New Radical Rapture revealed at Goodwood Festival of Speed

"An unapologetic assault on the senses"

BRITISH niche car maker Radical has applied its motor sport know-how to a new range-topping road car: the open-top Rapture.

The two-seater track day special, unveiled at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed, boasts performance worthy of its name’s biblical connotations. According to the Peterborough-based firm, the Radical Rapture is capable of hitting 60mph from a standing start in three seconds flat, and it’s claimed a long enough stretch of straight road will see the vehicle top out at 165mph.

At the heart of the Radical Rapture is the Ford Focus RS-derived 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which produces 350bhp and a punchy 320 lb ft of torque. While that’s not mind-blowing power, the Rapture has very little mass to lug about. Before fluids like engine oil and a topped-up fuel tank are factored in, Radical claims the Rapture tips the scales at 765kg. The means it has a Lamborghini Huracán Performante supercar-beating power-to-weight ratio of 457bhp per tonne.

All of that power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed, racing car-style sequential manual transmission that’s operated through shifter paddles mounted on the car’s steering wheel.

Despite being optimised for track day work and sporting a spaceframe chassis that complies with the rigorous safety standards of international motor racing’s governing body, the FIA, the Radical Rapture is said to be an approachable and easy to drive road car. You don’t even need to wear a helmet or goggles when driving it on public highways, as Radical says the Rapture’s front bodywork has been designed to send the airflow over the driver’s and passenger’s head. Buyers can specify an optional aero screen if they would prefer to have a bit more protection from the elements, however.

While it certainly isn’t best-suited to commuting or use as a daily driver (Radical says the Rapture’s lack of any roof to speak of means it “probably [isn’t] your best option in which to do your weekly shop at the supermarket”), the car maker has given its new car has some welcome creature comforts. Electrically-operated wing mirrors come as standard on the Rapture, and buyers who won’t let a bit of cold weather or damp drizzle put their plans to take their Rapture out for a drive on hold will likely be very pleased with the in-car heating system.

Still, even with its few comforts, the car is described by Radical as “the ideal choice for customers seeking a raw, exhilarating driving experience – the Rapture can deliver an unapologetic assault on the senses.”

The car maker has ruled out going racing with the Rapture but confirmed it’s looking into making a “long-distance racer” powered by the Rapture’s engine.

Prices for the Radical Rapture start at £89,500 before taxes are applied, and orders are now being accepted for the firm’s new range-topping road car. Buyers who manage to nab one of the earlier build slots are on track should expect to collect the keys to their car in early August, 2019.