Around the Rapture’s FIA safety cell and all of the lightweight tubing of its chassis, then, sits plastic composite bodywork. At the front and rear are double wishbone axles with fully adjustable suspension. Further still towards the car’s extremities are expansive, angry-looking aerodynamic surfaces, with the car’s front splitter in particular having been reprofiled for greater downforce under heavy dive.
Doing the driving, meanwhile, is a longways-mounted 2.3-litre Ford Ecoboost four-pot turbo engine retuned by Radical to produce 360bhp and 320lb ft of torque, which feeds the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential paddle-shift gearbox and a Quaife limited-slip diff. This is Radical’s £90k ‘junior’ road-legal option, then – but still one with nearly 500bhp per tonne.
You don’t so much step in as hop over the Rapture's broad sidepod, and drop down into a fairly tight cockpit that substitutes a windscreen for a tiny lip of a wind deflector, and offers only four-point belts and a pretty perfunctory arrangement of secondary switchgear controls as creature comforts.
Instrumentation is via a smallish colour LCD display mounted centrally on the dashboard, and underneath that you'll find the line of buttons controlling the car's headlights and heater. Material fit and finish is pretty poor; the upper and lower extremes of our test car's fascia panel wobbled like a cardboard sandwich box, although the parts of it that supported buttons seemed well-enough secured. It would, in short, be a challenge to get as excited about this driving environment as you might the one in a Dallara Stradale. Then again, Radical owners are well used to vehicles whose value is defined squarely by what they do rather than how they look or what they are.
The cockpit's certainly accommodating enough. At 6ft 3in, I was on the outer limit of leg-room provision in the car, and was a little short on outboard elbow room too – although in neither respect was I beyond the bounds of comfort.
The engine fires after rotating the battery isolator and ignition keys and then prodding the starter button. Dry sumped, it needs a few minutes to warm through before it’ll run in anything other than ‘limp’ mode. Even when warm it’s pretty raw and unruly on part throttle, rocking back and forth on its rigid mountings every time you tip into the accelerator pedal travel, and making the gearbox shunt and thrash and whine a bit at low revs.
Suffice it to say that low revs and everyday speeds are pretty plainly not what the Rapture’s powertrain is intended for. Likewise its chassis rides tolerably well on the road but it tramlines around bump and camber in a way that can makes it feel lively indeed on B-roads. Handily, the chances of your concentration dwindling at just about any time when driving this car are rather low.
The Rapture's even livelier on a wintry, wet race track, albeit differently so. 360bhp in something so light makes for no-prisoner-taking outright pace but also, I’m pleased to report, drivability good enough that a pilot equally unfamiliar with car as track can enjoy several sets of wet laps without accident or incident.
There are no electronic aids here, and so handling predictability and control feedback matter greatly. Even in the wet and at reduced speeds and lateral loads, plenty of both are provided.
Steering is quick but weighty and feelsome, communicating load and ebbing grip level clearly. Handling agility is very high; and although outright grip level, on Radical's standard-fit Yokohama performance road tyres and in the wet, was pretty low, the car wasn't unforgiving beyond the limit, and didn't struggle unduly either for traction or braking power. Brake pedal feel and progressiveness inspired plenty of confidence, too.