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ElanMark

NP01 Prototype Progress

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ElanMark

Hi Jim,

Good eyes! Yes, it's solid works. Some of the components like the engine, transmission, rotors and calipers, axles, and a few other items we're able to get models from the manufactures that can for the most part be dropped in place. Other parts the Engineers have to model themselves, like the intake, oil pump, dry sump, exhaust, seat, uprights, etc. were all drawn in house.

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ncbted

This looks like a fun and exciting new car/class. I hope it is very successful because it would be a great step up from Spec Racer Ford (SRF) or Spec Miata. I currently race a SRF and really enjoy the class and car. Specifically, I love that the cars are very affordable, reliable, beefy, easy to fix, and safe. My absolute favorite part of the class is the large fields. We routinely get 15+ cars at a regional races and 25+ at larger events. A few years ago, when the economy was weak, the fields shrunk and we were forced to run with other classes. Those weekends very scary and I saw some horrific accidents. Converted "street cars" just couldn't see our small SRFs and when they hit us they clobbered our 1500lb cars with their 3000lb cars. Terrifying to say the least.

 

My complaints about SRF are few but I have always been fearful of hitting a deer. Deer strikes at racetracks, while not common, are happening more frequently. Just check out YouTube. Can you provide some additional details about the windshield and its mounting method? Is it designed to survive a deer strike? I never liked the SRF 1.9L engine, however, the new 1.6L package is supposed to be much sexier, lighter, and powerful than the old 1.9L. The NP01 looks to have a healthy dose of sexy components, far more than an SRF. I do wish the cost of a new car was closer to $50K than $70K. I say that because while a new SRF costs $40K, new cars are extremely rare. Most folks buy a used car and those transactions are nearly always for less than $20K. There is one heck of a delta between $20K and $70K.

 

I can see that many of the strengths of SRF are being repeated with the NP01 such as an easy to fix chassis, sealed engine, sealed shocks, long-lasting spec rubber, etc. Could you share more info about the gearbox? I am familiar with synchromesh boxes and H-pattern dog-ring boxes but not sequential boxes. Will the clutch be used for upshifts? Will downshifts require double-clutching?

 

Lastly, what will the head and shoulder support look like? How will the driver escape around those supports in the event of a fire? Thanks very much!

 

Ted

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ElanMark

Great questions!

 

The windshield itself is Plexiglas bolted to the roof on all four sides by a bolts every couple of inches. It's surrounded on the top, sides and bottom by roll cage and the greenhouse on the car is not very wide to begin with. The perspective on the attached photo makes it look large, but the distance between the front down tubes is only 23 inches, so it's a fairly small opening for something to get through.

 

I understand your comments about pricing. We'd like to sell a car for around $50k but it's almost impossible to amortize the molds and development costs and still include nice equipment at that price. We didn't want people to buy the car then have to spend 25% again or more replacing the cheap stuff that came with it just so we could advertise an inexpensive price. This car comes with quality components where they count so there is no need to upgrade items or spend money to make it reliable.

 

The gearbox is a 6 speed sequential. So upshifts only require a very brief lift of the throttle (less than a second) to take the load off the gears, no clutch. Downshifts depend no how skilled you are at heel-toe shifts. Its best to either blip the throttle to match the revs as you select the next gear down, or use the clutch. Double clutching is not required. If you've ridden a motorcycle and changed gears without the clutch, it's the same thing here. Most people take a few minutes to get acclimated then much prefer the sequential. It dramatically reduces the chance of a missed shift or selecting the wrong gear. Neutral and reverse cannot be selected without pulling the lockout handle first. This prevents hitting the wrong one of these positions too.

 

It's hard to tell from the previous photos but the sides of the seat come above the shoulders of most drivers and offer quite a bit of support. We're most likely going to suggest the installation of nets for side helmet protection which can be unlatched and easily moved. I'm sure rigid supports are possible, but they would limit the room for entry and exit.

 

Here is a pic of one of our guys sitting in the car while we pour the seat. To give you an idea of how much room there is, Mike is 5'10" and 205 lbs.

 

20150625_145458.jpg

 

Thanks!

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C.Plavan
Great questions!

 

The windshield itself is Plexiglas bolted to the roof on all four sides by a bolts every couple of inches. It's surrounded on the top, sides and bottom by roll cage and the greenhouse on the car is not very wide to begin with. The perspective on the attached photo makes it look large, but the distance between the front down tubes is only 23 inches, so it's a fairly small opening for something to get through.

 

I understand your comments about pricing. We'd like to sell a car for around $50k but it's almost impossible to amortize the molds and development costs and still include nice equipment at that price. We didn't want people to buy the car then have to spend 25% again or more replacing the cheap stuff that came with it just so we could advertise an inexpensive price. This car comes with quality components where they count so there is no need to upgrade items or spend money to make it reliable.

