Nemesis FAQs

General FAQs that are not specific to the Nemesis can be found here.

What's the difference between the Nemesis and Nemesis Tandem?

The Nemesis Tandem shares the same architecture as the original Nemesis, but has a stretched chassis, longer bodywork, and an additional seat. Just like the popular F1 and Indycar inline 2-seat formula cars, the Tandem seats two people, one behind the other. This allows for the lowest possible drag in a 2-seater, as well as preserving the look and performance of a racing formula car.

The cars are otherwise mostly identical; they share the same suspension, wheel and tire package, drivetrain, and ease of assembly.

Where does the Nemesis fit?

The Nemesis is designed to be a great track day car, offering good speed, in an affordable car with great reliability and low running costs. These attributes make it a great car for racing schools- you get the formula car style, without the expense and fragility of a Formula Ford or other formula cars, which are typically built with less ruggedness, for example.

The Nemesis is extremely strong, and therefore safer in a crash than a conventional formula car, has a very high roll hoop to accommodate very tall drivers, and is designed for very low maintenance, with an easy-to-repair steel tubing chassis, one design and part number for any suspension corner for low spares costs, and provision for a wide range of economical yet powerful engines from VW and Audi. Even the wheels and tires are inexpensive and widely available, as they are also used on the Corvette.

It’s also possible to convert the car to run on the street in some jurisdictions, though that is not explicitly supported from the factory- you are on your own here.  See the link on the Nemesis section for more detail.

How easy is it to build, really?

The Superlite Nemesis was designed to be built in your garage, using basic hand tools. You don’t need to do any welding, or machining, or have fancy tools. Because it is basically a race car, it is the fastest build - and easiest of all the Superlite cars. Essentially, you have to wire the car, install coolant tubes and related parts, assemble and validate the suspension, build an exhaust, plumb and install the brakes and steering, and you are pretty much ready to go. You don’t even really have to paint the car, as the panels look good right out of the mold, saving both time and money.

These can realistically be built in as little as 100 hours with an experienced builder. First-time builders will always take more time, so plan for that.

You don’t need to be a professional mechanic, or have built a car before to create a great car.

Experienced builders will tell you that it is better to begin with a relatively by-the-book build to begin, and add features later, as deviating from the standard always adds time and complexity.

Am I really going to fit in the car?

The Nemesis fits the widest range of drivers of any Superlite car. Headroom is unlimited, and the seat can be arranged so that there is very long foot room. The very tall roll hoop means than extremely tall drivers can fit- something normally not possible in a formula-style car. Even NBA players can fit in the Nemesis!

Like the SL-C and Le Mans, the Nemesis has very long footwells, and the pedals can be mounted with adjusters for even more variability. Even very wide people can fit in the Nemesis, as the seat fitment choices are much wider than the SL-C or other Superlite cars. There are even "gentlemans" seats that offer a solution for drivers that require a wider seat.

What about visibility?

One of the great features of the Superlite Nemesis is the great visibility it has, both forward, and to the sides and in reverse (compared to other formula cars).

The upright seating position of the car makes it easy to see the front wheels, and mirror placement can be customized to meet any driver requirements. Of course, it’s an open cockpit car, so there is unlimited headroom. Because you tend to sit higher in the Nemesis than in a typical formula car, visibility, especially rearward visibility, is much improved.

What does it cost?

The kit includes pretty much everything you need to build the car except drivetrain, tires and battery. The original single-seat Nemesis starts at just $19,995, and the inline 2-seater Nemesis Tandem starts at $24,995.

A completed single-seat Nemesis will typically cost around $25,000 for a track-ready car with a reliable VW engine, capable of over 300 HP. Buying a used engine and drivetrain with no additional power adders will reduce that somewhat.

I want to use a Neon, or Mitsubishi or Cobalt or other engine. Will it fit?

Probably. But the factory only supports the VW/Audi drivetrain that uses an inline 4 or VR6 engine with the 01x longitudinal transaxle. This is a proven, cost-effective and reliable solution that can be made to make over 500 HP in high-boost configurations.

Other engines and drivetrains can be made to fit, but changes like that are up to the individual builder and Superlite can’t provide engineering assistance for this kind of alteration.

Is the Nemesis really street legal? It looks like a race car!

In the USA, it’s generally pretty easy to register the cars, depending on your state. There are already some Nemesis cars on the road with no problems in US states.

It’s primarily a race car, though, and though registration for the street is possible in many places, the factory makes no warranty as to any specific jurisdiction for the Nemesis cars. Check your own local laws, and take a look at the Registration page in the Nemesis section before you decide to use it as a street car. 

Headlights can usually be sourced from motorcycles, as can taillights that are size-appropriate.

What does the Nemesis weigh?

About 1400 lbs with the VW drivetrain, or about one-third of a Corvette, but with the same wheels and tires, and if you want, about the same power.  

With a 350 HP VW engine (upgrade kits are available from many sources, including our favorite, APR), you will have a power to weight ratio of around 4 lbs/HP.  That's better than a Bugatti Veyron!

Is the car safe?

No vehicle of any kind is risk free to operate. But we have tried to make the Nemesis as safe as reasonably possible. One way is through active means: the Nemesis is agile enough to get out of dangerous circumstances, so it can avoid them entirely, instead of just plowing into them. Really great brakes that were originally designed for much heavier cars help to slow the Nemesis much more efficiently than regular cars, so there is a safety margin there as well.

The Nemesis also has passive safety built in as well. For example, the fuel tank is located in the safest position possible- between very strong chassis members, in the middle of the car (instead of being at the front or rear of the car where it is more likely to be ruptured in an accident. The driver sits surrounded by the chassis and cage, and because it is an open car, generally wears a helmet (and should wear a HANS as well). These safety features, along with a good set of track harnesses, make the car much safer in an accident.

The Nemesis, like all other cars in it genre, doesn’t have airbags, or stability control. But these are not silver bullets- you still have to drive whatever vehicle you have in a careful fashion. We recommend that you follow all applicable laws and regulations when driving your Nemesis on the road or track for maximum safety.

You should always wear proper personal safety gear, which in the Nemesis, includes the usual seat belts, and some sort of eye protection, preferably a helmet.

How fast is the Superlite Nemesis?

It depends on weight, drivetrain and conditions. But with the popular 1.8T engine, and stock domestic gearing on the transaxle, a Nemesis can probably hit 11 seconds in the quarter mile. Top speed is a function of setup and drivetrain, but with enough power, and the right gearing, the car could easily do well over 160 MPH. After that, aerodynamics starts to take a toll.