The forgotten 90s French supercar
This early-70's prototype styled concept is actually a 90's french supercar with a 4.1L W16.
The 90's were one of the best eras for supercars. We had the Bugatti EB110, Lamborghini Diablo, Ferrari F50, McLaren F1, and a car similar to the Novia, the Dauer 962. So what exactly set this car apart? It looks like a 70's prototype and has a W16 in the rear.
The story begins in 1985, with French motorcycle racer Ramon Jimenez. Jimenez was looking at making a supercar of his own. The car he planned to build would be a hommage to the great Porsche 917. He would work with a small team of engineers at his workshop in Avignon to accomplish this goal.
The car would used an aluminium honeycomb monocoque chassis and a custom carbon fiber body. The car would be powered by a 4.1L W16 made by combining four 1.0L 4 cylinder Yamaha FZR1000 motorcycle engines. The engine has been subject of argument as to it not being a true W16, due to it not having a "broad arrow" layout compared to other W engines.
The W16 would produce around 560 BHP (417.6 KW, 517 PS) at 10,000 RPM, and have around 318 lb ft of torque (432 NM). It was rear wheel drive with a 6-Speed manual transmission. The entire car would cost Jimenez around $885,000 USD when it was completed in 1995.
The rear of the Novia. It shows clear how much this car was based on the Porsche 917.
Following its completion, it would continue to be tested and developed, with performance upgrades planned for the future. Jimenez was also looking at a big step for the car, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in GT1 class. This required putting the car into production, which Jimenez was going to sell for $300,000 USD, but the French government required a seperate chassis for crash testing, which Jimenez didn't have. So the project was scraped.
Unfortunate, as the car would've been a good competitor for the other supercars of the time, with an verified top speed of 236 MPH (380 KM/H), and reportedly accelerated from 0-60 MPH (97 KM/H) in 3.1 seconds.
It is unknown as to the true location of the car, but it is assumed it is in Ramon Jimenez's personal collection. No matter what, the car would have been a great rival for the other supercars of the time. But we can only imagine how the automotive world may have been influenced had we seen the Novia been able to hit the market.