 

The gearbox is a 6 speed sequential. So upshifts only require a very brief lift of the throttle (less than a second) to take the load off the gears, no clutch. Downshifts depend no how skilled you are at heel-toe shifts. Its best to either blip the throttle to match the revs as you select the next gear down, or use the clutch. Double clutching is not required. If you've ridden a motorcycle and changed gears without the clutch, it's the same thing here. Most people take a few minutes to get acclimated then much prefer the sequential. It dramatically reduces the chance of a missed shift or selecting the wrong gear. Neutral and reverse cannot be selected without pulling the lockout handle first. This prevents hitting the wrong one of these positions too.

 

It's hard to tell from the previous photos but the sides of the seat come above the shoulders of most drivers and offer quite a bit of support. We're most likely going to suggest the installation of nets for side helmet protection which can be unlatched and easily moved. I'm sure rigid supports are possible, but they would limit the room for entry and exit.

 

Here is a pic of one of our guys sitting in the car while we pour the seat. To give you an idea of how much room there is, Mike is 5'10" and 205 lbs.

 

20150625_145458.jpg

 

Thanks!

 

 

1 Million dollar question; Did he make racecar noises while sitting there?

 

It sure does look like more room than I was picturing. Nice work.

 

Will there be a place to anchor the side nets in the rear? Or is the firewall thick enough?

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ElanMark

Yes, he made noises but it sounded more like snoring than anything else.....

 

I'm not sure how the engineers plan to anchor the nets yet, but there will be allowances for them. An adjustable headrest will be there also.

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bbutler1414

Hi Mark,

Please advise on any type of lift system that may be in the works for the NP, mechanical or otherwise.

 

Getting this NP into a typical box trailer may be a feat in itself. At this point, has any thought been put into a possibility of a optional power lift system as a factory option for those that may choose so?

 

Happy 4th everyone!

 

P.S. There will be an American Flag on my NP.

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ElanMark

Hi Bobby,

The plan is to offer transport bars that can be put in place of the shocks to lift the car for loading.

 

Anything more automated adds a lot of weight and gets pretty complicated so we're just sticking to something simple but reliable.

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C.Plavan
Hi Mark,

Please advise on any type of lift system that may be in the works for the NP, mechanical or otherwise.

 

Getting this NP into a typical box trailer may be a feat in itself. At this point, has any thought been put into a possibility of a optional power lift system as a factory option for those that may choose so?

 

Happy 4th everyone!

 

P.S. There will be an American Flag on my NP.

 

 

I had to deal with that with my new build (Wish I knew the NP01 was coming sooner ) since the splitter is so low. Race Ramps make it super simple. They are light and rigid and can be in many different lengths. I'm sure you could use this option also with the NP01.

xAjJSSvl.jpg

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rex.racer

I lost my car to a fire back in April and have been moping around the house trying to figure out what kind of car I wanted. Nothing was really making me excited until I found this. I am in as soon as my house sells, I'm writing a check for a down payment and getting on the list.

 

This thing looks like more fun than should be legal and all these pictures shows me the enormous work and quality put into this car. Man I can't wait.

 

Jay

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bbutler1414

Jay the best part is right around the corner! If you have the oportunity be sure to visit Elan facility do so. What area are you from?

 

Welcome Racer !

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rex.racer

I run in texas with Will. I ran a c5 in the blitz group. I posted a link to the in car video of the carnage over in the texas section. I fully plan on flying to the facility to take a tour and then cutting a check at the end for my car. Im already getting the garage ready.

 

My only concern with this car is getting into the trailer. I had aero on my vette and had a custom trailer and rail rider installed and it was tight so im hoping this thing isnt lower.

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ElanMark

Chassis #000 our prototype saw the light of day for the first time this week. Sure felt great to see it complete and on the ground!

 

20150701_102450.jpg

 

The body work is only prototype level so production parts will mostly be white gelcost and look a good bit better.

 

20150701_102512.jpg

 

All but the roof is held on with 1/4 turn fasteners and can be removed in about 10 minutes by a single person.

The roof scoop incorporates the engine air box so the engine cover can be removed without messing with the airbox.

 

To give you an idea of scale, Todd from our engine shop standing next to the car is about 5'10" and 225lbs. If my memory serves me correctly, the overall dimensions are 42 inches high, 160 long and 75 wide.

 

20150701_103111.jpg

 

Here's how the doors open. They use a continuous hinge that makes them feel very solid and work great. It's also easier to get in and out of than I expected

 

20150701_102818.jpg

 

20150701_102150.jpg

 

The wing end plates fit into recesses on the rear fenders and are also held in place by 1/4 turn fasteners.

