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Radical Sportscars is an auto manufacturer and constructor of racing cars from England. The company was founded in January 1997 by amateur drivers and engineers Mick Hyde and Phil Abbott, who built open-cockpit sportscars which could be registered for road use and run on a track without modification. Although most of Radical's sportscars are road legal, they also build some purpose-built racing cars, such as the SR9 Le Mans prototype.
The company's first car, the 1100 Clubsport, was based on a Kawasaki motorcycle engine placed inside a small open-cockpit chassis which could house two adults. The cars were intended to run in the 750 Motor Club's races under the Sports 2000 category, with co-founder Hyde driving.
In 1999, Radical had built enough 1100 Clubsports that they decided to create a one-make series based around the car. Backed by the British Racing and Sports Car Club, the series featured identical cars that were open to anyone who owned an 1100 Clubsport. The same year, Radical debuted their second model, the Prosport. Available with Kawasaki or Suzuki engine up to 1500 cc in displacement, the Prosports were even more powerful and faster than the Clubsports, and even included an adjustable rear wing. The cars were also brought to the United States for the first time, for use in the SCCA D-Sport class in 2000.
Radical's next creation was the SR3, a car which could compete in international racing, such as the FIA's C3 class. The car uses a Suzuki-based engine tuned by Powertec engine which offered 1300 cc or 1500 cc versions and a maximum of 252 hp (188 kW) in the latter. A six-speed sequential gearbox was developed specifically for the car to improve performance. The SR3 could also be road legal in the United Kingdom with the addition of turn signals, a hand brake, a catalytic converter, and road legal tires.
In 2006, Radical would make its largest leap into motorsport with the development of the SR9, a complete Le Mans prototype which fit into the LMP2 class. Official partner Rollcentre Racing would debut the car with success in the Le Mans Series and 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Radical was able to move into the CN class of cars, used in VdeV and hillclimbing events throughout Europe, in 2007. The SR5 was based around a Honda VTEC 2.0 L engine which could produce 237 hp (177 kW), although a Ford Duratec was also available.
Radical currently sells six different models, all of which can be converted to street use in certain countries except for the SR9 and SR10. Various options, most notably in the powerplants, are available on all of the cars.
The most popular Radical model, over 400 SR3s have been built in Clubsport, Supersport, and Tracksport models. The car is built on a spaceframe chassis, and uses a variety of Powertec-tuned motorcycle engines for power. Turbocharging is also available on the motors for even more power. Base versions produce 252 hp (188 kW) and get the SR3 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in just 3.8 seconds and on to 147 mph (237 km/h).
Although this car shares most of the engine and powertrain from the SR3, the SR4 features all new bodywork and undertray, including a front diffuser, in order to make it a more capable track car. Also widely used in various national racing series. This car replaces the initial 1100 Clubsport.
Built for international competitions, including hillclimbs and endurance events, the SR5 features either a Honda or Ford production four-cylinder engine. A variety of gearboxes are also available, with either a manual or pneumatic semi-automatic. The spaceframe chassis does not integrate the engine as a stressed member in an attempt to increase its endurance capabilities.
The replacement for the original Prosport, the PR6 is a purpose-built race car designed to meet SCCA and MSA regulations. The PR6 features a single-seater cockpit, with many aerodynamic elements from the SR4 added. The PR6 is powered by a variety of motorcycle engines based on class regulations.
Based on the SR3, the SR8 is a more extreme version intended for street and track use. The SR8 also features the largest engine Radical has ever put in their road cars, with the 2600 cc Powertec RPA V8 constructed by combining elements of Suzuki inline-4s, and producing 363 hp (271 kW). A further variant, known as the SR8LM, increases the engine to 2800 cc and brings power output to 455 hp (339 kW). In August 2009 Michael Vergers, driving an SR8LM, set a new lap record (6 minutes, 48 seconds) for a road legal production car at the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit. The previous record (6 minutes, 55 seconds) was also set by Vergers, in 2005 at the wheel of a Radical SR8.
One SR8 will be changed into an electric car by a team of students Racing Green Endurance from Imperial College London to race the full length of the Pan-American highway in May 2010. The race aims to challenge commonly held perceptions surrounding electric vehicles performance and range.
Radical's first Le Mans Prototype, the SR9 is built to full LMP2 regulations. It is able to be run in the American Le Mans Series, Le Mans Series, and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Engines include a Judd XV675 3400 cc V8 or a turbocharged Advanced Engine Research (AER) P07 2000 cc Inline-4. Using the first carbon fiber monocoque in Radical's history, the SR9 weighs a mere 775 kg (1,709 lb). Radical is also investigating plans for upgrading the SR9 to be able to run in the larger LMP1 class.
In early 2008, Eco Racing announced it would run a Radical SR10 in the LMP1 class at the 12 Hours of Sebring. The Radical is fitted with a AER bio-diesel engine. The chassis is an upgraded SR9. The team traveled to the United States, but was unable to run the car due to homologation issues with the monocoque in regards to the car's crash test certification. The car was then entered in the Petit Le Mans but was withdrawn as well. The car did however make its competitive debut in the Alms race at Laguna Seca raceway finishing 7th in the Lmp1 class and 32nd overall, after battling with mechanical & fuel issues throughout the weekend.  ECO Racing once again entered the car in the 2009 American Le Mans Series at two events: the Petit Le Mans and Monterey Sports Car Championships. The car ran in practice at the Petit Le Mans but did not participate in qualifying or the race. The same series of events also happened at the Monterey Sports Car Championships.
Companies undergo new model line-ups and refresh models depending on market trends. Models that have been retired or are no longer in production should be listed here.
- ↑ 
- ↑ "2001 Radical SR3". carfolio.com. http://www.carfolio.com/specifications/models/car/?car=117733. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
- ↑ "Radical SR8LM smashes 6:50 Nordschleife barrier". AUSringers.com. http://www.ausringers.com/2009/08/21/radical-sr8lm-smashes-650-barrier.html. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
- ↑ http://racinggreenendurance.com/home.html
- ↑ Michael J. Fuller. "Mulsanne's Corner News". Mulsannescorner.com. http://www.mulsannescorner.com/newsmarch08.html. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- Official Radical Homepage
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