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Radical Rapture revealed with 350hp four-pot

765kg Rapture uses Ford's 2.3 EcoBoost within a motorsport-derived spaceframe chassis

By Sam Sheehan / Thursday, July 04, 2019

Radical has revealed its most race-focussed road car yet at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, promising an unrivalled level of motorsport DNA within a silhouette so aggressive it’s almost hard to believe it has been homologated for the street. The new Rapture uses an FIA-compliant safety cell within an aluminium spaceframe like Radical’s racing cars, and its composite body is clearly derived from competition. But for the first time Radical has used Ford’s 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine and introduced a raft of road-friendly alterations to enhance usability – distancing the Rapture from its comparably bare SR track machines.

First, the numbers. Ford’s off-the-shelf four-cylinder engine has been reworked by Radical with new intake and turbo architecture, meaning it produces 350hp and 320lb ft of torque in the Rapture, matching the 3.7-litre V6 of the company’s SXC supercar. That grunt is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential transaxle with an integrated Quaife ATB limited-slip differential, enabling the 765kg Peterborough-built machine to sprint from 0-60mph in three seconds dead, from 0-100mph in 8.4 seconds and on to a gearing-limited 165mph top speed. The engine is located midship and the gearbox is controlled via paddles, while braking is handled by 300mm and 280mm discs with four-pot calipers.

It’s a setup pinched straight from motorsport – this is, of course, a firm that actually builds and runs its own series – so few would contest Radical’s claims for unrivalled race car-like handling. The Rapture uses the company’s roll-eliminating Nik-link suspension and adjustable dampers, set from factory to handle road and track use, and sports a bi-plane rear wing with a double-tunnel rear diffuser. Option in a set of slicks for the centre-lock wheels and you’ve a car so capable you might as well fold the mirrors in on a track day. But unlike the firm’s other comparable models, you don’t need a trailer to get this one home afterwards – as long as you swap back to road rubber, that is.

On that note, the Radical does get some roadworthy creature comforts, including a pair of standard-fit electric folding mirrors and heated seats, plus you can option in trimmed side cards - so your elbows don’t wear away with all that G-force - and an optional aero screen to deflect more air away from your face. But still, you’d be hard pressed (or downright insane)  to call this a potential replacement for the daily; it comes with a fire extinguisher and Radical even offers an intercom system to remind you of its intentions.

Of course, you could argue the same is also true for the BAC that’s just been revealed at Goodwood. That has an even more bonkers 620hp per tonne and the world’s most powerful naturally-aspirated engine for its capacity in a production car. But it also costs £191k and is limited to just 30 examples. The Radical, on the other hand, will ‘only’ set buyers back £89,500 and there’s no mention of restricted build numbers. In fact, order one now and it could be on your driveway (or in the pit lane) this August…

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