There aren't many companies out there building Le Mans-style prototype racers you can buy. Dauer once offered road-going Porsche 962 models, but it folded over two decades ago. Caterham is still making the SP/300.R despite the collapse of its partner Lola. The recently-revived ATS will gladly hook you up with its Sport 1000 track toy. But the king of them all is Radical.
The British company started making open-cockpit LMP-style track cars some 17 years ago when Le Mans was being dominated by the type, but once the racing prototypes started incorporating roofs, Radical started developing the RXC. Three and a half years later, the closed-cockpit RXC debuted at the 2013 Autosport International show in the UK with a 3.7-liter naturally aspirated V6. Radical has delivered over 20 examples since then, but a year later it has returned with the even more impressive RXC Turbo.
Powered by a Ford EcoBoost 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, the RXC Turbo packs 454 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. Now that would be a good amount of power in most cars, but it's enough to give a vehicle that barely weighs more than 2,000 pounds supercar levels of performance. It'll hit 60 miles per hour in a scant 2.6 seconds and top out at 185. At that point it's developing almost as much downforce as its own curb weight, meaning that, theoretically, you could almost drive it upside down on the roof of a tunnel, but we wouldn't recommend it.
Best of all, it's street-legal (at least in the UK), if you're brave enough to take it out in traffic. Like what you've seen so far? There's plenty more to digest in the press release – from the adjustable aero to the F1-style inboard pushrod suspension – so check it out below.
Related GalleryRadical RXC Turbo
Radical RXC Turbo – Powered by Ford EcoBoost makes its world debut at Autosport International 2014
Radical Sportscars introduce the RXC Turbo and announce a technical partnership with Ford. The extraordinary RXC gains EcoBoost technology for its road and race variants with the introduction of the 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, ramping power up to 460PS and torque to a massive 500ft lb – enough to endow the 940kg RXC Turbo with a super-car-shattering 0-60mph time of just 2.6 seconds!
With Ford EcoBoost technology winning the International Engine of the Year award in 2013 for the second year running it was an obvious match for the lightweight, high-tech and incredibly accomplished Radical RXC. Through the technical partnership Ford and Radical have been working closely together to maximise power and torque, whilst retaining throttle responsiveness and fuel economy made possible by two small turbos capable of spinning at 248,000 rpm, direct fuel injection and Ti-VCT (twin independent camshaft timing). The engine is charged cooled by a Radical designed and built system to ensure utmost efficiency is maintained at all times.
Launched one year ago at the ASI 2013, the RXC with its normally-aspirated 3.7-litre V6 has proved a huge hit with both press and customers alike. Radical's MD, Phil Abbott said the RXC would become a 'game-changer' and so it has proved. Never before had a car been available for the road and track with performance and technology on this scale with real-world reliability. Now with Ford's support the RXC is being taken to the next level. The RXC Turbo has a revised interior with (optional) increased sound deadening, aerodynamic enhancements to improve on the already incredible downforce levels available and traction control as standard.
'From the outset the RXC was devastatingly fast, but we designed it to handle even more power,' said Phil Abbott. 'We have had a great first year with the RXC and it has been very exciting to have been working with Ford. The upper management have given us a lot of sup port and have allowed us access to a huge amount of technical back up that you can only get when working with a major manufacturer. Our designers and engineers have been able to work with the key EcoBoost engineers to perfect the performance for our car. I know how good the RXC is, and I also know how capable the 3.5-litre EcoBoost motor is too. Together they make a devastatingly complete package.'
Roelant de Waard, Vice President Marketing Sales and Service of Ford of Europe said:' Ford has a proud history of class leading performance engines and I was incredibly impressed with what Radical achieved with first the 3.7 V6. I drove the RXC at Spa last year and I can tell you to believe what the press have been saying about this car, it is packed with true race car technology, but easy to drive and its feedback and incredible cornering ability, making it truly thrilling. I can't wait to drive this Turbo version.'
