Legendary Australian sportscar builder Bolwell will preview a stunningly lightweight mid-engined V8 supercar at Motorclassica next week that tips the scales at less than 1000 kg.

Breaking cover for the 50th anniversary of the first Bolwell Nagari, the Nagari 500 Preview packs 372 kW in an advanced composite body.

It promises a ferocious 0-100 km/h sprint in under 3 seconds, with the handling and braking that only a very light car can deliver.

Powered by a Chevrolet LS3 V8, it's a return to Nagari's V8 roots for Bolwell Technologies founder Campbell Bolwell.

"We've had it out for a few drives, and it's a real supercar," he said.

"As with the original Nagari, this is a proper road car – it's hugely powerful, but you can drive it to the shops. It even has a boot."

Campbell Bolwell has created the new car with his brother Graeme and long-term Bolwell team member Ross McConnell, who developed the first Nagari, and Nagari 300 development engineer Toby Hunt.

Suspension is classic dual wishbones with pneumatically adjustable adaptive dampers, brakes are 355 mm ventilated and cross-drilled discs, and tyres are 265/35ZR19 on 19x10½ alloys up front with 305/30ZR19 on massive 19x12 rims at the rear.

But the headline act is the super-light, super-strong body and Occupant Safety Capsule, made of carbon-kevlar composite using Bolwell's own closed moulding vacuum infusion system for unbeatable strength-to-weight.

Although at a glance the Nagari 500 resembles the Nagari 300, the only identical part is the windscreen, as Graeme Bolwell worked with Campbell to finesse every detail of the design to evolve the spirit of the original Nagari and the Nagari 300.

When it came to inserting the Chevy V8, Bolwell opted for longitudinal mounting with the driveshafts ahead of the gearbox as the ideal set-up.

Comparing Nagari 500 with other famously light cars shows that its scorching performance this is no accident – the McLaren F1 was heavier and the Lotus Esprit much less powerful. The new mid-engined Corvette is half a tonne heavier.

The Bolwell Nagari 500 Preview (on Stand 314 at Motorclassica) is not yet available for driving, but that will come next year.

Campbell Bolwell promises it will not disappoint!

The magic of lightweight composites: Nagari 500 v the rest



bhp / kW

0-100 km/h

Top speed

McLaren F1

1138 kg

618 / 461

3.6 sec


Lotus Esprit

898 kg

160 / 119

8.6 sec


Lotus Esprit V8

1300 kg

345 / 257

4.7 sec


Corvette C8

1530 kg

490 / 365

3.2 sec


Bolwell Nagari 500

1000 kg

500 / 372

< 3.0 sec*

> 300*

* Estimated – subject to performance testing of production car.


More information:  Campbell Bolwell c_bolwell@yahoo.com 0407 567 196
Media & images: Greg Shoemark greg@shoemarkandking.com.au  0412 316 928