The Vertige

A Quintessentially British Mid-Engine Masterpiece

Pete Weishaupt
2 min readMar 24, 2024

Picture this: nestled in the rolling hills of merry old England, a fever dream has taken steel and petrol form. Entering stage right is the Wells Vertige — Britain’s answer to the mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive driving experience

Conceived by Robin Wells back in ’14 and spurred by a burning desire not just to throw another sports car into the ring, but to forge a steed that is quintessentially British. And voilà, the public got their first looks at this mechanical marvel at the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed — the hallowed ground where petrolheads gather to worship at the altar of speed.

The heart of the Vertige is as British as complaining about the weather: a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre Ford Duratec engine, spitting out a sprightly 208 horsepower. That’s right, no turbochargers here, thank you very much. Well’s keeps it pure, untainted by the whoosh-pop so prevalent among the hooners.

The engine is mated to a six-speed manual — yes, a manual, because driving’s not just about moving from point A to B. It is about feeling the road, the engine, the very essence of speed coursing through your veins. All of it. And with this setup, the Vertige zips from nought to sixty faster than you can say “Bob’s your uncle,” in a blistering 4.8 seconds.

The Vertige is as nimble as a cat on a hot tin roof thanks to its svelte 815 kg curb weight, courtesy of a steel monocoque chassis hugged by a composite body, all wrapped up with butterfly doors.

But the Vertige isn’t just some garage queen. Wells Motor Cars plans to churn out 25 of these beauties a year from their shop in Bishop’s Itchington — a place so English, it’s probably got a cricket pitch in every backyard. And what price for this slice of motoring nirvana? A mere 60 grand. A small price to pay for the union of traditional motoring joy and modern convenience, wouldn’t you say?

So there you have it, a nod to the classic sports cars of yore, and a poke in the eye to the notion that cars have to be stuffed with gadgets to be any good. The Vertige is fun. Pure, unadulterated British fun.

It’s so good, the company just announced Wells Motor Cars was invited to exhibit one of their cars at the British Motor Museum.

Photo by Wells Motor Cars