The 2020s is proving to be a captivating era for the world of supercars, marked by a fascinating dichotomy between electric-powered marvels like the Rimac Nevera and the McMurtry Spierling, and a select group of manufacturers devoted to celebrating the raw power and mechanical allure of internal combustion engines.
Embracing the latter philosophy with unwavering commitment is the Nichols Cars N1A, a name that holds significant weight in the annals of motorsport history, owing to its creator, the legendary race car constructor, Steve Nichols.
Delving into Nichols' illustrious past, one cannot overlook his momentous debut with the McLaren MP4/3, a Formula 1 race car that demonstrated his exceptional talents. Piloted by Alain Prost, the carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb monocoque masterpiece clinched three victories in the 1987 season.
Nichols then solidified his reputation as a maestro of engineering in 1988, serving as the chief designer and lead engineer for the Honda-powered McLaren MP4/4, an undisputed icon that dominated the Formula 1 circuit, securing almost every race and carrying both the constructor's championship and Ayrton Senna's first driver's championship.
Unmatched Lightweight Performance: N1A's Racing DNA
Drawing from his McLaren roots, it comes as no surprise that the N1A finds its roots in the revered McLaren Group Seven M1A race car, a precursor to the iconic Can-Am M1B and M1C models.
Weighing in at a mere 1,984 pounds, the N1A epitomizes lightness and agility, a striking 357 pounds lighter than a new Mazda MX-5. Its aluminum and carbon fiber body tightly envelops the suspension, engine, and wheels, presenting a remarkably low and streamlined profile, with the tallest sections barely accommodating the powertrain, tires, and suspension.
Employing double-wishbone suspension on all four corners and gripping the tarmac with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s, the N1A is purpose-built for the track, yet retains road legality, reflecting its authentic racing DNA. At the heart of this analog beast resides a naturally-aspirated GM-based V8 engine, offered in three stages of potency.
Customers can opt for the standard LT1, generating 460 horsepower akin to the C7 Corvette, or step up to a modified LT1 with individual throttle bodies, ramping up the output to 520 horsepower. The most robust option, however, is the seven-liter naturally-aspirated V8, thundering with an astonishing 650 horsepower.
Paired with a gated six-speed manual gearbox, the N1A promises an old-school, visceral driving experience, though it makes it clear that not just anyone can tame its untamed power by offering optional traction control and power steering.
While the price for the Nichols Cars N1A remains undisclosed, it is anticipated to be extravagantly high—a justified investment for the rarity and purity that this car embodies. In an age where automotive innovations are steering towards electrification, the N1A stands as an extraordinary testament to the essence of unadulterated speed and allure.
Few vehicles today can rival its authenticity and audacity, making the N1A a truly exceptional sight to behold amidst a sea of mainstream offerings.