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Aussie-built Ferrari-powered F1 road car in development

By Chris Thompson, 22 Aug 2018 News

Aussie-built Ferrari-powered F1 road car in development news

Batmobile builder working on the ultimate road racer

Ever wanted to drive an F1 car on the road? You’re in luck…

Zac Mihajlovic thought the same thing a few years ago, and now he’s almost reached that goal, thanks to the Zacaria (pronounced Zacariah) supercar he’s building with his business partner Scotty Cox, a custom motorcycle builder by trade.

It’s as close to a road-legal F1 car as you’ll get, thanks to a Ferrari V12 engine and a good grasp of ADR requirements.

Where does the experience required to do this come from? Well, Zac built a road-legal Batmobile based on the car from Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman, which he sometimes uses for appearances as The Caped Crusader.

We’ll let Zac explain: “It started for me after I built the 1989 Batmobile, I had built some other cars before, and as most people know, once you sink a lot of money into a car a lot of the time you’ll never get it back. It doesn’t hold value because it’s customised to what you like.

“If you’re going to channel a lot of time and money into something, it should be really extreme… so I built the Batmobile and then I got a lot of orders from people for me to make them one. I’m not allowed to with the licencing, and I wouldn’t want to anyway.

“So I thought, what’s the next-most extreme thing I could build to drive on the street? No one’s done it with an F1 car, they’ve done thing like the BAC Mono or the Ariel Atom, but they’re four-cylinder and look like concept cars.

“If you wanted to drive a real F1 car it’d take a team of people to run it so I thought about a modern V8 or V12 from a Ferrari, there’s probably a market for people who want something no one else has.”

UPDATE: Zacaria SC makes debut in Monaco

He tells MOTOR that getting the engine was one of the biggest challenges, but a written-off 2014 Ferrari F12 in the UK solved that problem. Fazza V12, sorted.

The gearbox is to come from Albins, a company which builds transmissions for the Supercar series, in this case as a transaxle six-speed. Customers can choose between paddles or a race-style sequential shifter.

Because of its pedigree, Mihajlovic says the atmo 6.3-litre engine is perfect for an F1-inspired road car, and expects the power-to-weight to hit roughly 1:1 in terms of horses and kilograms.

“The engine puts out around 740 horsepower, and the car should weigh around 700kg without a driver in the car. With the straight-cut gearbox you lose almost no power. Maybe with a tank of fuel and a driver it’d be about one-to-one, which is rare for a street car.”

So how close is it to finished? Closer than the pictures would suggest, Mihajlovic says. He’s leaving the car as unpainted aluminium to reduce the ‘worry’ factor when it comes to bodywork blemishes.

“At least with what we’re doing, because it’s all polished aluminium, it doesn’t matter too much if it gets scratched. You can just polish it out, so whoever has one can really just enjoy it.

“We’re pretty good with aluminium, but if someone does want carbon fibre parts we can do it.”

Mihajlovic says he’s expecting to sell any Zacarias that he builds for more than $1 million, at the very least because of the time and effort required.

“We’re the ones who are going to have to work on it and fix it, so we’ve put so much thought into how to maintain the car, how to change the oil, and how to access everything, because obviously when Lambo or Ferrari builds a car it goes somewhere else and it’s up to the dealership.

“The people that made it don’t have to fix it. If someone came to the workshop we could spend a day just showing how everything works.”

The Zacaria, as a road-legal car, will also need to be able to traverse tricky streets and driveways, so Mihajlovic devised a hydraulic lift and a system which allows the front bodywork to be removed (in dire situations) in about 12 seconds.

“All of this has come from the Batmobile, and living with a car that’s really low and really difficult. I’ve taken everything that’s wrong with that car and fixed it for this.

“Everything’s fully adjustable, there’s the air-brake, a straight-through exhaust that has valves… it’s pretty wild.”

He says he expects to be testing the Zacaria by the end of the year, even though the engine hasn’t run for the last couple.

Mihajlovic also says he’s already got an informal expression of interest from someone to purchase one, a supercar collector who wants something unique.

Stay tuned as MOTOR follows the Zacaria’s development in the future.