Ultimate track toy? Meet the 417kW Type R–powered Vandal One
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Japanese four-poppers, particularly from the likes of Toyota and Honda, have long found themselves as likely transplants in lightweight sports cars. Think about the cute little Lotus Elise and the exoskeletal Ariel Atom as prime examples.
But, this deranged looking creation might just about top them all. And, it's from America.
The Vandal One is a centre-driven sports car based around a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis which, when stripped back, bares more similarities to an open-wheel racer than anything else. In total, it weighs 555kg — just over half the weight of a Suzuki Swift Sport supermini. Much of this stems from the body panels, which are formed from carbon fibre, like the chassis.
The low weight is complemented by wild aerodynamics. A large rear wing and hollowed out tail look to have been at least partially inspired by the back end of the McLaren P1 GTR, while ground-hugging splitters on the front and sides guarantee that even the most mellow of speed bumps could have devastating consequences. Behind each wheel sits a set of Brembo brakes.
Supercars Championship anoraks will recognise the 'PWR' signage on the Vandal's cooling system as that of former Paul Weel Racing (Greg Murphy raced for them in 2005 and 2006). Post-Supercars, they have blossomed to become one of the best names in the business for cooling in cars, with their products appearing in the cars of Red Bull's Formula 1 campaign, Roush Fenway's NASCARs, and more.
Grip isn't outlined in the greatest of detail. Vandal have made their own in-house pushrod front and rear suspension set-ups, with JRi adjustable sway bars and dampers. And, judging by the press imagery and renders the Vandal One will come with either Pirelli P-Zeros or Michelin slicks. This brings us to the Vandal One's biggest talking point; its engine. Or rather, its engines.
See, the Vandal One is set to be available in numerous trim levels. But it's not like the upscale models will gain Nappa leather or a larger infotainment screen ... they'll instead inherit more power.
All Vandal Ones are powered by a variation of Honda's Civic Type R K20C1 engine, hooked up to a six-speed sequential transmission.
In its standard form, the turbocharged four-cylinder makes 228kW of power — an amount that would surely be adequate in a 555kg sports car. But, Vandal have made tweaks to the engines — resulting in two different power specs. One makes a mild but still wild 253kW, while the other makes a certifiably nuts 417kW. Vandal One even say that it will rev all the way out to 9000rpm — despite the forced induction.
That's just 61kW less than what a Lamborghini Urus produces from its turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, in a package that's more than four times lighter. Expect that vehicles fitted with P-Zeros will be the lower-power option, while the Michelin slicks will be reserved for the high-power option.
Pricing on the Vandal One is set to start at US$119,700 (NZ$175,000) for the base-spec 253kW package. There's no posted price on the more powerful variant, but assume that it probably knocks on the door of the NZ$200,000 barrier. That's plenty, but ... given the specs and its likely lap-times ... it might prove to be a bargain for those wanting to be the King or Queen of their local track day.