Radical SR8 can now fly on the ceiling

In its latest tests last Friday, Radical's new SR8 trackday/race car generates more downforce than its weight.

Its new aerodynamic package, penned by Radical's chief designer Nick Walford, was put to the test and passed with what the company called "flying colours". At the SR8's maximum speed of 170mph, the sports prototype produced more downforce than the car's weight, complete with a full tank of fuel and driver.

Seen here in Radical's 2005 works livery, the SR8 has two and a half times as much downforce as its SR3 predecessor.

Radical co-founder Phil Abbott who was at the test said, "We're very pleased with the outcome of the test. Not only does the SR8 have the downforce to match the car's performance, but the car is superbly balanced. Our next test will be to get our best driver, Michael Vergers to drive the car upside down in a tunnel!"

After the all-new car's first outing last week, Vergers said, "The car is awesome. It is the SR3 Turbo and then some. The power delivery is so smooth. This is a truly great car."

Abbott was equally chuffed: "An all-new engine, all-new transaxle and all-new bodywork and the car ran beautifully. The SR8 reaches 150mph before you even know it. It's the fastest car I've ever driven by a mile. We've a little bit more work to do. Fine tuning the engine mapping and a minor gearbox oil leak, were the only issues. We will be in the MIRA wind tunnel on Friday to setup the aero package and back on the circuit next Monday."

The car is back on track today (Monday) and we'll bring you further details as we get them.

Comments (22) Join the discussion on the forum

  • AndrewD 04 Jan 2005

    DanH said:
    But thats not the point, they are for racing, or to allow mediocre drivers to badge themselves 'fastest out there' on trackdays.

    They've got about as much relevance to a normal trackday as a formula one car imho.

    LOL, sounds like DanH has been passed by too many Radicals already then.

  • gridgway 03 Jan 2005

    looks great to me if you have got the cash to run one! The obvious place to run one upside down is the Manhatten Mid-Town tunnel. Must be so, coz I saw it in a film!

    Re being the fastest at a track day, that ain't necessarily so. It might be for some, but being a reasonably seasoned track day driver I have been at the front (Caterham R500) and in the middle (1600 k caterham). Both are great fun. I drove an SR4 at Donny and loved it!

    So horses for courses.


  • VTEC_DOHC 02 Jan 2005

    I find that people who criticise these cars have never even been near one themselves. I can imagine them being an almost unbearable amount of fun to drive.

    I used to be a critic of Lotus 7's till a mate let me have a go in his. Now I've got one on order.

  • kawasicki 01 Jan 2005

    Maybe it wouldn't be completely necessary to maintain the full aerodynamic ground effect while the car is inverting. For example you could use a banked corner to maintain vertical load on the tyres. The track would probably cost a lot to build as it would have a very three dimensional profile. Maybe.

    I agree there should be an enclosed road version.


  • RR-Eng 27 Dec 2004

    ribbo said:
    "Our next test will be to get our best driver, Michael Vergers to drive the car upside down in a tunnel!"

    heh.. the day michael got life insurance

    lovely car though

    You would deffinatly need the life insurance. As the car climbs the wall it will loose any ground effect based down force it has because the ground between the wheels will curve away from the underside of the car.

    You would also need significantly more downforce than the weight of the car get it to run on the ceiling, if you just have enough the weight and the (upwards)down force will cancel out and you will have zero traction to keep the car running at the required speed, you will then impact the ground at 180mph head first.

    That said I would love the idea of an upside down section in formula one, you would probably have to enclose the section in a tube or maybe a catch net to stop them falling to their deaths should they loose power or wings.

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