Radical launches SR1 entry-level track car


This is the new Radical SR1, the latest offering from the Peterborough-based maker of (for want of a better word) radical sports cars.


Presumably in a move designed to provide some sort of balance to the company's recent tentative foray into more road-biased machinery (in the shape of the Radical SR3 SL), the SR1 is a determinedly track-only affair. Radical says its £29,850 (+VAT) offering is aimed at the trackday driver and club racer, and creates a new entry-level rung on the sports-prototype racing ladder (kind of like a Caterham SP300 R, only less powerful and a lot cheaper).

Designed to deliberately ape LMP-style spots prototypes (and indeed created by the same team behind the SR9 LMP2 racer), the SR1 gets the Radical Performance Engine-developed 1,340cc Suzuki four-cylinder engine, which develops 210hp.


Chunky 240mm ventilated brake discs and four-pot calipers help bring the SR1 to a stop, while a six-speed sequential gearbox and Quaife ATB differential transmit the power to the rear wheels via Dunlop slicks, wets or road tyres.

Meanwhile occupants are protected by a comprehensive safety cell and deformable crash structure tested to FIA standards, racing-spec harnesses and an integral fire extinguisher system.

"Over the last decade, the SR range has introduced and inspired a new generation of racing and track driving enthusiasts, and the SR1 extends that engineering development out to a wider audience," says Radical co-founder Phil Abbott. Sounds good to us, Phil...







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Comments (45) Join the discussion on the forum

  • caraddict 27 Jun 2012

    splitpin said:
    Caraddict, that sounds like a 'photo-fit' of me about five years or so ago!

    I went for it (Radical & the Tow Your Own' bit) and my only regret is that I didn't do it ten years before that! Forget all these hopped-up road thingies, buy a car that was designed at the onset as a racing track car. Treat yourself, you've earned it.

    PM me if you want more info; maybe you can come along and see what it's all about, who knows perhaps even try a passenger ride. Say No if you're worried about getting hooked, lined and sinkered, because for sure, you will be. Guaranteed.
    smilesmile

    What a nice reply, thank you (I apologize for the late reply)! And also I greatly appreciate your offer. I would never turn anything like that down but I live in Norway (it's in my PH profile) and it's a bit far away smile
    And yes, I know the thing about getting addicted and that's the no. 1 reason I don't want to try anything out of my reach!

    I saw some Lotus Exige reviews on YouTube and read some car magazine articles about it... That car doesn't do anything for me (no "WANT IT" connection), but I checked it out as a cheaper alternative to my dream semi-track cars; Pre-facelift 996 GT3 and of course the instant classic 997 GT3 RS 4.0.

    Anyway, the point is: After seeing how the semi-track cars are compromised (lots of road noise and rough suspension settings), I thought about the road to my nearest track (1,5 hours away) and how it would be exhausting with 1,5 hour drive there, full on trackday, and then the drive back in a relatively uncomfortable car... The far better option seems to be a car with full race and safety gear that I can drive behind my BMW to the track, drive it 100% and drive comfortably home again.
    I am most certainly going to read more in to these Radicals (and Caterhams)!

  • s4sturge 27 Jun 2012

    bobberz said:
    How much does it weigh? My fat ar$e would probably be a severe handicap in something this light and with only 210bhp (and probably less torque seeing how it's a bike engine).

    As much as I like Radicals, I think I'd prefer something I can drive on the street, as well. I think it'd be an Atom, for me, if I were in a position to buy a "track toy". Or maybe a used Ginetta G20 would be cheaper to maintain, as IIRC it uses Mazda MX-5 mechanicals.
    They are 500ish kilos, but don't worry about weight unless you're trying for the last tenth every lap, I'm 13(ish) stone and regularly take 13-17 stone passengers in my 570kg SR3 and it might add 4-5% to a lap but it's still just as much fun, especially when you watch their head being snapped around by the G forces. Summary - a big bloke in a radical is faster than a skinny bloke in almost anything else.

  • bobberz 26 Jun 2012

    How much does it weigh? My fat ar$e would probably be a severe handicap in something this light and with only 210bhp (and probably less torque seeing how it's a bike engine).

    As much as I like Radicals, I think I'd prefer something I can drive on the street, as well. I think it'd be an Atom, for me, if I were in a position to buy a "track toy". Or maybe a used Ginetta G20 would be cheaper to maintain, as IIRC it uses Mazda MX-5 mechanicals.


