Zero doesn't mean EV, either – this 700kg spaceship has a twin turbo V10…
By Matt Bird / Wednesday, 10 August 2022 / Loading comments
You’d have been forgiven for not expecting much from Rodin’s confirmation, back in 2019, of an 800hp V10 sports car. After all, plenty of British based companies have announced grand plans that have never come to fruition, leave alone those from New Zealand (that have a base at Donington Park). It’s hardly been the best few years for new ventures, either. Still, if you wanted a project to attract attention, then a sub-1,000kg track car with an all-new V10 and as much power as a Ferrari Superfast would do it. But the Rodin wasn’t actually going to happen, was it?
Well, here we are in August 2022, with confirmation from Rodin that its track car – now called the FZERO – will go into production next year. They’ve weathered the Covid storm and come out the other side with one of the most incredible cars we’ve ever seen, like if Wacky Races was part of the Marvel Universe. While the images released at the moment aren’t the finished thing, something that sticks close to this part Group C, part spaceship look will be something to savour.
Rodin has confirmed some important stats for the FZERO, though, and they’ll make your eyes pop just as much as the design. Allegedly this car, all 5,500mm of it, will weigh 698kg with all its fluids, yet produce 1,176hp and 757lb ft from all-new, twin-turbo, hybridised 4.0-litre V10 built as part of a collaboration between Rodin and Neil Brown Engineering. The engine itself provides 1,000hp and 671lb ft of the total, making peak power at 9,000rpm and going all the way to 10k. The hybrid element contributes 176hp and 86lb ft; it’s been built with Integral Powertrain, the same British company that did the motors for the VW ID R. As well as providing additional power and brake regen capability, the 130kW motor will operate as starter and alternator. Rodin believes the RCTEN engine, at just 132kg, will be the lightest and most compact V10 ever. Power will reach the road via a bespoke Ricardo eight-speed gearbox, itself said to weigh just 66kg.
The crazy numbers keep coming. The FZERO is said to be capable of up to 4,000kg of downforce, the top speed will be 223mph (when the aero isn’t set to provide four tonnes of downforce, presumably) and each cylinder has a bore and stroke of 86mm and 68.8mm respectively – the tiny latter number surely helping that big V10 spin all the way to 10,000rpm. Furthermore, in the attempt to be ‘the fastest car around track, without exception’ – this lighter than an AMG One, Valkyrie, or GMA T.50 Lauda – the F Zero gets slick Avon tyres, forged magnesium rims manufactured with OZ ‘produced to F1 standard’ and carbon-carbon brakes with titanium calipers. It’s surely going to be absolutely wild behind the wheel. ‘Building a car without restrictions of road laws or race series regulations, means it can be developed with no limits, allowing for performance that would otherwise be unobtainable’, reads the press release. Be quite quick around Donington Park, at least…
Rodin’s founder, David Dicker, added: “The Rodin FZERO is the physical representation of the ultimate heights in vehicle performance. Without the restrictions of building to a set of rules, we are able to make the car lighter, more powerful, and produce significantly more downforce. The only real restrictions we face are the laws of physics, and we have even pushed those to the absolute limit. We look forward to bringing the most intense driving experience conceivable to tracks around the world.”
Which all sounds tremendously awesome, right? Without wishing to get ahead of ourselves, the FZERO project does seem too far advanced now to not happen, with major bits of it complete, but we’ll reserve our enthusiasm just a little longer to be sure. Rodin says that 27 cars will be made and that the first ones will be finished next summer. Track days will never be the same again…
- Rodin FZed track car born from Lotus T125
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