Currently reading: Radford Type 62-2 completes track testing phase
Coachbuilt sports car took to the track in the hands of Radford co-founder Jenson Button

The Radford Type 62-2 has completed a final pre-production development track test before deliveries start in 2022, and the nascent firm has revealed performance figures for the Lotus-based model. 

A prototype, in a range-topping John Player Special specification, achieved an electronically limited top speed of 186mph with a 0-62mph sprint of 2.9sec. It also traveled from 0-124mph in 8.4sec, with power coming from a supercharged 3.5-litre V6 producing 600bhp. 

The testing was conducted at Hethel by Formula 1 champion and Radford co-founder Jenson Button and overseen by Clive Chapman, the son of Lotus founder Colin Chapman. 

“To finally drive the Type 62-2 for the first time was obviously a very special moment,” said Button. “The cockpit already feels like home. The car felt great, well balanced in high and low-speed corners, and it ran faultlessly all day, which is the perfect base for the months of set-up tweaking that will follow for me. 

“We want to ensure that this car is a pure driver’s car that pays both due respects to the DNA of Lotus but also delivers the luxury of a Radford."

Prices for the Type 62-2 haven't been publicly revealed. Buyers will have the opportunity to attend a track day event alongside Button once their car has been delivered.

Radford reveals Type 62-2

The coachbuilder recently revealed the interior of the Lotus Type 62-inspired two-seat coupé, which made its UK debut at the Goodwood Revival in September 2021.

This particular variant's interior design reflects elements of its 1970s F1-inspired JPS livery, with its predominantly black design decorated with gold accents – although other liveries are available. 

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Carbonfibre is emblazoned throughout and a 6.0in digital driver’s display screen is positioned behind the sports steering wheel. 

Screens at each end of the dashboard serve as wing mirrors, while handmade, customisable physical switches control the car’s major interior functions. The rear-view mirror has been replaced with a display and camera to compensate for the lack of a rear window. 

The Type 62-2 also gets a retro-style exposed gear linkage and a build plaque unique to each model, which doubles as a magnetic mobile phone dock and wireless phone charger. There's also a five-speaker sound system, Bluetooth functionality and wi-fi connectivity. Two bespoke Bremont timepieces are positioned in front of the passenger seat: one is a clock and the other a stopwatch for recording lap times.

Despite the Type 62-2's performance focus and race-inspired design, Radford claims it can accomodate luggage for two people, giving it touring potential. 

Radford design chief Mark Stubbs said: “With this interior, we still want it to be a Lotus Type 62-2, but with expert craftsmanship and using the finest materials available that don’t take anything away from a lightweight sports car driving experience.

“This interior expertly finds the fine line between luxury bespoke and high-quality craftsmanship but whilst still conveying the essence of an out-and-out sports car.

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“Everything is driver-centric and built around that. It’s all about experiences, and the feeling the driver gets when getting in and out of the car is really important. You step into the car and slide into the interior, where the seat grips you and urges you to drive.”

Type 62-2 specification

The Type 62-2 remains faithful to the original 1960s racing Lotus, standing low at 1133mm tall, with wide wheel arches and side air intakes. Rear ducktail spoilers can be selected on some models and the interior has been described by the firm as "uncluttered".

Three specifications – Classic, John Player Special and Gold Leaf – will be available at launch, each inspired by a historic Lotus motorsport livery and driven by a Toyota-derived 3.5-litre supercharged V6, shared with Lotus's new Emira sports car, with a choice of either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The limited-run Type 62-2 features a mid-engined layout with ‘race-inspired’ underpinnings. The John Player Special specification will account for 12 of the 62 units being built. 

The basic Classic Type 62-2 produces 430bhp, with a claimed power-to-weight ratio of around 1:1. Gold Leaf models gain upgraded pistons, camshafts and electronic mapping, taking output to around 500bhp. In-depth performance figures for the models have yet to be revealed. 

The Gold Leaf version also gains design cues inspired by the race car’s livery and rear wings, which, on the original Type 62, were added by Lotus for additional downforce after track testing. It also has the option of a limited-slip differential when the dual-clutch transmission is selected, and advanced ABS and traction control. 

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The John Player Special, meanwhile, caps the line-up with an upgraded supercharger boosting output to 600bhp. Its styling is subtly different, too, with the increased performance arriving alongside improved aero from a larger front splitter, air intakes and rear diffuser. 

Classic models are equipped with 17in front and 18in rear wheels, which are upgraded to 18in front and 19in rear on Gold Leaf cars. All Type 62-2 models are constructed with an aluminum chassis, coilover spring suspension with four-way adjustable dampers and optional hydraulic nose lift.

Radford co-founder Jenson Button said: “Creating a car that is simultaneously luxurious and comfortable, and great to drive, is a tough challenge, but the first Radford of the modern era delivers. Type 62-2 is a driver's car at its heart. When you see the design, it looks just like a ’70s Le Mans car. 

“When you sit behind the steering wheel and look through the curved windscreen, you can see the front wheel arches – something you just don’t experience on road cars today. With such a low centre of gravity, the car’s body doesn’t roll. The chassis exhibits all the hallmarks of a beautifully set up race car for the road – gifting the driver supreme confidence to extract maximum enjoyment every journey,” he said. 

The firm says customers will oversee every step of their car’s development, including the design stage, engineering milestones and project updates. Drivers can also choose to collect their car from Radford’s base in California.

US-based Radford was named after the a prolific British coachbuilding marque founded in 1948, the same year as Lotus, which has supported the project. The firm is fronted by former Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button, designer Mark Stubbs and broadcaster Ant Anstead.

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scrap 8 December 2021

I'm still well disposed towards this car but find the continual refusal to publicise a price a bit weird. How much will it be?

Given the car's provenance, I would guess around £100k but I suspect they will be charging a lot more than that.

Just Saying 8 December 2021
... I suspect you're right, pushing towards 175K would be my guess.
JB and Co can rightly be excited by this car - it's a stunning piece of kit IMV.
shiftright 8 December 2021

So very pretty, and in JPS livery it becomes achingly desirable. Note to other manufacturers: This is how to design a car that doesn't look like it's angry and wants to kill you.

 

bol 11 November 2021

Looks like the kind of car that should have a really big ashtray in its retro interior.