 

20150701_102126.jpg

 

Here's a pic of the cockpit. The switches to the right are ign, start and lights, next row is helmet blower, defogger and wiper then below is the coolsuit switch. Most of these items are optional but at least you can see how the switches are laid out. The car will come with a suede MOMO wheel similar to the one pictured here.

The red button with a guard is the fire system which is electric and included in the kit.

Several of the switches are switch/breakers so there are only three fuses in the entire car.

You can also see the GPS unit for the AIM dash included in the kit. The lever to the right of my knee is the shifter and the pull handle to the far left is the neutral/reverse lockout.

Lastly, I am 6'2" and 218 lbs and you can see how much leg room I still have in the cockpit...Plenty to spare!

 

20150701_103318.jpg

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rex.racer

Man that thing looks GREAT!!

 

I love that the panels can all be removed in 10 minutes with 1/4 turn fasteners. I was thinking this was something I might have to do during assembly. This will make it MUCH easier to get loaded and tied down in the trailer. Awesome!!

 

I would love to see a short vid clip of ingress and egress from the cockpit.

I would love to see/hear it fired up as it sits.

How low does that thing sit at the midpoint of the wheel base and at the nose?

Where will the side view mirrors mount?

Where will the tow hook(s) mount?

 

Couple of other questions I probably already know the answer to just want to verify (don't flame);

1. Does this run on 93 octane pump gas?

2. I assume this does not have an ABS system?

 

Sorry for all the questions. I'm just excited about this and I can't wait...feel like a kid at Xmas again.

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C.Plavan

That looks awesome. Very impressive. I'm sure more orders will be flowing in.

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ElanMark

Glad you like it as much as we do!

 

Good.idea, I'll try to get a couple of short videos next week.

 

The ride height is 2" front and 2.5 in the rear.

 

We're still deciding on the best spot for mirrors and tow hooks. The car's center of gravity is just a couple of inches in front of the main hoop so we'll have a simple rig that fits under the cage between the doors so the car can be lifted by a gantry and put on stands.

 

Yep, you're right, it's mapped to run on premium pump fuel to keep costs down and there is no ABS or traction control. The car and class are very much about driver development and cost containent.

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LJ32

SO MUCH WANT!

Is it just the angle or is the shifter super close to the switches? Seems like they could easily be bumped with your knuckles?

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ElanMark

Sorry, I am definitely not a photographer!

 

It's fairly close, but there is plenty of room between it and the switches.

 

Even this pic makes it look closer than it felt in the car but it might help clarify things a little

 

20150623_131838_1.jpg

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olaaf

Have you guys checked the optional MXG dash for interference with the brake bias adjuster? That dash is huge...

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ElanMark

Yes, the MXG dash will fit. It's a bit tight to the bias knob but there is room.

The production bias knob bracket is a bit different from that in the prototype photos which allows for a little more room.

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rex.racer

Any thought or talk of adding a load cell to the shifter lever and Trans ECU or a full paddle shifting setup? I did some searching and geartronics out of England seem to make a system that would play nice with the Sadev. Not sure if this would be regulated out of the spec class or not.

 

But the chance to have a no lift shift and auto down blip for not a ton of money is very attractive. The parts for the lever shift are reasonalble at around $1000. The paddle shifter is a bit more at about $5000

 

http://www.geartronics.co.uk/products.htm

 

Jay

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ElanMark

We decided up front to not include paddle shift. We use a paddle system in the IMSA lites cars and a few guys are wanting to switch back. Not that the systems don't work, but the benefits of paddle shifting with limited system integration are not always as good as we would like.

In the end, the final decision was made in the interest of limiting cost, keeping things simple, and maximizing reliability.

I spent some time in the NP01 prototype today and was really very happy with the basic shifter that comes in the kit.

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ElanMark

Yesterday was skid pad day, the first on track test for the NP01. The majority of the time was spent with different set-ups but also included acceleration and brake testing. It looks like we were pretty close on set-up out of the gate and were able to go from oversteer to understeer with just front bar adjustments.

 

The car is very well balanced and a blast to drive with no bad habits.

 

More testing and development to come but so far so good!

 

unnamed.jpg

 

20150710_121302_1.jpg

 

20150710_121247.jpg

 

20150710_121218.jpg

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C.Plavan

Mark,

 

I have called and left a couple messages and no one has called me back (Thursday and Friday). If you were at the track I'm cool with that.

 

What was the final HP/TQ you ended up with? I know the goal was 285, but you teased us saying you went over. Also what is the weight in it's current form? What would be the ball park replacement cost of the motor?

 

Looks great. Looking forward to seeing more.

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ILIKETODRIVE
What was the final HP/TQ you ended up with? I know the goal was 285, but you teased us saying you went over.

185?

 

Engine development is almost done with a positive result on the plus side of the planned target of 185HP. There is a video of the engine running here:

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