2015 Sector111 Drakan Spyder
Sector111's new Drakan Spyder is a minimalist performance vehicle with a focus on light weight; a purist sports car that functions without the intervention of the many electronic aids that have developed in recent years.
The heart of the Drakan is a GM LS3 6.2 liter V8 putting out 430 hp and 424 lb-ft of torque. This naturally aspirated engine is mounted longitudinally in the mid-engine design to give 40/60 weight balance.
The body is made up of chromoloy tubing. Chromoly is a quality steel using chromium and molybdenum that is known for its excellent strenght to weight ratio. The body panels are fiberglass composite with a honeycomb core chosen for its light weight.
Palatov engineered a formula racing style suspension with low unsprung mass specifically for the car, and a brake system from Girodisc and Wilwood bring the vehicle to a quick halt.
The end result is a car that can do 0-62 mph in 3.2 seconds and has achieved over 1.2gs lateral on the track with street tires.
|---- Specifications ----|
|Engine||6.2 liter LS3 V8||Weight||2000 lbs|
|Aspiration||natural||Torque||424 lb-ft @ 5400 rpm|
|HP||430 hp @ 5900 rpm||HP/Weight||4.65 lbs per hp|
|HP/Liter||69.4 hp per liter||1/4 mile||--|
|0-62 mph||3.2 seconds||Top Speed||160 mph|
(from Sector111 Press Release) Sector111 introduces the Drakan Spyder
Sector111 celebrates the launch of their new elemental high-performance sports car, the Drakan Spyder. Designed as the antithesis of the modern day super car, the Drakan Spyder delivers a pure driving experience free of cumbersome electronic driver aids. This $100,000 roadster features a 50-state emission compliant V8 that makes 430 hp and 424 lb-ft. Road registration is possible for this 2,000 lb. car under special construction rules in each state. Ten cars will be produced in 2015 and most are pre-sold.
Shinoo Mapleton, the president of Sector111, had a goal to create a high-performance car that brought back the pleasure of driving. The Drakan Spyder harkens back to a time when drivers controlled the wheel unfettered by the myriad electronic features that tend to come between enthusiasts and the road.
“It is a dream of mine to offer a range of exotic cars that deliver a true formula car experience,” comments Mapleton. “Meeting smog requirements added to the challenge, but we felt it was an important aspect in creating a true American lightweight sports car for purists.”
The Drakan was engineered for thrills. It features a lightweight chromoloy tube chassis based on the Pikes Peak winning D2 engineered by Palatov Motorsports. Sector111 worked closely with Palatov to enhance the D2 to exceed the demands of their exacting clients. As a result, the Drakan Spyder delivers a compliant ride with significantly higher grip levels than many of its rivals.
At the heart of the Drakan is the venerable LS3 from General Motors. This 6.2ltr V8 engine is available in the eRod package which includes catalytic converters, exhaust manifolds, an engine controller and more. This engine is mounted longitudinally, mid-ship to deliver a 40/60 weight balance. Coupled to the LS3 is a 6spd, Getrag G96 gearbox that is an absolute joy to shift, delivering loads of smooth torque. With a distinctive aural soundtrack that screams American V8, the Drakan Spyder clearly differentiates itself from other cars in its class. Acceleration is extremely quick with 0-60 mph coming in 3.2 seconds. Estimated top speed is 160 mph.
The Drakan test mule was tested extensively at Spring Mountain Motor Resort under rigorous conditions. Mapleton used his 30 years of automotive engineering experience, plus the help of an accomplished team, to sort the Drakan to perfection. As an example, the addition of baffling to the oil pan was found to rectify oil pressure issues experienced out on the track while under severe conditions. The Drakan has registered over 1.2gs lateral on the track with street tires. The car has proven to be incredibly quick on the racetrack. A 1 minute, 28 second lap time was recorded by the Drakan at SMMR East 3.1 vs. a C7 Corvette at 1 minute 34 seconds.
Throughout Sector111’s history, the company has focused on performance through weight savings. Colin Chapman’s winning philosophy of ‘simplify and add lightness’ has been a touchstone in the Drakan’s development. Weight was identified as the enemy since it affects acceleration, speed, handling, braking – everything. Sector111 engineers pursued weight saving to improve each performance area. For example:
- Chromoloy tubing is used for optimal strength and weight savings over mild steel
- Custom forged wheels from HRE are specified to deliver less unsprung mass.
- Two-piece brake rotors from Girodisc and forged, billet calipers from Wilwood delivered additional savings.
- Lightweight fiberglass composite bodywork with honeycomb core is utilized instead of heavy hand-laid composites.
- The Palatov engineered and patent pending, formula car style suspension delivers lower unsprung mass than typical suspensions. The Fox Racing coil-overs feature very light aluminium bodies.
“We spent a lot of time dedicated to adding lightness,” says Mapleton. “The result of our dedication to Chapman’s age-old maxim resulted in tremendous gains in speed, handling and braking across the board. We set our weight target for the car to approximately 2,000 lbs. The weight benchmark, for us was the Lotus Exige. We designed the Drakan as a gentleman’s track car, not an all out racer. The Drakan is a very refined monster."
Design: Aesthetics Matter
The Drakan design brief was overseen by Mapleton. He wanted an elemental car that was simple with no roof or doors. The car was expected to be a ‘step-in’ car much like the Lotus 340R, Ariel Atom, BAC Mono and KTM X-bow. These aforementioned cars all influenced the Drakan’s final design and clearly admired by Mapleton. Several proposals were submitted by various designers around the world with the winning design coming from Zukun Plan. Mapleton worked closely with Zukun Plan to refine their original design into one that would meet the aesthetics, manufacturing and assembly demands of a small-volume car.
