Radical RXC

It's been well over a year since we first heard about the Radical RXC, a street-legal, Le Mans-style prototype put together by a brand that's renowned for its nimble track-day weapons. We've reported on the RXC intermittently, although that's hardly down to a lack of desire for the new car. With a red example arriving at the Frankfurt Motor Show, it seemed only natural to pop over and have a look.

It looks like a racecar, which shouldn't come as a surprise considering the folks that made it. The big wing and meaty chin spoiler mean business, generating real downforce for the car, which can be had in a range of power levels (the car on display is jamming with a 3.7-liter, 380-horsepower V6 from a Ford Mustang). Our first sign that this is a road car rather than a racer is its Dunlop Sport Maxx tires, mounted in place of the grippier rubber that is so often found on a Radical.

The cabin, despite this car's street-legal positioning, is both spartan and of high quality. The material choices - leather-wrapped Corbeau racing thrones and an Alcantara, racing-spec steering wheel - at luster to the nearly amenity-free space. Oddly, the two-seat Radical does strike us as rather roomy, at least from these images.

Click up top for a full gallery of live photos from the Frankfurt floor or scroll down for a video, along with the photos and press release that accompanied the RXC's announcement in December.

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The Radical RXC blows apart what was previously thought possible in the supercar marketplace. RXC is faster, more visually aggressive, more dynamic and performance-focused than anything this sector has ever seen.

From the makers of the Nürburgring production car lap record holder and the world's most prolific producer of race cars comes a Le Mans-inspired racer for the road alongside a race variant ready for international GT and sportscar championships. Road trips, trackdays and race weekends will never be the same again.

History of the RXC
The RXC is the culmination of three and a half years of design and development to create the world's most extreme road-legal coupe. Influenced and inspired by contemporary LMP design, it brings a true taste of Le Mans to the road. Dramatically styled, uncompromising in performance but with class-beating running costs, the RXC opens up hyper-GT ownership to a wider audience than previously possible.

The RXC is a completely clean-sheet design for Radical with only a handful of components carried over from its present range. Everything from the chassis and suspension design to the new V6 engine and seven-speed gearbox configuration has been developed specifically for the RXC under the guidance of Radical's MD Phil Abbott and Chief Designer Nick Walford and his development team

'In the whole history of Radical I don't think I've been more excited about a new car than I am now with the RXC,' said Phil Abbott. Quite a statement considering he was one of the founders and is the engineering driving force behind the whole company. 'It's the car we've always wanted to make, and by applying our extensive knowledge and understanding we have produced a GT car that - just like our other products - will outperform machinery costing many times more. But more important than that it's going to be incredibly thrilling to drive.'

Design
The RXC experience starts the moment you set eyes on its dramatic styling. Using experience from the SR9 Le Mans project – as well as extensive CAD modelling – the RXC breaks the mould in bringing current LMP styling and aerodynamics to the street. Carefully directed airflow means the RXC generates 900kg of over and underbody downforce, equalling the car's mass at speed.

Cooling for the engine and braking systems is directed though vents in the nose and sidepods whilst a GT3-specification rear wing is adjustable to suit different circuit configurations. The cockpit is easily accessed by the gullwing doors, part of the most complex body that Radical has ever produced and incorporating both composite and carbon fibre sections. This multi-piece bodywork comes in a wide palette of colours and is designed to be easily and cost-effectively repaired or replaced.

The bodywork clothes a high-tensile, laser-cut CDS tubular steel spaceframe, developed in the same way as Radical's FIA-approved SR series chassis. The integral rollcage ensures maximum occupant safety and vehicle stiffness, with both the nose and tail of the car boasting monocoque crash boxes. To prove the strength and very high level of safety the chassis will be submitted the same comprehensive FIA crash test that Le Mans cars are subjected to.

Powertrain
At the heart of the RXC beats a high-performance, low maintenance V6 engine. The Ford Duratec 37 Ti-VCT engine used in the RXC has been optimised by in-house engine division RPE and engine management partner AER to create a reliable, high-power yet low running cost powertrain.

The engine is a 3.7-litre 24-valve V6 unit with twin-independent variable cam timing and sequential multi-port electronic injection, controlled by a bespoke Radical/AER Life engine management system as employed successfully on the SR3 SL roadster. A fly-by-wire throttle ensures immediate power and response and the car will meet full Euro 5 emissions compliance for markets across the world. Despite their racing specification the engine and gearbox service intervals are up to 10,000km.

