Autoplay: ON Autoplay: OFF
Radical RXC: Worlds most extreme road-legal coupeXCAR witnessed Radical's most ambitious project to date the RXC take its first ever steps onto public roads
-For some, it's supercars. For others it's about the understated frosty of Q cars or the attainability of hot hatches. For me it's those that push the boundaries of what is acceptable or rational. The cars that make you scratch your head and wonder how it can be legal or define the same. If practicality is at one end of this scale then these are their polar opposites, the utter rejection of logic the batchet crazy. These are your BAC Monos, Ariel Atoms, KTM X-Bows, real track monsters that for some obscene reason you can also commute to work in. Looking at this range of cars you'd overlook today's focus at your peril. As their name suggests, they aren't in it for MPG figures. They are truly radical. Two guys got together, they're both race drivers and they couldn't really find anything that satisfied what they wanted to do. Those guys were Phil Abbott and Nick Walford. Phil is still the MD today and still racing every weekend and still, you know, the driving force behind the company and it was Phil's idea to put a little motorbike engine and design a little sports car around it and it's got racing you know not much weight but really effective and very, very competitive. They started winning races with them and people wanted to buy them and it's sort of grew from there. -Founded in 1997, Radical may have only been around for 16 years, but in that time they've managed to sell over 1600 racing cars. They've set the production car lap record at Nurburgring with a time of 6 minutes and 48 seconds and they designed a car for Le Mans in less than 12 months. Their most popular car, the SR3, they sold over 800 units and counting. It's a track day favorite and led to a creation of its own racing series, but we're here today to see its latest and maddest creation, the RXC. Radical up until fairly recently has been geared completely towards the track, but with its 2 latest incarnations, the SR3 SL or street legal and the RXC, they've been designed with both road and racing in mind. Now this hasn't come without compromise. Gone are the bike engine so synonymous with Radical since it first put a Kawasaki engine in its first car, the Clubsport, in come Ford engines. In the SL we have a Ford 2-liter Ecoboost from the Focus ST and in the RXC here we have a 3.7-liter V6 from the Mustang. -If you're gonna do more endurance spec type of stuff in road car applications then the road car engineers know that it's the best way to go. We will do a V8 version of this which is a V8 engine. Effectively the top ender to buy buccinators that the rest of it is designed and built in-house here. If that as it stands isn't quite enough for you then putting a lighter engine in there with 500 horsepower that will really blow itself off. -The RXC is a huge departure from Radical's current range. Not only is it their first coupe but the suspension, the chassis, the 7-speed gearbox, everything was developed from scratch. They took lessons learned from their SR9 Le Mans project created. With no traction control or ABS, 380 brake horsepower from a car that weighs just 900 kilos, and a naught to 60 time of 3 seconds, it's a car that lasts in the face of the clichÃ© a race car for the road because this literally is it. This is a race car for the road. Let's see just how terrifying that can be. We were fortunate enough to be the first to see the RXC on the road. Up until this point the car's development has been purely on the track whereas the process of preparing it for the road has only just begun. We tried to discuss our first impressions of what the RXC felt like whilst on the move. However it sounded a little like this. It seems sound deadening wasn't the priority whilst getting the perfect balance on the track, but Radical say this is one of the many things they're focusing on perfecting through some intensive road testing. So what led them to designing what they call the world's most extreme road legal coupe? -It's something that the guys have wanted to do for many years now, and in fact the design process started best part 4 years ago now. With the inspiration being the Peugeot LMP1 car, so that was really the thought process. It was gonna be fantastic if we could have one of these type of cars that's cost effective and you can drive it on the road. So that's really where it all started. It looks like it's gonna require, you know, huge amounts of skill and talent to drive it. It doesn't at all. Then that's one of the key things you know. You just gotta be out of getting into it and get lot of feeling and feedback coming back from the car, so you know exactly where you are with it and that's exactly what you got with this. -So that was its very first time it got down the road. -Yes. -So what did you think of it? -I've always thought that the way that we've done the suspension that it's very roadable and I think, you know, you can probably feel that the passenger seat-- -Yes, yes. -Actually rides really well, yes. The steering is very good. I mean we've spent a long time perfecting the steering because it was just power steering system and we've been through 3 or 4 different iterations and my numbing sort of number of different softwares, setups, and stuff. We've spent a long, long time doing it and what's really nice is the fact that now that we've got it around on the racetrack it feels nice in a way too. You know that's really pleasing and it's a lot of fun already. So you know when we get really sorted with it, it's gonna be absolutely brilliant I think. -Radical may have not been around for all that long, but you can't be in the racing scene and not have heard of them. They could be busy congratulating themselves on the success of the SR3 and resting on their laurels, but they're well aware. More than most that in racing if you're standing still you're effectively going backwards. They have big, big plans for the future and the RXC is only the beginning of that. They plan to push racing and speed to its very limit and I fully intend to be there to see it.