We hate to say it, but we've been here before with cars similar to the Radical SR3 SL. Had we been dropped a few quid every time a fledgling car manufacturer promised (and subsequently failed) to rejuvenate the sports car market, Autocar would be brought to you from the Bahamas.

But among the empty factories and unpaid bills sometimes arrives a gem of a company – one that establishes itself with a sound business plan and survives thanks to sound products. A gem of a company, such as Radical.

Radical was founded in 1997 to take advantage of the increased enthusiasm for track days. Its first cars –  motorbike-engined ones that could be made road legal – were so well received that Radical decided to create a one-make race series.

Since its inception more than 1000 cars, of various types but all similar in ethos, have rolled through the factory’s doors. One even rolled convincingly around the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2009, finishing 20th overall.

Many have been road legal, but none has been as actively road biased as the SR3 SL you see here.

Top 5 Extreme track cars

  • The Ariel Atom is superbike-fast, and as exhilarating as cars get

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    1
  • Radical’s update of its road car delivers the power previously missing. A Nurburgring record-holder in waiting

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    2
  • The driving experience offered by the BAC Mono has an impossibly strong whiff of F1 about it

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    3
  • Lotus V6 Cup
    The Lotus Exige V6 Cup delivers enough performance to thrill all keen drivers

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    4
  • Caterham Seven 620R
    The Caterham's supercharged engine can catapult it from 0-60mph in 2.8sec

    Caterham Seven 620R

    5

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