After years of clandestine development, Vandal Cars has just launched the Vandal One: a thoroughbred track scalpel able to provide an LMP experience for the price of an outfitted Porsche 911. While it might have the slinky, stealth-fighter appearance, it also incorporates some Corvette into the front end design. Unlike some of the featherweight track stars on the market today, it actually looks good. In fact, it looks a little like the Adam West-era Batmobile.By bringing on some of the big guns from Ford Racing, Lola, and McLaren, Vandal put together a team of talent that knows how to assemble something truly special. Another perk of having such experienced racecar builders on board are the connections they bring; Sadev and its competition-proveb gearboxes as well as Pirelli for a tire that can handle lots of downforce, Tilton for their power transfer technology, and Honda Performance Development for an exceptional, compact, and frighteningly punchy powerplant.
Familiar and Force-Fed
Though its a car that isn’t completely defined by its motor, the engine deserves some recognition. The FK8 Honda Civic Type R’s K20C1—already an impressive four-banger—is not only a stressed member of the chassis, but its output is supplemented with the addition of a BorgWarner EFR 7163 turbocharger, heavy-duty internals, as well as port and direct injectors. This allows for a 9,100-rpm redline and a whopping 480 horsepower in its punchiest “R” guise. Additionally a push-to-pass system can bring output up to 560 horsepower—giving it a power-to-weight ratio besting just about any exotic.
In fact, the Vandal One has a power-to-weight ratio almost double that of the Bugatti Veyron, which is almost the same power-to-weight ratio as an F1 car on its ICE.
The standard power of 340 horsepower depending on the trim ought to be enough. After all, the Vandal One tips the scales at 1,224 lbs.—hardly a heifer. That svelte infrastructure comes from a full carbon monocoque constructed from HP Composites using pre-preg autoclave carbon fiber, the lightest and strongest type available.
All that power is delivered via the Sadev six-speed full sequential gearbox with paddle shift system and autoblipping with 40ms shifts. The Vandal One is fitted with Pirelli slicks measuring 325/30/18. Despite their width, the 560 horsepower produced by the more powerful motor is metered out by an intelligent traction control system. JRi dampers and pushrod suspension give the car the sort of traction and lateral grip that ought to strain all but the fittest drivers’ necks—as will monoblock 4-pot aluminum calipers with vented rotors, capable of over 2 Gs of braking force.
The Vandal One telemetry package will beam real-time chassis and powertrain data to Vandal’s Cloud servers for data compilation and visualization. This enables vehicle parameters to be seen in realtime for track or road excursions. This output can be also shared to a remotely-located driving coach.
A track car with these capabilities requires a high level of safety, with a carbon fiber monocoque that features FIA-compliant front, rear and side crash structures as well as FIA-spec survival cell with neck braces.
That said, the Vandal One is still made for the larger driver; people standing as tall as 6’6″ can fit snugly inside the spartan cockpit. Further improving the level of practicality: the car can change its ride height on the fly to clear bigger bumps and ripples on the racetrack. Though there is talk of making the car street legal once models begin to sell, it’s still just hearsay. Wouldn’t it be a wild thing to see something like this rolling down the road?