History of the RXC
The RXC was 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 has brought a true taste of Le Mans to the road. Dramatically styled, uncompromising in performance but with class-beating running costs, the RXC opened up hyper-GT ownership to a wider audience than previously possible.
The RXC was a completely clean-sheet design for Radical with only a handful of components carried over from its range of award-winning race, trackday and road cars. Everything from the chassis and suspension design to the Ford 3.7-litre V6 engine and seven-speed Quaife gearbox configuration was developed specifically for the RXC under the guidance of Radical's MD Phil Abbott and Chief Designer Nick Walford and his development team.
Customer deliveries of the RXC began in August 2013 with over 20 delivered to date and an order book full for the next four months. Sales have been global with cars already delivered to Thailand, USA, Spain, France and Germany with further orders from China, Australia, Switzerland, Majorca and Holland as well as the UK.
At the heart of the RXC Turbo beats a high-performance, low maintenance Ford 3.5-litre twin turbo charged V6 engine. Its power and torque delivery characteristics have been modified to optimise drivability and response to match the RXC's lightweight and high performance requirements. The engine benefits from two small turbos , DI and Ti-VCT as well as a unique charge cooling system designed, developed and installed by Radical Sportscars.
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.
Both engine options drive the rear wheels through a 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.
Suspension and brakes
The RXC Turbo 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.
The 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.
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. The Turbo features louvres above the wheels to further increase this effect. The RXC was honed aerodynamically both at the Millbrook Proving Ground and in the MIRA wind tunnel.
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. Proving the strength and very high level of safety the chassis comfortably passed the European Type-Approval crash test.
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.
Not only is the RXC Turbo 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. Various options of leather and Alcantara can be specified for the seats and dash, along with varying levels of sound-deadening and carpets. A bespoke service is also available.
460PS (454bhp) @ 6000rpm
678 Nm (500lb ft) @ 3600rpm
Power to weight ratio:
Price (road or race)
£107,500 plus VAT (£129,000 inc) OTR
Ford EcoBoost 3.5l V6, Ti-VCT, 24-valve, DOHC, twin independent variable camshaft
timing, sequential direct injection, aluminium block, aluminium head, bore 3.64 (in), stroke
3.45 (in), charge cooled
Bespoke 7-speed transverse Quaife gearbox with paddle shift and autoblip
L 4300mm W 1960mm H 1127mm
High-tensile strength CDS carbon tubular steel spaceframe with FIA specification
crash boxes front and rear
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
900kg at max speed
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
Bespoke FIA-compliant HANS compatible Corbeau seat with six-point harness
Road: 70-litre aluminium tank Race: 100-litre FIA fuel cell
AIM MXL dash (optional data logging package)
Front and rear double wishbone, pushrods, bespoke inboard adjustable Intrax
dampers (optional 4-way adjustable system)
Fully-floating disc brakes with six-pot callipers, front 330mm, rear 310mm
Centre-lock cast alloys (forged option), front: 17x9.5, rear: 17x11.5
Road: Dunlop Sport Maxx or Direzza, front 235/620R17, rear 290/645R17 Race:
Dunlop SP Sport, front 215/45ZR17, rear 255/40ZR17
Brief history of Radical
Through continual product development, expansion into new markets and with a customer support framework previously unseen in the motorsport and track car industry, Radical Sportscars has now grown to become the world's largest producer of racing and track cars.
Over 250 units leave Radical's Peterborough manufacturing base each year destined for customers in Europe, the Far East, Latin America, Australia and almost everywhere in-between.
During the company's short but very full 17-year life it has written its own very successful chapter in race and road car manufacturing. This has included designing the world's favourite racing car, the SR3 RS (900 units sold over 11 years), designed and constructed its own racing-spec V8 engine (up to 520bhp yet weighing only 92kg), contested Le Mans five times (Radical SR9) and driven around the Nürburgring Nordschleife faster than any other road registered and road-legal car (6 minutes 48 seconds). This, in addition to a host of other lap records and accolades from the global motoring press.
