1) Mid-Engine layout: similar to many supercars and the Porsche Boxster/Cayman, the engine sits just behind the driver, then it’s directly connected (no driveshaft) to the Transaxle (which is a single unit that combines the Transmission & Differential). With our ~600HP goal, sourcing a transaxle that can reliably handle this amount is difficult…we had a few options, A) Mendeola…the gold standard, B) Porsche 911 unit, but you need to rotate 180 degrees in 2 axis, and add an oil pump to scavenge and distribute oil to the gears that are now up-side-down…w/ our power levels, we’d be looking at a Turbo or GT2 variant, which quickly approaches $20K for a used/modified unit., 3) Ricardo/Audi R8/Ferrari Transaxles: these are all possible, but sourcing can be difficult, and getting the hardware to adapt them to our V8 adds more cost & complexity.
2) Fuel tanks: There are 2 tanks, each outboard of the drive/passenger. If you’ve ever seen someone get into a GT40, it’s can be a bit awkward as you need to step across a wide door sill…which is the fuel tank. We’ll need to figure out how to configure the fuel system, the 1st thought is to have 2 complete fuel set-ups, and a toggle on the dash to choose which tank. Another concern is safety…a side impact would be a nightmare; we’re opting to get a fuel cell bladder & foam, which helps to prevent fuel bursting from the tank due to an impact. The roll cage will also include a dual “door bar” design to help protect from a side impact.
3) Low & Tight…the driver/passenger seat widths are really tight, in part b/c the fuel tanks. This is similar to a Lotus 7, which sits inboard of the wheels. As a driver, it also makes the car feel much wider, especially around town when you’re parking…normally you’re a few inches from the exterior of the door, but now it’s ~10″ more; don’t curb the wheels! In addition, the seat is really low, putting your butt level with the pedals.
4) Roll Cage: With doors that include 50% of the roof it allows you to step in and slide into the seat, but makes it difficult to fit a standard cage that connects the front and rear hoops. As such we’ll be doing a center halo connection so that it fits snuggly under the central roof section and should be barely visible. In addition, we’ll have removable bars for track days.