive, with respective power of 300 and 550 hp. Marketed from the end of 2025, its price will range between €65,000 and €95,000.
NoSmoke Cars makes 100% electric Mini Mokes in Cerizay, the Deux-Sévrien headquarters of the former coachbuilder Heuliez. It markets two approved heavy quadricycle models: the NoSmoke Original, a replica of the Mini Moke, and the NoSmoke Truckï, an ultra-light commercial vehicle intended for professionals. 14 kW electric motor (about 19 hp) and speed limited to 70 km/h make it a perfect machine for sunny rides or urban deliveries in utility version. Prices start at €22,990.
Pantore Automobiles was born in 2016. This young brand has developed a car dedicated solely to the track named Vakog. This compact racing car with a disruptive design is available in a thermal version (4 cylinders 2.5 of 420 hp) or electric (290 hp or even 326 hp peak). Prices for the Pantore Vakog start at €109,500 excluding VAT in the thermal version and at €159,500 excluding VAT in the electrified version. The 250 copies of this two-seater are expected for 2023.
Prato Automobiles has designed and developed the Orage, a supercar presented during the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans parade. stratospheric (370 km/h peak and 2.8 s at 0 to 100 km/h). Intended to be produced in 19 copies, the Prato Orage is however still not available for sale. despite an appearance on the prestigious track of the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July 2019. But the brand ensures that its projects are not shelved.
It was in 2020 that Damien Alfano, former project manager at Valeo, created Quarkus. The P1, the brand’s first design prototype, was presented at the end of 2021 and was quickly followed by the Quarkus P2, test prototype prefiguring the future production model. The P2 does not do half measures with a weight of less than 500 kg and a hybrid engine with a total power of between 250 and 300 hp. Homologated for the road but designed for the circuit, it will run on bioethanol and will offer supercar performance (0 to 100 km/h in 3.5 s) at a price of over €150,000. Release announced in 2025.
Vision Automobiles Paris
Created in 2019, Vision Automobiles Paris presents the Vision 1789 qualified as « real Le Mans prototype homologated for the road « . And for good reason, this two-seater is intended to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2023. It is powered by an unprecedented V8 3.5 bi-turbo engine with more than 1,000 hp fueled by biomethane and hydrogen. Vision announces a maximum speed of 380 km / h and a time of 2.6 s on the exercise from 0 to 100 km / h. The price of this shooting star is worthy of its exceptional performance: 2.5 million euros. The 80 units planned will be available from 2025/2026 at the rate of 10-15 cars produced per year.