Radical unveils its fastest ever car

Published: 06 November 2014

The sports racing cars that roll out of Radical’s Peterborough factory have never exactly been slow. This, though, is the fastest yet: the SR8 RSX. Unveiled in Barcelona, the SR8 RSX is joined by another new Radical, the smaller but still hair-raisingly rapid SR3 RSX.

New flagship: the Radical SR8 RSX

You’ll be familiar with the nutty SR8 already – it’s the V8-engined sports car that looks like a 7/8ths scale Le Mans car and claimed the fastest ever time for a road-registered, road-legal car around the Nordschleife back in 2005, and again in 2009.

The RSX version still uses a V8 engine of Radical’s own design, a sort of Frankenstein’s monster creation partly created from two Suzuki GSX-R motorcycle engines. This latest-generation version squeezes a faintly terrifying 440bhp from its 3.0 litres at a dizzy 10,500rpm, and sending its power through a seven-speed paddleshift gearbox. Radical says the new motor is good for 40 hours running time between rebuilds, equivalent to a season’s racing.

Inside, the driver sits before a dash-mounted data logger with a seven-inch display screen, and there’s power steering, a first for a Radical. A passenger seat can be fitted too, to terrify friends and guests at track days and corporate events.

Where can I race the Radical SR8 RSX?

In the top class of Radical’s own one-make European Masters Championship as well as certain open sports racing series.

Fancy it? That’ll be £109,950 plus local taxes (around £131,940 in the UK) when the car launches in January 2015.

The baby brother: the Radical SR3 RSX

Radical’s SR3 series has been blasting around race circuits since 2002. According to Radical, it’s the most successful sports racing car ever in terms of sales, with 900 customers since launch.

The SR3 RSX is the latest evolution, with more modern-looking headlights, aerodynamic improvements and the most recent development of the SR3’s 1500cc four-cylinder engine.

Exhaust and induction tweaks have seen improved mid-range power and torque to 252bhp and 149lb ft respectively. Given that the SR3 weighs as little as 570kg depending on spec, that makes it quite brisk: 0-60mph is claimed at 3.1 seconds. Radical has extended the engine’s factory warranty from 40 to 45 hours.

How much is the Radical SR3 RSX and where can I race it?

£66,958, plus local taxes. It’s eligible for various one-make Radical championships, including the Clubman’s Cup, SR3 Challenge and the European Masters as well as various other weird and wonderful sports car formulas.

Radical makes road cars too: read Chris Chilton’s review of the mad RXC coupe here.

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer