Hadland is no mime. He is a realist, and co-creator of the astonishing machine known as the Radical SRZero electric sports car, “the world’s most focused, fun-to-drive alternative propulsion vehicle.”
Developed by Radical Sportscars in conjunction with the 11-student Imperial College London’s Race Green Endurance (RGE) team in the Energy Futures Lab, the SRZero means to erase the term “wimpy” from EV vernacular.
Based on the SR8, Radical’s former fastest world champion, the SRZero imports the SR8’s 2.6-liter V8 engine but steals the gearbox and differential and replaces them with two EVO Electric AC synchronous Axial Flux motors. These two ultra-light, ultra-efficient motors are powered by three sets of Thunder Sky lithium ion phosphate cell batteries. The entire power-train sports a whopping 400-bhp. Regenerative braking captures energy at up to 50% efficiency during city driving.
The propulsion system is seamlessly controlled by LabVIEW’s CompactRIO control system, which integrates and organizes the multitudes of systems.
This hefty power- and drive-train enables the SRZero to rocket its 2,420-lb body to 60-mph in a mere 3.5 seconds. That’s almost as fast as a 2010 Lamborghini Murcielago. The SRZero tops out at 125 mph, and sports an impressive range of nearly 300 miles.
How does this astonishing range number come to be? The SRZero’s creators drove their wonder child to the London M25 circuit in an attempt to best the former range record set by the Tesla Roadster at one lap. The SRZero cruised around the M25 twice at an average speed of 55-mph and still had 14% power capacity remaining. That’s 264 miles with room to spare.
But Radical means to put their protégé to a more extreme test. Begun on July 8, 2010, the SRZero is attempting a mind-blowing 16,000-mile trek from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska along the Pan-American Highway. Radical hopes this feat will raise awareness about the capabilities of electric vehicles.
EVs are often billed as the saviors of ozone holes and the like. Nigel Brandon, director of the ICL Energy Futures Lab, agrees and notes, “To meet current [UK] government [carbon emission] targets by 2050, we need to refine a range of technologies including electric vehicles.” Enter, SRZero.
But the SRZero is about more than going green. This car makes a statement: EVs rival their petro-hogging siblings in power, speed and driving. A 300-mile range, 400 horsepower and 3.5-second dash prove just that.