For territories and championships that allow it, Radical can also offer a 3.0-litre 480bhp variant of its RP-series V8 engine. In production since 2006, the RP V8 is a proven high-performance powerplant used by Radical's SR8 RX racecar and many other racecars worldwide. This latest 3.0-litre configuration takes the Radical concept to the absolute, while still offering affordable running and rebuild costs well below any other bespoke racing engine.

Both engine options drive the rear wheels through an all-new bespoke RPE/Quaife seven-speed transverse gearbox that is low in weight and ensures the overall weight balance remains very close to that of an SR3. Featuring paddleshift and an integral Quaife Automatic Torque Biasing differential, gear ratios are quickly and easily changed from the side of the gearbox like current F1 design practice. The in-house developed paddleshift system allows full-bore, 50ms seamless upshifts and automatically blips the throttle for clutchless downshifts without the need to heel-and-toe.

The suspension and brakes
For the first time on a Radical the RXC features a bespoke Intrax Racing Suspension inboard push rod suspension system with double wishbones all round to reduce unsprung mass and further improve Radical's class-leading ride quality and handling. Four-way adjustment is available as an option on the RXC-optimised dampers, with all cars benefitting from GT3-style camber and suspension geometry adjustment.

330mm front and 310mm rear fully-floating disc brakes with six-pot calipers take care of braking. Carbon ceramic discs and calipers are available as an option. The brakes sit inside 17" centre-lock wheels front and rear – the biggest ever fitted to a Radical production car.

Electronics
The AiM MXL2 LCD multifunction dashboard debuts on the RXC and provides a comprehensive snapshot of both engine information and performance figures. The optional datalogging system adds a comprehensive portfolio of configurable inputs, from brake pressure and temperature logging to G forces and suspension travel. AiM's acclaimed SmartyCam system can also be added to the system to provide video with a realtime overlay of data, ideal for lap time improvement or corporate use.

Interior
Not only is the RXC Radical's most technically advanced car but it is also its most comprehensively specified. The interior of the RXC features a multi-function fully adjustable steering wheel, EPAS power steering, electrically adjustable and heated wing mirrors, air conditioning, heated windscreen with single wiper and an adjustable pedal box. Occupants sit in bespoke Corbeau FIA-compliant trimmed bucket seats with six-point racing harnesses.

RXC Performance Figures

Power: 380bhp @ 6750rpm
Torque: 320lb ft @ 4250rpm
Weight: 900kg
PWR: 422bhp/ton
0-62mph: 2.8 sec
Top speed: 175mph

RXC Specification

Engine: Ford V6 Ti-VCT, 24-valve, 3700cc, DOHC, variable camshaft timing, sequential multi-port electronic injection
Transmission: Bespoke 7-speed transverse Quaife gearbox with paddle shift and autoblip
Dimensions: L 4300mm W 1960mm H 1127mm
Chassis: High-tensile strength CDS carbon tubular steel spaceframe with FIA specification crash boxes front and rear
Body: Aerodynamic multi-piece composites (optional carbon sections), front and rear diffusers, full-width carbon bi-plane rear wing, gullwing doors with gas rams, full lighting system with LED daytime running lights
Downforce: 900kg at max speed
Interior: Multi-function fully adjustable steering wheel, EPAS power steering, electrically adjustable and heated wing mirrors, air conditioning, heated front screen, single windscreen wiper, adjustable pedal box
Seat: Bespoke FIA-compliant HANS compatible Corbeau seat with six-point harness
Fuel tank: Road: 100-litre aluminium tank Race: FIA fuel cell
Electronics: AIM MXL2 dash (optional data logging package)
Suspension: Front and rear double wishbone, pushrods, bespoke inboard adjustable Intrax dampers (optional 4-way adjustable system)
Brakes: Fully-floating disc brakes with six-pot calipers (optional carbon ceramic discs and calipers), front 330mm, rear 310mm
Wheels: Centre-lock cast alloys (forged option), front: 17x9.5, rear: 17x11.5
Tyres: Road: Dunlop, front 235/620R17, rear 290/645R17 Race: Dunlop SP Sport, front 215/45ZR17, rear 255/40ZR17