Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Car Style - The Radical SR3 RS

John Marine | 1/06/2010 03:06:00 AM | |
What happens when you dream of winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but haven't the driving talent or the physical fortitude to withstand the G-forces of a Le Mans Prototype? Normally, you'd feel like crap. The best way to feel like you're the next outright champion of Le Mans is to play video and computer games. But if you REALLY want to feel like you can enjoy prototype racing without needing an FIA license or something, look no further than Radical. This entry concerns the Radical SR3. I don't know more about the car as far as differences among SR3 models, but I will discuss how these cars are styled.

As a late move, I'll be discussing the latest SR3, the SR3 RS (RS standing for "Rockingham Speedway," and it's NOT the Rockingham oval in the United States).

--- Car Style: The 2002 Radical SR3 ---
Why does Europe get all the cool cars (despite the fact the modern automobile was born in Europe)? This car is about as close as you can get to potentially enjoying a Le Mans prototype without having to sign up for Pescarolo Sport or anybody.

The car is a hybrid of track car and road car (at least in Europe). Both headlight clusters feature two lights and also feature two turning signals. There is a proper LMP-style wing and some front wing designs on the sides of the car. The front of the car also boasts a little opening at the center which feeds air into the engine.

The sides of this car have plenty of LMP character as well. A big side air duct on the sides shows this car is for real, and it helps in feeding air to the engine. Big louvers over the front wheels will have you feeling like you're doing 180 mph down the Hunaudières. A proper rollcage keeps you safe in the event of a rollover. And really, it reminds me a lot of prototypes before 2004, whereas you didn't have that two-driver roll hoop setup like you see on most prototypes today. The car flows beautifully when at speed thanks to its lovely aerodynamics. A big roll hoop helps to protect you while at speed. The rear wing is also styled a bit like early 2000s prototypes. There are even carbon fiber/fibre mirrors on the sides. The endplates on the wing suggests that this car is ready to fly into the wind at your command.

The rear of the car features a cluster of three circular lights on each side. Some extra louvers are near the very edges of the rear of the car. The muffler resides in the center at the back, and it is accompanied by a rear valance or rear diffuser.

Creature comforts? You have about as much of a chance as having lovely creature comforts as in an Ariel Atom. This is an all-business track car that can even be a cool road car. An all-business steering wheel awaits you to hammer down the throttle and go full speed into the corners. The steering wheel is a real racing wheel and even includes a digital data logger. The interior is very much decked out in carbon fiber. This car can seat two people. Because you know, tandem driving can be pretty hot. Between the two driver seats rests an air scoop looking to feed the engine with cool air.

Radicals are so awesome. These are head-turning cars that are about the ultimate track car, even if the drivers have no aspirations of racing at Sebring or Le Mans. It's been succeeded by cars like the SR4 series and such. But still, the SR3 series is truly classic. Their latest model only improves upon its past SR3 brotheren.
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