FEB 17th 2015

Radical 500 Turbo: time to break its own Nürburgring record (again)

Amazing to think that with all the hypercars about recently, the production car lap record of the Nürburgring Nordschleife hasn’t changed for six years.

It might do in August though. That is when, six years to the month, the latest Radical sets out from Peterborough to drive the 480 miles to the Eifel Mountains where it will attack the green hell once more – and, believes Radical, once again set a benchmark for all-comers to have a go at.

You’d have to say the pluckiest of British specialists is odds on to do it, too, however much the corporate supercar world might wish otherwise. Radical has owned this record for 10 years, first with a 6:55 in 2005 and then with a 6:48 in 2009, both times using a Radical SR8. For comparison, the Porsche 918 Spyder is third in the rankings with a 6:57.

And this time Radical has a new car – the RXC Turbo 500 announced today prior to an unveiling at the Geneva show in March. What a way for a firm to mark its Geneva debut!

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We know only too well how quick the RXC is (watch our film of us testing it up the Goodwood hill here) but the Turbo 500 promises to be something else again.

Here is a crash-tested, noise-approved, road legal coupé with a not inconsiderable 462bhp per tonne. 0-100mph takes just 6.8secs says Radical, while a super-stiff chassis and plenty of downforce (new aero package developed at Le Mans) means it should stick in the twisty bits. ‘A road car with performance capabilities that exceed those of dedicated racing cars,’ says Radical.

Who’d argue with that? Not Porsche presumably…

Upgrades for the new car are more than just two whacking great water-cooled Garrett blowers bolted to the 3.5-litre Ford EcoBoost V6. Anti-surge compressor housings, new heat shields, anodised actuators, fluid optimised intake manifold with new high performance injectors allowing for secondary port injection (it stuffs more fuel in basically, and a system borrowed from Radical by Ford for its new GT), motorsport grade fuel lines, high flow exhaust, new engine mapping… you get the picture. Radical says it has been working on this car for five years.

Power: 530bhp at 6100rpm. Torque: 481lb ft at 5000rpm. And the good news? Owners of the existing RXC (pictured) can have their cars upgraded to Turbo 500 spec.

Radical boss Phil Abbott tells GRR: ‘I think we’ve definitely moved the game on.’

Looks like it Phil. We’ll know for sure in August… 

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