Radford Type 62-2 will make a dynamic debut at Goodwood

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Radford completed testing of its Type 62-2 sports car at the end of 2021 and it is now set to make its dynamic debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, with Formula 1 legend Jenson Button at the helm.

The Radford Type 62-2 is a tribute to the 1969 Lotus Type 62 racer and was tested at Lotus headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk. Only 62 examples of the Type 62-2 will be built and each will be customized to the tastes of its owner – Radford says each car will be unique thanks to the level of personalization on offer.

Jenson Button is one of three main investors in the resurgent body company and was integral to the car’s development phase. He spoke of the debut of the Type 62-2, saying: “Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​is a fantastic event, and I look forward to showcasing the driving capabilities and performance of our updated Type 62-2 and refined on the iconic hill climb.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for automotive and motorsport fans, and I can’t wait to reveal all the technical changes we’ve made to the car as they come from an F1-inspired pedigree.”

Three variants of the Type 62-2 will be available. The flagship John Player Special variant features a 600hp supercharged 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine from Lotus and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Radford says that’s enough for a 0-62mph time of 2.9 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 186mph.

Underneath are two more specs, called Classic and Gold Leaf. The cheaper Classic variant has a 430bhp version of the same 3.5-litre V6 and a six-speed manual gearbox – and as such is marketed as the purists’ option.

The Type 62-2 Gold Leaf wears the same iconic red and white livery as Graham Hill’s 1968 Lotus Type 49B Formula One. To back up the racy look, it also gets a more powerful 500bhp version of the Lotus V6 and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

Button commented on his development campaign last year: “Finally driving the 62-2 type for the first time was obviously a very special moment, the cockpit already feels like home! The car felt good, well balanced in both high and low speed corners and ran flawlessly all day, which is the perfect base for months of tuning to follow for me. We want to make sure this car is a pure driver’s car that respects both the Lotus DNA but also offers the luxury of a Radford.

New Radford Type 62-2: chassis and configuration

The Type 62-2 uses a Lotus chassis, although Radford made some modifications to suit both the styling of the car and its increased performance. It uses the same bonded aluminum structure as the outgoing Lotus Elise and Exige, and features a new body made from carbon fiber composites. The cabin is also supported by a new carbon fiber crash structure that incorporates a rollover bar and reinforced firewall and windshield.

All that lightweight engineering means the Type 62-2 tips the scales at around 1,000kg, meaning even the least powerful model has a power-to-weight ratio good enough to keep up with today’s crop of supercars.

There’s also a bespoke tubular rear subframe, which Radford says improves the car’s stiffness and cornering performance. However, it also serves an aesthetic purpose, as it is visible from certain angles when viewing the car from the rear.

The underside of the Type 62-2 is completely flat and is designed to channel air to the rear diffuser to generate downforce. This means that the Classic variant can get away with not using a spoiler, while the faster versions only need a pair of small ducktails.

The chassis configuration also differs slightly depending on the model. The cheapest Classic variant comes with offset alloy wheels measuring 17-inches at the front and 18-inches at the rear, while the car sits on adjustable suspension and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.

Braking is handled by a set of four-piston AP racing calipers and iron discs, while the rear is controlled by a Bosch-designed electronic stability program.

The 500hp Gold Leaf variant gets lighter two-piece forged aluminum wheels, which are an inch larger in diameter on each axle, as well as motorsport-derived traction control and an ABS system that has been calibrated with the help of Jenson Button.

To reliably handle the extra performance, the Gold Leaf’s engine also gets a few upgrades such as stronger connecting rods, new pistons, more aggressive camshafts and a remapped ECU. Each version also comes with a titanium exhaust system.

Radford’s top-end JPS variant has the same chassis setup as the Gold Leaf, but with even lighter carbon composite wheels, monobloc calipers and carbon-ceramic brake rotors. There will also be a larger rear diffuser and front splitter to generate more downforce.

New Radford Type 62-2: design and interior

Our latest update from Radford gave us our first look inside the car. Like the rest of the car’s styling, Radford says the car’s cabin is inspired by the original 1969 racing Lotus Type 62, with the slim three-spoke steering wheel and foot-up driving position nodding most obvious eye to the past.

The analog clock and stopwatch mounted on the passenger side of the dash (much like they would have been in an old road race car) are another design touch from yesteryear, and the gauges themselves are rather special because they are made by the British luxury watch brand Bremont.

In front of the driver there is a carbon fiber steering wheel and a digital instrument panel. It’s flanked by two screens on either side of the dashboard that take images from the two cameras mounted on the car’s front fenders, replacing conventional side mirrors.

It feels oddly high-tech considering everything else in the cabin is operated using traditional toggle switches, and Radford even designed an exposed linkage for the manual shifter.

Radford’s body business has been brought back from the dead, thanks to new investments from Jenson Button, TV personality Ant Anstead and designer Mark Stubbs.

Mark Stubbs commented on the Type 62-2 cabin design saying, “I always wonder, what would Harold have done? Radford embraces and amplifies what the original manufacturer would do. We build on it.

“We have the same milled and turned finish of the clock bodies of our switches, so we really integrated them and adopted what Bremont designed into this design. The analog displays are a nice homage to the days of the Type 62-2 and its heritage. We want the driver to feel 100% focused on the pleasure of driving.”

At least on the outside, however, there are many similarities between Radford’s Type 62-2 and the original Lotus racer, including the dimensions: it’s just 1,133mm tall. In profile, the car is almost identical to the original Lotus, right down to the doors, which are both high-waisted and cut into the roof panel.

The sports car’s LED headlights have been styled to resemble those of the classic Lotus, although Radford has added a modern twist to the rear with an LED connector bar between the two clusters.

Radford is also confident that its customers will be able to use the Type 62-2 every day. Buyers can specify an optional nose-lift system to get the car over speed bumps, as well as a custom luggage set from Mason and Sons, which fits under the front hull.

Radford will work with each customer on the design of their car, allowing them to choose upholstery finishes, paint colors and even make physical changes to the car’s body with bolt-on aero components. The bespoke nature of each vehicle means there is no publicly available pricing.

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