The latest from the company that wrote the book on racing cars for the road has outdone itself once again with the new Radical RXC Turbo 500R unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.
Radical has made a name for itself building Le Mans Prototype-style sports cars you can actually buy and, in theory at least, drive on the road, but the resulting cars are so extreme that we doubt many of their owners actually do. Nominally street-legal (in some places) though they may be, these are track machines. And this is the most extreme version yet.
In just a relatively short period of time, Radical Sportscars has proven to be a company true to its name. It only completed its first car in 1997 but has become among the leaders in the world of dedicated track day specials since then. These days it's even dipping its toe into the world of road models with the RXC, which stretches the definition of a vehicle for the street nearly to the breaking point. In it's latest video, Xcar Films sits down with the company's managing director Phil Abbot to
Getting into serious racing is not a cheap proposition. Not only will you need a car, but you'll probably want a trailer to tow said car from circuit to circuit, all the associated tools, not to mention spare consumable items, like tires and fuel. That's not even counting what safety equipment – a helmet, fire suit, gloves, shoes and Nomex undergarments – will cost you. That's why this new racing program from Radical, in the UK, is so darn appealing.
Radical has been building fantastic open-cockpit racers and roadcars for years, for the track day enthusiast who wants a vehicle that looks like it could show up for a start at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The company's latest creation is the RXC, and while this coupe looks like a prototype racer, it's road legal in the UK and in some parts of the US. When testing a car this, um, radical, the first thought is likely to get it to the track for some big slides and wide open acceleration, but XCar Film
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.
There are a multitude of reasons to watch this video, not least of which is the car featured in it. It's a Radical RXC, a street-legal racer we last saw in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Powered by a 380-horsepower, 3.7-liter Ford V6 (which sounds nothing like it does in the Mustang), the Radical is about as extreme as a car can get while still being drivable on public roads.
When this author was 15 years old, he was busy not being very good at cross country and too nervous to ask a cheerleader to homecoming. It's safe to say that 15-year-old Aurora Straus's teenage years have been far more exciting, as she's already spent time racing a Porsche Boxster and that opium for the gearhead known as Spec Miata.
Racing Green Endurance proved an electrified Radical SR8 could be tough when they drove one from Alaska to Argentina. Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) proved it could be fast, setting records on the Nürburgring and at Pikes Peak. Now, an Australian outfit wants to demonstrate that electron-annihilating versions of the British track car are the perfect vehicle to "form the basis of an all electric, zero emission race class."
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.
The good people at XCAR were the first to get a ride in the new Radical RXC on public streets, and they were kind enough to bring along a few cameras to film the experience. As you may already know, Radical has made a name for itself by building wicked track cars powered by lightweight and powerful motorcycle engines. Now the company is out to give the KTM X-Bow and Ariel Atom something to sweat over with a new line of street-legal track heathens. Powered by a range of engines that include the F
Radical is poised to release a new model called the RXC. A two-seat, closed-roof sports car, the machine should bow with a Ford 3.7-liter V6 with around 380 horsepower on hand and a curb weight of under 2,000 pounds. Designers borrowed from the company's experience at the 24 Hours of Le Mans to create a vehicle that looks more like an LMP1 entry than something road-legal. The body generates an impressive 1,984 pounds of down force and uses both composite and carbon fiber construction. Underneath
If you've ever had occasion to see a Radical in person – or for that matter, in photos – you likely couldn't avoid thinking it looked like a miniature version of a Le Mans Prototype. The ground-hugging ride height, the aerodynamically-optimized bodywork, the open cockpit... but wait a second, don't most LMPs these days have closed cockpits? Why yes, yes they do.
Many cars have come and gone claiming to be "race cars for the road," but few actually live up to it. Not Radical, though. The British automaker does one thing and one thing only, and that's making Le Mans Prototype-style track cars that you can – technically speaking, at least – drive on the street. (That, and regularly trouncing six- and seven-figure supercars around the Nürburgring to continuously hold the vaunted lap record.)
If you're looking for a bare-bones, no nonsense roadster, the upcoming Autosport International motorsport show in Birmigham, England, is the place to be. That's where Caterham is set to unveil an all-new vehicle, and where Radical is also planning to debut its latest street-legal race car.
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