The 2018 NASA Championships are fast approaching, taking place this week – September 13th through the 16th, at the famous Circuit of the Americas. To kick off the news, Toyo Tires released a video with Dave Brown of LifesGoodRacing to spotlight one of the stars of the show and one of our all-time favorites: The NASA NP01.
For those who haven’t yet heard about the NP01; Get ready to sell your Miata and blow your entire life savings and then some.
As stated in the video, it was built by NASA (the NASA racecar guys, not the space guys, as Dave said) in conjunction with a company called Elan, and the result is quite impressive. Starting at $81,000, the sleek prototype-style racecar features a closed cockpit, and houses basically the same good ol’ 2.0-liter motor from the Miata, but mounted mid-engine. Its 180 horsepower is put to the ground through an awesome Sadev S75 6-speed-sequential manual transmission – and, supposedly, the mere power level feels quite great in the middle of the car’s RPM range.
The car seems to be sort of like the best of both worlds; with fancy bits of formula car technology, while retaining the Miata’s reliability and serviceability that we all love.
“We make sure it’s got oil and gas, and it pretty much runs all day.” – Dave Brown
Luckily, Dave got to get behind the wheel of the car, to give us a bit of input on its driving characteristics and a little bit of a deeper dive on some of its components.