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Radical Rapture is a race car that's magically road-legal – Roadshow

The cops might not believe you, but rest assured, the Rapture is road legal.

Radical

Radical is a company that doesn’t understand boundaries. Its cars are, for all intents and purposes, proper race cars, yet somehow a good chunk of them are road-legal. For an automaker with an ethos that wild, there’s no better place to debut a new model than the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and as luck would have it, Radical was clearly thinking along the same lines.

Radical on Thursday unveiled the Rapture at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England. It’s built with motorsport know-how, but its performance is far closer to a proper race car, which should make it quite the thrill ride for those with the chutzpah to give ‘er the beans on a country road.

The Rapture starts with a lightweight chassis, over which lies composite bodywork that will leave you wondering exactly how this thing is legal to drive on European roads. The cabin is open, and the whole thing is so close to the ground it may as well be considered part of terra firma. Adaptive dampers can be tweaked for use on both the road and the track.

The interior is bonkers, at least in the sense that it’s a no-nonsense getup geared for drivers. There are two racing seats with integrated headrests and racing harnesses. There’s an LCD display in the dashboard, but it’s not an infotainment system — it’s a motorsport cluster meant to convey only the most relevant information. The steering wheel is wrapped in suede, so I suggest bringing some gloves. A helmet wouldn’t hurt, either.

The engine is a 2.3-liter turbocharged I4 from Ford, presumably related to the EcoBoost engine of the same displacement in the Ford Focus RS. Radical slapped a new turbo and intake system on it, along with some other reworking, pegging the output at 350 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. That might not seem like all that much, but considering how lightweight the Rapture is, the car should scoot.

While Radical didn’t say how much the Rapture costs, it did say the order books are already open, and the company has received orders from France and Germany. It’s legal to drive in both the UK and the rest of Europe, but Radical hopes to homologate it for even more markets in the future. 

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