New Radical SR1 and SR8 unveiled for 2017 – with a little help from CAR!

Published: 13 January 2017

► Freshly updated 2017 SR1 caters for novice racers
► Nurburgring record-holding SR8 redesigned for 2017
► CAR magazine helps unveil new SR1 at NEC show

British sports racing car specialist Radical has revealed substantial updates to its novice-friendly SR1 and ultra-fast SR8 models for 2017.

Unveiled at the Autosport racing car show at the NEC, both have been rebodied with a more aerodynamically efficient, more modern-looking design. And CAR magazine played its part in the cars’ reveal too, as our own James Taylor, who won the 2016 Radical SR1 Cup in CAR’s long-term test SR1, helped to unveil the 2017 SR1.

2017 Radical SR1

2017 Radical SR1: what’s new?

Brand-new bodywork is the big story, with a sharper, more modern-looking design. The fresh fibreglass wardrobe is more aerodynamically efficient too, in terms of both downforce and drag. As a result, the 2017 SR1 is expected to lap faster than its predecessor, with which it shares the same mechanical spec.

Beneath the new bodywork, there’s the same steel spaceframe chassis and Suzuki Hayabusa-based 1340cc four-cylinder 185bhp engine driving the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox, limited-slip diff and chain-drive system.

Inside, there’s a redesigned dashboard with the brake bias adjuster (fitted as standard) moved to a more accessible position mid-dash.

Older SR1 models will still be eligible to compete alongside the new 2017 car in the Radical SR1 Cup and Radical Challenge classes. Although the new car’s enhanced aero is expected to make it slightly faster, a fast driver in an older-spec car would still be able to fight at the front of the pack.

2017 Radical SR1 specifications:

Engine 185bhp RPE-Suzuki 1340cc 4-cyl
Gearbox Six-speed sequential manual (paddleshift gearbox a £3950 option)
0-60mph 3.6sec
Top speed 138mph
Tyres treaded Dunlop racing tyres (less expensive than slicks, with more predictable handling characteristics)
Seats Two (so you can make the most of driver tuition, or scare your friends)
Bodywork Fibreglass, now with double-tunnel front diffuser for increased front-end downforce
Chassis steel spaceframe with aluminium crash structure
Brakes 240mm discs with four-pot calipers

What is the Radical SR1 Cup?

A race series aimed at novice and intermediate drivers alike. A race championship package, including the car, costs £42,995+VAT, and includes entry into the eight-race SR1 Cup championship, the process of gaining a race licence should drivers not already hold one, a Radical race suit, and two thorough pre-season training days with driver coaching and set-up help from the Radical factory.

You can read CAR’s full 2016 Radical SR1 Cup diary here.

2017 Radical SR8

And the 2017 Radical SR8?

The SR8, using a 2.7-litre V8 engine built in-house at Radical’s RPE engine division in Peterborough, is an extremely quick bit of kit.

Designed purely for racing and track use in mind, its bodywork has been redesigned for 2017 to visually differentiate it more clearly from its smaller four-cylinder SR3 sibling, with a distinctive light design for 2017.

The car pictured is the first prototype, with a few more tweaks still to come – louvres above the front wheels for example – before the SR8’s first shakedown test.

The original SR8 currently holds the lap record for the fastest road-legal car around the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit, with a laptime of 6m 48sec. You can watch the lap on-board here.

Designed purely for the track, the 2017 SR8 will be faster still.

What else is new for Radical in 2017?

A new racetrack-themed R logo and branding replaces the company’s former emblem.

A return to the Nurburgring with the company’s spectacular RXC Turbo coupe is on the cards, too. The fully road-legal RXC Turbo is expected to have the ability to go even faster than the existing record held by the Radical SR8.

Company insiders say that laptimes from an initial shakedown last year were ‘very encouraging, to say the least.’ Don’t rule out another ’Ring lap record being taken back to Peterborough soon…

Radical's stand at the 2017 Autosport show