Many car enthusiasts dream of someday getting to drive a single-seat race car, be it an F1 car or one of the lesser formulas. The truth is that even though those vehicles are available on the used market, getting them running and maintaining them can be a nightmare.
Lotus tried to solve that problem Pistonheads reports., but eventually, Lotus being Lotus, it ran out of money and bailed on the project. Fast forward nine years and a small company from New Zealand bought all the leftovers from that Lotus project and has actually built its own 675-horsepower version,
Rodin's FZed track day car uses -- in addition to the chassis bits mostly finished by Lotus -- a 3.8-liter GPV8 engine from Cosworth. Sure, the motor makes plenty of power, but that's not the headline figure here. Nor is the claimed weight of just 1,299 pounds, and I bet that's got you thinking (Get it? Rodin? Thinking? ... Bueller?).
See, the problem with most racing-car engines is that they aren't designed with cost or ease of maintenance in mind. So while an engine teardown and rebuild between races wouldn't be the end of the world for, to even your average rich guy, that's a tough pill to swallow.
That's why the GPV8 is rev-limited to 10,500 rpm and thanks to its larger displacement, it's less stressed than an actual race motor. Rodin says the engine is good for up to 3,000 miles between rebuilds. Those of us who deal mostly with road cars may be shocked at that figure, but that's a massive distance for something that's only used on-track -- for some context, that's the same as 232.55 laps around the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
The rest of the package is a pretty good value for the money too, with a full-Öhlins suspension, a six-speed sequential gearbox by Ricardo (not of Beverly Hills), carbon-ceramic brakes and OZ racing wheels wrapped in slick tires by Avon. We're not sure what kind of spares package or mechanical support is available with the FZed, though we've reached out to the company for comment.
How much will all this (relatively) reliable and wicked-fast fun cost you? Well, good news if you're a multimillionaire -- it's just $615,000 before taxes. That's not bad when you consider what it would cost to buy something with a vaguely similar power-to-weight ratio like anor a -- both of which would sit comfortably in the millions of dollars.