What do you get when you provide a team of ex-McLaren, Lotus, Lola and Mazda engineers with a free reign to create something bonkers? A 1,009hp per ton Formula 1-aping track car, apparently. That’s certainly what’s happened at Vandal Cars, where an all-carbon fibre single seater called the One has been produced using the sort of technical layout that’s normally reserved for thoroughbred racers.
At the heart of the One is a Honda-sourced 2.0-litre turbocharged engine putting out 560hp – yes, seriously – from its four-cylinders. It has been extensively modified, obviously, with forged internals, a bigger turbo and more powerful injectors, among many other things, and is now claimed to rev to 9,100rpm. If that’s too much, there is also an ‘entry’ level version which has to make do with 340hp.
So impressive is the American-made machine that the 280hp per litre engine is far from the most interesting thing about it. The chassis is a proper carbon fibre monocoque that’s bolted directly to the engine and Sadev six-speed sequential gearbox that sit behind, making one long stressed structure. F1 stuff, indeed. It’s got a full survival cell and FIA-spec impact protection, too.
Then there’s a flat-plane floor, like an LMP1 car, pushrod suspension and all carbon bodywork. It’s so snug and aero-focused that the radiators have had to be laid either side of the driver at a steeply raked angle so they fit. The car’s package is finished with a set of slick tyres, an enormous front wing embedded into the nose and a dominating fixed rear wing. It sits above a diffuser of a similarly impressive scale.
So effective is the combination of wings, scoops and intakes that the One is claimed to generate over 800kg of downforce – more than enough to theoretically allow it to succeed at the old drive on the roof of a tunnel trick, normally a bragging right exclusive to F1 cars and those of a similar ilk. Keep things the right way up and the One is said to be capable of 3G’s worth of lateral force. That’s a whole G more than the McLaren P1, by the way.
Production of this Radical and BAC Mono rival’s core bits takes place in North Carolina before the body is fitted Michigan. Vandal says its cars, the first of which should be completed in a few months, are due to be exported globally, although it’s only provided a US base price of $119,700 before taxes, which equates to about £93k. Slap VAT on that and you’re still only in Porsche 911 GT3 territory, which, given the technical makeup and performance on offer, makes it seem a bit like a bargain. Don’t you agree?