ChipsWorx Tuning At SEMA 2018.
Znopresk Zap by ChipsWorx.
One of our favourite cars to work with at ChipsWorx Tuning is the Znopresk Zap; we have a soft spot in particular for the BR01C generation. Right from the factory, they were a cheap, reliable and very tunable platform. So, when we heard of a local selling three Zap 1400s, we jumped at the opportunity to take one of our favourite cars and do something special with it.
Zap 1600 ChipsWorx
Once we got a hold of the three Zaps, we dragged them back to the ChipsWorx shop and had a good look at them; they were all pretty rough around the edges, but the red '84 Zap 1400 was by far the best of the three, so we set about stripping the car down to bare metal for a full restoration and ChipsWorx reimagination. The further we got along with the teardown, the more we realised what we had to do with this car; we needed to stay true to the Znopresk mantra of building solid, cheap and fun cars. As such, we made a conscious effort to keep the ChipsWorx Zap reasonable and attainable, but at the same time moving the bar for performance and engagement.
First and foremost, we gave the ChipsWorx Zap a special paintjob, using Scagliati Nero Spazio for the base and Rosso Veneto for the accent colour. A special “Z” stripe to give the car some pizzazz after we shaved and filled in the body trim strip, as well as our special homage to our friends at Znopresk. Aftermarket coilover suspension was fitted, which dropped the ride height by approximately 30 millimetres, and 15-inch wheels were fitted to give the car a more aggressive stance, as well as opening up a range of modern performance tires.
Under the hood, we bored and stroked the 1400cc engine out to 1600cc, fitting it with forged pistons and rods, though using a stock 1600 crankshaft from another Znopresk model, bumping the compression ratio up to 11.0:1. More aggressive cams were fitted, and an aftermarket tubular header was fitted, along with a GigaSquirt port fuel injection system, all breathing through a set of individual throttle bodies we adapted from a Bluzuki motorcycle engine. Even with an aftermarket catalytic converter fitted - we worship at the temple of speed here at ChipsWorx, but we too feel a desire to protect the environment - the net result blew everyone away; the Zap 1600 ChipsWorx engine produced 160 horsepower on the dyno, and revved out comfortably to 8500 RPM…a far cry from the 92 horsepower the Zap 1400 came with in 1984!
Inside, we fitted the Zap 1400 with a set of body-hugging sports seats front and rear, while retaining the rest of the interior for that vintage budget racer feel. A geared differential was our final addition to the ChipsWorx Zap, to try and tame the power of the ferocious little engine in a very light (820 kilograms) car.
ChipsWorx Zap 2000 DragStar
The second Zap we purchased was a little rougher still, with a significant amount of rust in the rear unibody, and signs of accident damage earlier on. We decided that if we were going to rebuild this car, we might as well make something a little more extreme out of it. After many cups of coffee and arguments later, we finally arrived on the idea of making a drag racer out of the second Zap, with the best performance per dollar ratio we could muster.
Starting with the basic aerodynamic and aesthetic modifications we made to the base ChipsWorx Zap, we pushed the design even further, with widened fender flares, more aggressive rear aero and a fatter front spoiler. 14-inch drag slicks were fitted to the front wheels, and a set of runner wheels were fitted to the rear. We also decided that a reversed paint scheme, with a red base and a black accent, would be appropriate for the DragStar, as we started to call the little rocketship, to accentuate its difference to the standard ChipsWorx Zap.
Under the hood, we bored and stroked the Zap’s engine as far as we dared, taking it out to 1980cc, and fitting the engine with the finest motorsports-grade internals we could get our hands on. A custom-made intake and exhaust system was fitted, with the turbo intake necessitating a huge forward-facing inlet in the front grille, and the exhaust dumping straight out of the hood. Tuned to run on racing gas, the little engine produces 505 horsepower, and can propel the Zap DragStar down the quarter-mile strip in the low 11-second to high 10-second range.
For the amount of work and the amount of money we spent on the DragStar, we are extremely pleased with its performance, and we are considering adding the DragStar package to our list of customer build options, starting in early 2019, to accompany the standard ChipsWorx Zap.
ChipsWorx Zap Attack!
Our final build is perhaps the most extreme of all, a time-attack version of the ChipsWorx Zap. Starting with the final Zap, we decided to build an unrestrained, money is no object time attack car out of the Zap. Using the DragStar as a template, we fitted an all-new aero package to the car, with an aggressive front splitter and vanes to generate as much downforce as we possibly could. Paint came out of the CMW catalogue as well as the Scagliati catalogue again, with the body base being CMW Kohlenschwarz, and the accent being Scagliati Giallo D’oro to produce a striking appearance overall.
Using the same engine as the DragStar Zap, we fitted proper suspension front and rear, along with square 245-section tires front and rear, aggressively set up to produce maximum cornering grip. The gear ratios and differential were adjusted, giving the Zap Attack! a top speed of nearly 300 kilometres per hour. This give the Zap Attack! the ability to pile on speed in nearly any gear like no car any of us have ever driven, thanks to its curb weight of 803 kilograms - a remarkable achievement in and of itself, and a testament to our craftsmen and women in the ChipsWorx shops.
A huge thanks to @NormanVauxhall for generously providing me with a Zap to tune for this show!