  • s4sturge 26 Jun 2012

    hondansx said:
    Never seen the point in Radicals as track day cars. They are too far, almost dangerously so, as a track car when you're surrounded by average drivers in all manners of mundane machinery. The speed of them could also flatter drivers; hiding fundamental issues in their driving (a problem for a lot of people in 'fast' cars).

    And then you need a car to tow it and a trailer to boot. Why not spend £30k on a race season in something affordable instead? Much, much more fun, you become a better driver, get to call yourself a 'racing driver' and make a load of like-minded people to boot.
    As a Radical SR3 driver I've done plenty of track days where you can run without contstantly being baulked by slower cars, and I can get up to 3 hours of good running time on a track day, so the small inconvenience of trailering it around is made up for many times over. Counter that against the inconveneience of driving your car to track and then crashing/blowing up/trashing the tyres before the drive home etc and the concept of a race car for track days seems a lot more sensible.

    From the perspective of driving ability, a race car is so consistent on track it allows you to adjust and hone skills, in particular the tyres and brakes will operate to a similar level lap after lap so you can analyse and improve as each day goes on. How many road cars have been written off on track when the brakes fade or the tyres overheat? Fine one lap and over the edge the next.

    Ignoring the 3am starts etc, for many the idea of trading paint, wingmirrors and fibreglass with other hotshoes is enough to discourage racing, and I don't know any racers who manage to enter a championship without a tow car and trailer too, or more likely a great big truck. I've got into sprinting with mine, where you also get to meet some great people and expereince the adredaline rush of facing the start line and trying for that perfect lap (on cold tyres!)

  • splitpin 26 Jun 2012

    hondansx said:
    Never seen the point in Radicals as track day cars. They are too far, almost dangerously so, as a track car when you're surrounded by average drivers in all manners of mundane machinery. The speed of them could also flatter drivers; hiding fundamental issues in their driving (a problem for a lot of people in 'fast' cars).

    And then you need a car to tow it and a trailer to boot. Why not spend £30k on a race season in something affordable instead? Much, much more fun, you become a better driver, get to call yourself a 'racing driver' and make a load of like-minded people to boot.
    'Twaddle' was strong, but to be honest, I think your post warranted it.

    You probably didn't intend it, but I didn't like the way it made your comments readable as being 'specific' to Radicals; there are loads of fast, quickish and indeed far from quickish cars that any number of numpties can easily make dangerous to others and that will simultaneously over-flatter their abilities. A knobhead is a knobhead and that applies to any marque or any format of track usage. I'll bet there's at least one commited knobhead in every race series you compete in, so even being a racer doesn't make everyone a safe or talented driver. And if someone wants to have a dedicated track/non road legal car and tow it around on a trailer, what's the problem with that?

    Biting the bullet and buying a £30K SR1 that will last indefinitely if you look after it (Radicals well over ten years old still regularly appear in both races and trackdays) and that will be worth more than £10K in ten years is a very different proposition to spending all of that on one racing season.

    On the subject of costs, our first Radical was an SR4 and by the time we chopped it in against a new SR3RS, conversant with it being trackdayed at most at about a max of 90% of it's overall performance envelope, it had done well over 100 on track hours with no refresh, with compressions and leak-downs as new. In our first year, aside from regular maintenance like oil changes etc, our consummables comprised of one set of pre-used testing slicks (£100); that's it.

    And the point in trackdaying a Radical? - well here's one that will be dear to every racers heart (therefore yours) in these ongoingly depressing days of ever reducing grids in many Race Series; certainly as far as Radicals are concerned, many newbies are now coming into racing from a trackdaying background - some started with exactly that 'if all goes to plan' intention, for others it has been a more unplanned progression; 'got the itch, got to scratch it' style. As you know, if new competitors aren't coming through, then eventually the Series dwindles and eventually dies, as many have and many still will. No bloody good being a Racer and/or having a Race Car if there's nowhere to race!

    Trackdaying a Radical should and can be huge 'ordinary Joe in another dimension' fun and just like any marque, those in Radicals have to, I repeat, have to obey the rules - they are simple enough to understand afterall. What this means in reality is that someone trackdaying a Radical usually quickly cottons on to the fact that he/she needs to pick the right track AND the right TDO; in terms of the former, places like long and wide Silverstone GP and in the case of the latter, not the 'Pile 'Em High / Sell 'Em Cheap' TDOs, but higher-end outfits like Goldtrack and Bookatrack etc.

    A bit like Marmite, you either get it or you don't and you pays your money and takes your choice.

    But to know whether you do or don't like Marmite, you have to try it to know. And if someone decides on that basis that they don't like Marmite, it doesn't mean those that do have bad taste.


    Edited by splitpin on Tuesday 26th June 22:18

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