The N1A, a production-ready, Can-Am-inspired supercar has been unveiled by Nichols Cars. The project – led by reknowned motorsport engineer Steve Nichols – has resulted in a 900kg vehicle with minimal driver aids and a naturally-aspirated V8 powertrain, paying homage to the original McLaren M1A.
Nichols Cars’ top specification N1A features a 7.0-liter all-alloy V8 developed in-house and based around a General Motors LS3 block that has been bored out to fit new steel liners. Custom pistons and conrods have also been added for additional power. Drive-by-wire throttle bodies sit atop the engine, with lubrication provided by a dry sump system. Together, the componentry helps the V8 to produce a peak power of 659ps, equating to approximately 710ps per ton in the top model.
The N1A engines will be hand-built by Langford Performance Engineering (LPE), with Richard Langford – one of the key people behind the development of the Cosworth DFV engine found in 1970s Formula 1 cars – supervising the assembly process. Several transmissions will be offered from Dana Graziano, including a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard.
Drawing on the team’s chassis dynamics experience, the decision was made to offer the N1A with manual steering as standard, with power steering available as an option. Multi-piston front and rear brakes feature, with hand-made front and rear double wishbone suspension adding to the vehicle’s sports handling.
“Having experienced amazing racing cars over the decades, I’ve never been able to implement those quirky qualities into a road car, until now,” explained Steve Nichols, founder, Nichols Cars. “Taking into account all the people that have worked on the N1A, I’m incredibly proud that the car is part of the next chapter in sports car history and is the next step for us and Nichols Cars.
“The process from pencil to production model has been extremely gratifying; this should be a reminder to the entire automotive industry that combining the past, present and looking to the future, is the way forward for this entire community.”
“The Steve Nichols name is one that needs no introduction in the motorsport world,” said John Minett, CEO of Nichols Cars. “To be able to work with Steve as well as a number of talented industry professionals is an absolute honor and the N1A is an excellent example of the incredible work from everyone involved.
“We always strived to make the N1A an unforgettable car – both to experience from afar and from the driver’s seat – and from the N1A’s aerodynamics to its fully-customizable interior, we have now reached that point, and it’s incredible to see.”