It was no secret that Radical wanted to build a coupé, and that played a major part in the decision to put the SR3 SL through European type approval; it got in before the November 2011 deadline, after which cars obtaining type approval will have to be fitted with the electronic driving aids that the SL does without.
Some things, though, it can’t ignore. The SL’s interior is bedecked with more fripperies than we’ve come to expect in cars like this. Not loads of them, but the seats are a sliding moulded bench, with integral headrests rather than pads on the roll bars as in other Radicals.
The steering wheel is padded, too, and even the horn buttons are required by legislation to face right from the wheel. And you can adjust the electric mirrors from the driver’s seat.
There is even a light and – again, a legislative requirement – a heater. It doesn’t have to work very well, mind you (and the SL’s doesn’t), but it does have to be there. These, however, all count as valuable elements for the road-legal and slightly more usable RXC coupé.
Beyond the legislative nonsense, though, you’ll find that the SL’s is a cockpit built for driving as much as any other Radical's. The driving position is good (though two occupants will want for shoulder room), with the harnesses securing you in your seat where the modest bolstering will not.
The view out is terrific, too, and those diddy front wings help to place the car with ease. Given a few minutes to build familiarity, you’ll find the switchgear and instruments are as straightforward as any rival’s.
Don’t expect much practicality, though. A Caterham offers a boot; even an Atom has a small cubby. The SR3 SL’s shape dictates that it doesn’t. There is a 12v power socket, though.