The launch of the EC Type Approved SR3 SL in late 2011 put Radical on the extreme road car map, immediately scooping Evo magazine's Trackday Car of the Year prize and obliterating Autocar magazine's test track lap record at MIRA. EC Type Approval was an ambitious step but though considerable investment and time the SR3 SL has become a European success story, opening up wide-scale Radical ownership to markets such as France, Germany, Switzerland and Eastern Europe.
Radical's continuing commitment to reducing the cost of racing saw a raft of changes in 2013, including the launch of a new championship for novice racers, the SR1 Cup,which continues to be successful with another full grid anticipated for 2014. At the opposite end of the scale, Radical's Masters Euroseries offers racing at Europe's best GP circuits - such as Spa, Monza and Barcelona - with lap times comparable to LMP machinery but at far lower cost.
There is now a sportscar racing ladder that can take drivers from trackdays all the way to Le Mans and now the RXC Turbo joins this extraordinary range of cars, adding something new and attracting a wider audience to the Radical brand than ever before enhancing the 'spirit' of Radical by continuing to produce the most focused yet accessible and affordable track and road cars available anywhere in the world.
Steve Sutcliffe, Autocar:
"However much assistance you call upon, the front end of the RXC always feels pinned to whatever apex you choose to aim it at. And the way it stops is quite outrageous, frankly, for a car that wears number plates and a tax disc. As a track-day car the RXC is sensational, and as a road car it is completely nuts. And that's nuts as in super-smashing-great. It's no wonder that Radical's order books are full."
Matt Prior, Autocar:
"The steering is beautifully precise, the brakes are excellent, on-throttle gearshifts are quick and rewarding, and the capability of the RXC's chassis is simply astonishing. "Once you get your head around what it can do, this is one of the easiest track-day cars you'll ever drive," said Frankel. "A breeze to drive quickly. Takes your brain a while to work out just how quick it is," said Mark Tisshaw."
Piers Ward, Top Gear:
"This is as good as driving gets. Accurate chassis, epic engine, plenty of feedback, loads of grip - all just as you'd expect. Better still, the RXC doesn't feel like a pared-back, underdeveloped creation. What's impressive here is that Radical has kept the spirit of the company and its brutally brilliant products alive, but also built a car that genuinely functions as a road car, albeit a very, very focused one. Despite all the terrifying-looking wings, this thing won't bite your head off. And that, in something like the RXC, is a huge result."
Dan Trent, Pistonheads:
"Suddenly I'm on the Mulsanne or chasing a Porsche 962 round Spa. Suddenly I feel like a racer in a proper racing machine. Of course it's a road car. All road cars make you feel like that, don't they?"
Jethro Bovingdon & Richard Meaden, Evo:
"The Radical RXC could have found itself in no-man's land, between the conventional road cars and the nutty trackday machines. But every time anybody emerged from it, they were almost shocked by how good it was. Dickie Meaden loved it: "It delivers a unique combination of proper paddle-shift, a big-capacity multi-cylinder soundtrack and very exploitable handling. It's a very well-sorted car."
Andrew Frankel, Motorsport:
"Within the realm of road-legal cars, it is probably the most remarkable modern machine I've ever driven on the track. Truly, beyond the bounds of pure racing cars, I've never known such performance handled with this almost dismissive ease. The low-volume British track day market has been dominated by Caterham and, latterly, Ariel, but for its ease of access coupled with its devastating pace the RXC is a new dimension."
Scott Malvern, Motorsport News:
"It sounds epic, almost like an American muscle car as it burbles menacingly right behind you. I wouldn't say the power comes with a mighty kick. It's more a surge - that just keeps surging. When you bury the throttle the noise grows and the power comes in gradually and just keeps coming. You don't think it will ever end. It's the immediacy of it that surprises."
More information and high-resolution press images can be obtained from the Radical Press
Office with press drives available in the early part of 2014. For more information and to arrange a visit to Radical's HQ contact:
Group Marketing Manager, Radical Sportscars
Tel: +44 (0)1733 331616 ext. 217
Mobile: +44 (0)7887 836 499
Fax: +44 (0)1733 264959