Motoring

Jenson Button’s Radford reveals Lotus-inspired sports car

Radford 62-2

Ex-Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button’s coachbuilding company, Radford, has unveiled its first car – a retro-styled coupe that pays homage to the Lotus Type 62 racer.

The 62-2 is the US-based company’s debut vehicle after the Radford name was revived earlier this year. The project is being backed by Lotus.

Power comes from the same 3.5-litre Toyota-derived V6 that appears in the new Lotus Emira.

Two versions of the 62-2 are being offered from launch: Classic and Gold Leaf. The standard 62-2 produces 435hp and weighs around 1,000kg. The Gold Leaf gains upgraded pistons, conrods, camshafts and electronic mapping to boost power to 506hp.

Radford 62-2

The design takes inspiration from the 1960s Lotus Type 62. It stands just 1,133mm (45 inches) tall, with wide wheelarches and side air intakes. A rear ducktail spoiler can be fitted to Gold Leaf models. Radford says the driver’s eye view is akin to that of a 1970s endurance racing car.   

Radford was founded in 1948 as Harold Radford Coachbuilders Ltd. Its original projects included the Bentley Countryman and fibreglass bodywork for the prototype Ford GT40.

The company later became famous for custom Bentleys and Minis. Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein commissioned Radford to create one-off Minis for the Fab Four.

Button announced he would bring back the name earlier this year, alongside car builder Ant Anstead, designer Mark Stubbs and business adviser Roger Behle.

Radford 62-2

“Creating a car that is simultaneously luxurious and comfortable, and great to drive, is a tough challenge, but the first Radford of the modern era delivers. The Type 62-2 is a driver’s car at its heart – when you see the design, it looks just like a 70s Le Mans car,” Button said.

“And when you sit behind the steering wheel and look through the curved windscreen, you can see the front wheelarches – something you just don’t experience on road cars today. 

“With such a low centre of gravity, the car’s body doesn’t roll. The chassis exhibits all the hallmarks of a beautifully set up race car for the road – giving the driver supreme confidence to extract maximum enjoyment every journey.”

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