NEW 380HP RADICAL COUPE REVEALED
Radical RXC coupe breaks new ground for hardcore track enthusiasts
A 380hp 3.7-litre Ford V6 coupled to a kerb weight of 900kg means 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds, according to Radical’s claims. Interestingly, it also boasts that both race AND road car will have around 900kg of downforce at a top speed of 175mph.
That’s because the RXC is a proper prototype racer. “The design is inspired by Peugeot’s 908 Le Mans car,” says Phil Abbott, Radical’s Technical Director and co-founder.
A hint that we could see Radical back at Le Mans? “If the regs allow it, we’d love to,” says Abbott.
And that’s important, because it’ll be “a race car first and a road car second”, as the RXC’s designer Nick Walford puts it. When asked what measures his team have employed to help refinement on the Queen’s highway and prevent it from being a complete rattle box (our words) a wry smile breaks across his face.
“We’ve had to make compromises but it’s still got a simple interior,” he says. “We don’t want it to go too far way from the race car. There won’t be too many luxuries inside.”
No matter, as that Ford V6 should provide a suitable soundtrack. It’ll be mated to a race-spec seven-speed Quaife sequential gearbox – even the road car will get the same hardware, tempered by adjustable maps for the engine and gearbox to make it a little more liveable for the road, just like the SR3 SL.
But the RXC is much longer and wider than the SR3, creating another problem for Walford. “Getting the look right was the biggest challenge,” he says. “We don’t use modelling clay so there has to be plenty of imagination. You can clearly see inspiration from the Peugeot but it was important we got the scale right.” While race-spec bodywork might look great, it’s not that practical – or more to the point legal – on the road.
The ‘race first, road second’ mantra runs right through the car. Neither racer nor road car gets any form of traction control to help you meter out the 300, 340 or 380hp (depending on whether you go for the standard, track day or race power outputs) and there isn’t the safety net of ABS to help if you should lock a wheel. Six-piston AP Racing calipers clamp steel or optional carbon-ceramic 330mm front and 310mm rear discs, so it’s a distinct possibility as well. Better get some sensitivity in that braking foot then…
“To sum it up, it’s a road car for people who love to do track days in a package featuring proper race car technology,” says Abbott.
What you need to know though is it’s coming next summer and it looks set to be very good indeed.