The Nagari 500 is the best driver’s car of the year – prove me wrong
Because of technological advancement, we now live in a world of silent, turbocharged engines, automatic gearboxes and a plethora of features to help keep a car pointing in the right direction. That’s why, on the rare occasion that we see a manual, rear wheel drive naturally aspirated car, petrolheads go insane.
If you include yourself in that group, prepare to lose your mind as Australia has just given us a real gem.
Bolwell is a company that has been around since the 1960s but has remained pretty quiet since the 1970s apart from a few small projects. It has recently come out of hibernation to give us one last taste of the pure driving car with the Nagari 500.
Powered by the 6.2-litre LS3 V8 engine most commonly found in Corvettes, the Nagari 500 is utterly astonishing. As you may have guessed, that V8 engine puts out a modest 500hp, which in today’s space race atmosphere, may seem small. However, it is actually a nice break from the 1,000hp machines we constantly see.
That power is sent exclusively to the rear wheels potentially making for great drift-ability. Furthermore, there’s no electric assistance powering the front end so pushing the new Bolwell should be a rewarding challenge. Even more so with the old-school, six-speed manual gearbox and mid-engine layout.
On paper, the potential for a great driver’s car is there and there’s no denying that that is replicated in the car’s aesthetics. The front end is very much similar to that of the original Tesla Roadster, which I think we can all agree wasn’t an ugly car. From the rear end though, it gets even better as the twin, round lights, quad exhaust and exposed gearbox remind me of the iconic Ferrari 288 GTO.
From the outside, it looks like the engine is placed quite low down in the chassis as the rear deck doesn’t follow the roof line. This should help keep the centre of gravity low, although it obviously won’t give the same effect as an electric drivetrain.
Speaking of gravity, or more importantly, weight, the Nagari 500 will weigh under 1,000kg. That makes the 500hp power figure even more attractive. In fact, it means the car has a power to weight ratio of 500hp per tonne, the same as a Zenos E 10 R track car.
So far, the Nagari 500 is just a prototype. Therefore, sadly, we are no closer to knowing how much it will cost or when it will be made available to the public.