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Nichols N1A: only get in if you have guts

July 26, 2023

Nichols Cars N1A

Nichols Cars has unveiled the production-ready N1A, a 900-kg British supercar inspired by Can-Am race cars. The car is a tribute to one of the most iconic race cars of all time: the original McLaren M1A.

About Steve Nichols

Steve Nichols and John Minett – CEO of Nichols Cars – founded Nichols Cars in 2017 and wanted to create a true driver’s car. The N1A is the result. Steve Nichols is a renowned name in the motorsports world, particularly in Formula One, where he worked with McLaren in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He is responsible for introducing carbon fiber applications to Formula One, a material that is now commonplace in most racing cars.

As chief designer at McLaren in 1987, the first car Nichols designed for McLaren – the MP4/3 – took Alain Prost to three victories. The F1 team even finished second in that year’s constructors’ championship behind Williams.

Left: Steve Nichols. Right: John Minett
Left: Steve Nichols. Right: John Minett

Carbon fiber

Not surprisingly, the Nichols N1A is constructed of the material that Steve Nichols himself was a big proponent of: carbon fiber. The bodywork of the N1A celebrates the heritage of the M1A, but is a thoroughly modern interpretation. It is made of Formula One-quality carbon fiber infused with graphene, which gives the car rigidity and contributes to its light weight.

Can-Am racing experience

With a horsepower-to-weight ratio of nearly 700 horsepower per ton (depending on engine specification), drivers of the N1A can immerse themselves in the true Can-Am racing experience. The N1A is also available in any number of color schemes, each of which can be customized to suit the customer’s needs.

Effective cockpit

Inside, the cockpit reflects the stripped-down approach of a race car, and the dashboard with dials harkens back to the golden age of motorsports. Nichols uses only high-quality materials, such as leather, premium fabrics and aluminum components. Traction control is standard, with power steering and switchable ABS optional. It’s easy to see that the N1A is intended for automotive purists who enjoy the fun of driving, away from the bright touchscreens all too often found in today’s cars.

7.0-liter V8

The “beating heart” of the top-of-the-line N1A is a 7.0-liter V8 fully alloyed and developed by Nichols Cars. The V8 once began as an LS3 block from General Motors. The block has been bored out to accommodate new steel liners, while custom pistons and connecting rods have also been added. The impressive engine further features drive-by-wire throttle bodies and dry-sump system. The result of these extensive engine upgrades is a total power output of 650 hp, meaning the N1A in this specification has nearly 700 hp per ton. There are several transmissions to choose from, all supplied by Dana Graziano (formerly known as Graziano Transmissioni). A six-speed manual transmission is standard.

100 pieces, first 15 pieces extra special

The total production of the N1A is limited to 100 copies so exclusivity is guaranteed. The first 15 cars will be sold as top-of-the-range models, all equipped with a 7.0-liter V8, in homage to the McLaren MP4/4. Each car celebrates a specific victory of Steve Nichols’ McLaren MP4/4 Formula One car. A price has not yet been announced.

Nichols N1A