Date: 15th July 2003-Radical’s new SR3 Turbo, driven by touring car ace, Phil Bennett, shattered the Nordschleife lap record of 7:32, by a massive 13 seconds. The new record was made all the more impressive by the fact that the all-new 1500 turbo-engined car had only covered a small number of development miles at Lotus’ Hethel test circuit, and the record was achieved during it’s first and only flying lap of the awesome 14-mile German circuit.
Radical’s latest incarnation of their all-conquering SR3 extreme road / trackday car boasts a Powertec 1500cc Turbo engine, developed in-house, which boasts 320bhp, and 213 ft/lbs of torque at only 0.8 bar of boost. With the SR3 weighing-in at just over 500Kg, that equates to a mind-blowing 600bhp/ton power-to-weight ratio.
A front-mounted air intake is incorporated to cope with the turbo’s additional cooling requirements, and the brakes are uprated to larger diameter discs and four-pot AP calipers all round.
A top speed of over 160mph was recorded on the Döttinger Höhe straight, and even with the Dunlop Formula R road tyres, a cornering force of 2.1g was not uncommon.
Phil Abbott, Radical co-founder and the inspiration behind the SR3 Turbo was jubilant. “Last year we came to the Nordschliefe, and recorded a 7:42 with a standard 1500 SR3. This year we were allowed only one flying lap, and we did an amazing 7:19. With a change in gearing, and time to dial the car in, we can go even faster!”
Michael Vergers, Radical’s test driver, drove the SR3 prior to Phil Bennett’s hot lap. As those who know Michael will confirm, he is not easily impressed, but even he was gob-smacked! “The 1500 Turbo engine is just amazing. It just pulls and pulls from low revs, up until flat out with no lag. I saw 155mph (which equates to 165mph allowing for the larger diameter road tyres) on the speedo, and that was just driving to the circuit! The Turbo is the way for Radical to go. The SR3 Turbo is the world’s most extreme sportscar for sure!”
The aerodynamics of the SR3 Turbo were honed in the full-scale wing tunnel at MIRA.
Orders are now being taken for delivery in 2004, and a limited production run of 25 cars is planned, in the distinctive black and gold livery of the Nordschliefe lap record breaking car. This limited edition car will also come with distinctive black and gold wheels, bright red AP calipers, and an engraved chassis plaque signed by Phil Bennett, confirming the record-breaking time of 7 minutes 19 seconds.
With a selling price of £41,000 plus VAT, the SR3 Turbo represents unbelievable performance per pound. Four of the 25 limited edition cars are already sold!