Motortrades Insight Magazine Online

RADICAL RXC designer speaks on challenges of creating 175mph race car for the road

Ref:A00044
Published: 15 January 2013
RADICAL RXC DESIGNER Vincent Rassat has told Motortrades Insight of how his team 'had headaches to find the right compromise' between a racing car and a road car.

"We started fully designing it in March [2012] and it has taken us up to last week to put it together and now it's here."

Radical RXC

High sales early after the RXC's launch suggest the company could exceed its target of 50 sales for the year. Nick Walford, the main designer, has created a car which achieves the perfect balance between aesthetics and performance.

"Because of what we were doing with the car, the main challenge was the line of vision for the driver in the car," he said. "We didn't want the car to be road obligated. So it started out as a race car and then we had to make it into a road car but still keep the styling and same performance. We had to just make sure the windscreen and the pillar were in the right position."

Radical sold ten £85,000 Radical RXC cars over the course of Autosport International and have a target of selling 50 in total for the rest of the year is a sure sign of the company's ambitions, cheating the recession with speedy prowess from a Ford V6 engine.

Radical RXC

Vincent, who helped design the company's SR9 for the Le Mans Series, said: "We did a bit of market research before we decided on what engine to use. We already had a partnership with Ford and it was the right way to go as it was the right engine."

"We needed more curves just so that people can sit in it," he added. "We had to make sure people had the inner space. The other main issues were the windscreen, doors, wiper on the door - all those details that we're not used to with our standard products."

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

"It's been very good," the Project Manager of three designers explained. "It's actually discounted from the original price. I think it's going to be very successful. Basically, it's an enclosed car. We used to have a segment of the market where people who were willing to race with an open-top bought the cars. You were exposed to the elements. There is wind and rain and not everybody wants to do that.

"Now we've got an enclosed car, you can go out anytime you want and we'll have more people interested in buying the Radical RXC because they want to feel secure and it's an all-weather car."

THE FUTURE

Radical RXC

The rise of the 16-year-old Peterborough-based Radical Sportscars, which employs 140 people, is driven by the vision of its creative employees to repeatedly innovate and re-design cars for future models - with development of the next model beginning in June.

Speaking on future plans and models, Vincent revealed: "The first one is going to be a race car. We're going to try to race with it in GT3 and any GT championships we can enter and see where we can go from there.

"But we are working on the old car modification because this [the Radical RXC] will become an old car. It's been designed with this in mind so most of the car parts can be modified if they are designed the right way. That's our next big challenge really."

Speaking on the RXC's success, he concluded: "It's been a long process but it came together very quickly."
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