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Radical launches most extreme track car yet

This is the new Radical SR8 RSX. It has no roof, no windscreen, and it hails from Peterborough.

But hold on. The SR8 RSX is in fact Radical’s most powerful, aerodynamically advanced machine ever. In fact, it’s up there with the BAC Monos and Ariel Atom V8s of this world for sheer lightweight British lunacy.

Though it may look like a roofless version of Radical’s turbo V6-powered RXC, the SR8 RSX is actually powered by a bespoke racing V8. The engine displaces just 3.0 litres, but it winds all the way to a screaming 10,500rpm, delivering 440bhp on its way there.

Needless to say, that’s an awful lot of poke in a car that occupies the same footprint as a Mini and weighs 860kg without a driver. Yikes. And thanks to a claimed 900kg of downforce, the RSX is a prime candidate for the old ‘capable of driving on the ceiling’ fantasy. Yikes squared.

However, the SR8 RSX isn’t your new track day toy (though Radical tells us you can have a quiet exhaust option if you want to go scaring LaFerraris at your local arrive ‘n’ drive), because it’s not road-legal.

Instead, this is a replacement for the old SR8 racer. If the name’s familiar, that’s because a street-approved version of the old SR8LM still holds the road-legal Nürburgring lap record: a Porsche 918 Spyder-beating 6mins 48 seconds. SR8s just ooze speed.

To deliver said speed, the new SR8 uses a seven-speed paddleshift gearbox, mounted sideways at the back of the car to keep the dimensions compact and the weight balance in check.

You get ventilated six-pot brakes front and rear, 17- or 18-inch wheels with a choice of tyre brands, and you can even select your level of steering assistance, thanks to Radical’s very first electric power steering system. It might look like a supersized Hot Wheels toy, but there’s some serious racing nouse going on here.

On the, um, inside, the RSX uses a seven-inch screen to showcase the important speed, fuel, and revs data. There’s even a WiFi connection, for downloading your telemetry to discuss with the team. Or show off to your mates.

And thanks to an optional FIA-certified 100-litre fuel cell, there’ll be plenty of lap times to download. Radical claims the engine is good for 40 hours hard running before it needs a rebuild. By race-engine standards, 40 hours is an eternity, and should save on season-long running costs, thus encouraging talented drivers to take the next step in their racing careers. Jolly good.

The price? To sample this carbon fibre and fibreglass missile in one of the Europe-wide Radical race series in which it can compete, you’ll need £131,940. Which is rather a lot for a bewinged bathtub, especially when a Porsche 911 GT3 costs just £100k. And you’ll still need a trailer to transport your RSX home.

But for a bona fide racer with Le Mans-inspired tech and bragging rights around the world’s scariest racetrack, it’s a bargain. Not bad for a kid from Peterborough, eh?

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