Rodin Cars has revealed a new single-seat racer that it says is as fast as a modern Formula 1 car, but without the associated running costs you might expect. The open-wheeled racer has not been designed specifically to adhere to one racing series. Rather, it started life as the Lotus T125 which was originally designed as a ‘customer’ F1 racer, giving the general public (albeit the very wealthy general public) the chance to experience something as close to real F1 as had ever been available to customers before.
Unlike the Lotus, the Rodin FZED will be assembled in New Zealand from components sourced from throughout Europe and the UK. The carbonfibre chassis is sourced from HP Composites in Italy, forming the backbone of the technical package with an IndyCar-style tunnel floor, rather than the flat-floor F1 cars.
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Powering the FZED is a Cosworth-built GPV8 engine, producing a peak power of 675bhp at a screaming 9600rpm, before touching a 10,000rpm rev limit. This 3.8-litre V8 was designed and is built in the UK, and connects to a Ricardo six-speed sequential transmission that powers the rear wheels. The brakes are carbon-carbon race units from Brembo, while keeping those wheels on the ground are dampers sourced from Öhlins.
This consecutive name-dropping is important here, as despite the lack of pedigree attached to the Rodin name, the components underpinning this personal F1 car are anything but. Where professionally supplied components couldn’t be sourced, Rodin’s in-house development team has been able to fill in the gaps, using very 21st century low-volume manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing.
But the real expense of running this level of open-seater racer is the constant and very expensive maintenance. And that’s where Rodin comes in, having engineered the FZED for longevity and durability. The Cosworth engine, for example, has been designed to run for over 3200 miles on 98 octane fuel, far beyond that of comparable single-seat racers between engine rebuilds. Significantly cheaper to run than a second-hand F1 car, the FZED, from approximately £534,620 (USD$650k) is also much less to buy in many cases.