This open wheel design gives the car an especially lithe stance and feel. The 80” rear track and 102” wheelbase naturally offer a charismatic presence. Many modern mid-engined cars are either too big or too small. Sized just right, the Drakan is muscular yet agile. The final form perfectly hits the right notes.
The exterior design also showcases key components like the billet machined bellcranks and coil-overs. The rear engine lid features a molded mesh screen that provides a view of the powertrain and suspension. A great deal of time was spent to ensure that the engine bay was stripped of ugly parts, especially those ubiquitous plastic covers found on so many modern cars. Sector111 wanted the engine bay to be something that clients would be proud of showcasing. Another bit of jewelry is the gas cap. This aircraft quality gem is featured prominently at the front and center of the car. Touches like this can be found throughout the Drakan including the billet light housings featuring Hella SAE compliant LED and Bi-Xenon lighting. The ultra-bright and safe LED taillights are stacked vertically as a visual twist to the usual horizontal layout.
Even the custom designed wheels from HRE add style and performance. These are the very best wheels produced in the US. HRE specially designed these wheels and accommodated
Mapleton’s one key request, make the front and rear wheels with different spoke counts. The result is a never seen before design that adds to the uniqueness of the Drakan Spyder.
The interior of the car features marine-grade upholstery. A diamond stitched center console and door panels are accented with a suede-like material. These add a nice touch of sophistication yet remain true to the elemental ethos of the Drakan. The back-lit switch panel delivers a step up from the utilitarian-look found in other elemental cars. The AiM MXS dash boasts multiple screens tailored for the drivers needs along with data logging and easy connectivity to HD video. The custom DOT safety glass ‘spyder’ windshield is easy to see through. It delivers a helmet-less driving experience that also allows the driver and passenger to converse without shouting.
High performance and quality have been clear goals of Sector111 since its founding in 2003 as a Lotus performance parts specialist. The Drakan benefits from that philosophy as it features top shelf components. By partnering with like-minded companies, Sector111 was able to specify excellent quality components to raise the bar of performance and reliability.
“The Drakan is all about fun,” adds Mapleton. “At Sector111, we wanted to deliver a car that was a blast to drive with lower running costs than typical track-day cars. By delivering a lightweight car, we knew we could minimize the running costs. Sure, the Drakan is very fast, but it is also easy on the maintenance budget.”
“In the more subjective areas of handling, comfort, and driver involvement, the Drakan is setting new standards for a mid-engined high performance sports car in the light-weight category,” he concludes. "Ride and handling development was undertaken at Spring Mountain Motor Resort as well as some of Southern California’s best roads and canyons. This work was conducted by Sector111’s noted ride engineer and IMSA champ, David Thilenius.
Brakes come from partner Girodisc and Wilwood. Girodisc two-piece rotors that measure 12.9” are directly related to the ULTRAdisc rotors that Sector111 has sold to the Lotus community since 2005. Excellent performance and durability have been the hallmark of these rotors. The Wilwood DynoPro calipers are forged billet and have also been used very effectively by Sector111 in Lotus applications. The brake pads are eadily available in many compounds and very affordable. Brake rotor and pad life are expected to last all season keeping running costs low.
Durability with a focus on long maintenance intervals for a track car was a key goal. Sector111 used simple, proven components as well as materials and production techniques that ensure that the Drakan Spyder requires less attention than other track day cars.
An American Formula Car
The Drakan was designed, engineered and is built in the United States of America. U.S. based companies include Palatov, Zukun, GM, Lancair, HRE, Fox Racing, Girodisc, Wilwood and many more. All helped Sector111 make the Drakan Spyder a true reflection of American ingenuity and craftsmanship. With a respectful nod to its competition from the United Kingdom, the Drakan Spyder aims to deliver a pure sports car experience out on the track while remaining versatile enough to also be taken on long road trips.
“I am confident that the Drakan hits a sweet spot in the U.S. market,” continues Mapleton. “Demand for high-performance, elemental cars is strong in large part because more clients are hungry for the feeling that comes from cars that require true driver interaction. Sector111 is delivering the right type of products that bring back the joy of performance driving. Of course, it also helps when the Drakan features a V8 that is emission compliant in all 50 States. The Drakan Spyder offers performance, convenience, and versatility.”
The market for lightweight sports cars has grown substantially in the last decade with several new entries. Sector111 has successfully sold Ariel Atoms and BAC Monos for more than five years. As a result, Sector111 has a faithful following of enthusiasts who adore these purist cars. For years, clients who needed emission compliance did not have a formula-like car option – they do now with the Drakan. Fitting big and tall drivers was another key requirement -the car can accommodate drivers as tall as 6”5” with two different seat sizes.
The Drakan Spyder is the first in a series of body styles planned by Sector111. In addition to this mid-engine chassis, a front engine chassis is on the drawing board that will offer a different driving feeling while still maintaining the elemental feel that the Drakan series of cars delivers. Aesthetics of a front engine car will naturally be a true departure from the mid- engine Drakans. Yet some parts, like brakes, suspension, etc can be shared between these two platforms bringing an important economy of scale for Drakan production.
Initial sales are being managed by Sector111 and their east coast partner Drakan Cars East, LLC. Drakan Cars East is located in New Jersey and positioned as a key dealer in a critically important sales region of the North America. They are a full-service dealer with sales and service support. Five of the initial Drakans that have been sold are headed to the east coast. As demand grows, new dealers will be added in key markets.