Driver-focussed, road-legal track cars have, as we all know, only been around for a couple of years. Before about 2017, the closest you could get to a road car for the track was a Ferrari, and the nearest you'd come to a track car for the road was in a trailer. This, of course, is nonsense (though skip to the comments to find out who didn't read past the first sentence...) but it's how things have started to feel, given the present hype around the likes of the McLaren Senna, Aston Martin Valkyrie and Ginetta Akula. You'd think it had never been done before.
Perhaps it hasn't, at least not to the levels of technical proficiency, money-no-object extremity and mind-boggling detail to which it is now. There have, however, been a few companies quietly getting on with the business of building uncompromising, low volume machines which most definitely belong on a circuit, but have the added bonus of being able to get there under their own steam. And they won't set you back the price of a small island.
Case in point, Radical. Since 1997 it's been producing machines which blur the boundary between purebred circuit racer and lightweight B-road blaster. It's most successful model, the SR3, has sold over 1,000 examples - more than half the company's total output - impressive numbers indeed for such a niche segment of the market. But that isn't the car which has caught our attention today, no, that would be the Radical RXC.
Using experience gleaned from both its Le Mans entries and its own one-make championships, Radical created a true race car for the road, a machine which could show a clean set of exhausts to just about anything else on four wheels. Power comes from a 3.5-litre Ford V6, here aided by twin-turbochargers, putting out 450hp for a 0-62mph time of just 2.8 seconds and a top speed of over 175mph. Weight is a super-light 1,050kg, though flat out the car's underbody aero and enormous rear wing will generate another 900kg of downforce on their own.
Unlike other Radicals its fully enclosed, offering a previously unknown degree of what might be loosely termed practicality. There's air conditioning, too, a reversing camera and a heated windscreen. There's also inboard pushrod suspension, built-in air jacks and adjustable brake bias. The RXC is the best of both worlds, then, a road-going racer which manages walk the walk that its LMP2-styling talks. It's hard to ever call £100,000 a steal, but when viewed alongside the current crop of new kids on the block, the relatively venerable Radical not only looks the part, it looks an absolute bargain as well.
SPECIFICATION - RADICAL RXC
Engine: 3,500cc V6
Transmission: 6-speed paddleshift, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 450@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 380@4,250rpm
Yours for: £99,950
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