Not many sports car manufacturers hail from the unassuming cathedral city of Peterborough, but Radical Sportscars do.
Originally set up by amateur racing drivers and engineers Mick Hyde and Phil Abbott in 1997, the brand specialises in open cockpit sports cars that can be legally driven on public roads yet also compete on the race track, without modification.
They’ve put together a seven-model range so far and two of them are about to undergo new year revamps.
Revealed at the recent Autosport racing car show at Birmingham’s NEC, refreshed and rebodied versions of the novice-friendly Radical SR1 and giddily-quick SR8 will now be more aerodynamically efficient and feature a more modern look.
The original SR8 is currently the quickest road-legal car to lap the Nürburgring, at 6 minutes and 48 seconds. So changes to its shell could mean that it sets a new record, thanks to its brand new fresh fibreglass bodywork benefitting the cars’ downforce and drag.
Its bodywork has been redesigned to differentiate it from the smaller four-cylinder Radical SR3, but pretty much everything beneath the surface of the SR8 remains unchanged.
It will still be powered by a 2.7 litre V8 430bhp engine, built at Radical’s RPE engine division in Peterborough, and it will stay a track-only affair, where it can rally up to 60mph in 3.2 seconds with a 170mph top speed.
The SR1 – aimed at newcomers to racing – receives a new fibreglass shell too. This should help increase lap times, but again, the guts of the car are near identical to last time.
It will use the same steel spaceframe chassis and Suzuki Hayabusa-based 1.34-litre four-cylinder 185bhp engine, driving the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox, limited-slip differential and chain-drive system. A paddleshift gearbox can be added as a £3,950 extra.
The current SR1 can do 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds with a top speed of 138mph.
In both cars, the dashboard has been redesigned, with brake bias adjuster moved to a more accessible position in the centre of the dash.
Visit radicalsportscars.com for more details.
For more articles like this, receive our weekly e-newsletter, including partner deals and all things motoring, register your email below.