Currently reading: Radical launches first road car
SR3 SL is the first Radical designed for road use and is powered by a 2.0-litre turbo Ford engine

Radical has revealed its first car designed specifically for road use.

The Radical SR3 SL – the SL standing for street legal – has been modified for road use from the standard SR3 on which it is based, including a new, more compliant suspension system for a softer ride and road-legal wheels and tyres.

See pics of the new Radical SR3 SL

It is powered by the turbocharged 2.0-litre Ford Ecoboost engine that will be used in the new Focus ST later this year. It's is supplied to Radical in its standard tune of 247bhp, but a remapping from ECU specialist Life Racing has boosted power to 300bhp.

Radical says its Ariel Atom rival, revealed today at the Autosport International show, should be capable of a 0-60mph time close to 3.0sec and a top speed of around 165mph.

Torque will be limited in first and second to keep wheelspin to a minimum but will be fully available from third gear, producing its maximum of around 340lb ft at just 1700rpm.

Power is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox complete with F1-style paddle shifters.

Radical co-founder Phil Abbott said its customer base was after a Radical that could be bought straight from the factory with European Type Approval, rather than having to put it through the complicated and time-consuming process themselves.

He said there was particular demand from Germany, France, Spain and Italy for the road-going Radical. He added that its Ford engine was crucial for the road car as it was “tractable, clean and powerful yet also light and incredibly reliable”.

Sales director Nick Dove said not all prospective Radical customers “want to buy a racing car with a racing engine”. He added: “This is for them. It’s not set up for racing.”

The Radical SR3 SL will be priced from £67,750 plus local taxes. An optional race package includes an engine mapping and calibration system, a bi-plane race rear wing and race tyres.

Radical is hoping to initially sell between 30 and 50 units per year. A spokesman said it was in its final stages of development and should be ready by the start of March. “There’s just the last bit of suspension work needed,” he told Autocar. “We’re trying to find a happy medium between what you’d expect from a Radical and what you’d expect from a road sports cars. We don’t want it to be too soft.”

Mark Tisshaw

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