Steve Nichols knows a thing or two about cars. Not only has he worked with the likes of Ferrari and Jaguar, but created one of the best racing cars of all time, the McLaren MP4/4. This car won 15 out of 16 grands prix in the hands of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in 1988.
The Nichols Cars N1A isn’t paying homage to Nichols’s F1 pedigree, rather it’s a spiritual successor to the mid-engined M1A from 1963, the first true McLaren that raced extensively in the Can-Am series.
So what is the N1A all about? For starters, let’s take a look at the specs. We’ve got a 7.0-litre V8 engine with 650hp which started its life as an LS3 block from General Motors that’s been burrowed to make way for new steel liners, custom pistons and conrods, as well as a drive-by-wire throttle on a dry sump system.
If Steve Nichols own pedigree wasn’t enough, this engine is being overseen by Richard Langford, one of the leading figures behind the behemoth Cosworth DFV engine that conquered F1 from the 1960s until the 1980s.
The transmission has options but the standard is a six-speed manual with drive sent to the rear.
Additionally you’ve got rack-and-pinion steering and multi-piston brakes.You’ll find independent suspension on the front and rear with double wishbones and anti-roll bars as standard. Traction control is standard but power steering and switchable ABS are optional.
You’ll probably want those options as the N1A weighs just 900kg giving it a better power-to-weight ratio than the McLaren P1.
The panels are made from F1 grade graphene-infused carbon fibre while the interior is finished in leather, fabric, and aluminium machined from solid billet.
“Having experienced amazing racing cars over the decades, I’ve never been able to implement those quirky qualities into a road car, until now,” said Nichols. “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 first 15 N1A’s will be part of a numbered series, to celebrate each McLaren victory of 1988. Once those 15 have owners, the N1A will be limited to 100 units.