You've probably never heard the name Radford before, and understandably so. The British coachbuilding venture hasn't been around since the late 1960s. But now designer Mark Stubbs, motoring specialist Ant Anstead, and Formula One World Champion Jenson Button have revived the nameplate, and the end result of that triad of talent is this gorgeous Lotus Type 62-2 coachbuilt by Radford, the company's first new project.
Inspired by the iconic Lotus Type 62 race car from the 1960s, this modern road-going version blends retro cues with contemporary chassis components from the latest Lotus Evora. And mounted in the middle, a supercharged 3.5-litre V6 engine delivers as much as 600 bhp (447 kilowatts), depending on the spec.
The base Type 62-2 "Classic" uses the Evora's standard supercharged 3.5-litre engine to produce 430 hp (321 kW). The "Gold Leaf" model sports that same engine, but with 500 hp (373 kW) thanks to upgraded pistons and camshafts. At the top of the range is the “JPS” variant, which boasts a new supercharger and upgraded tuning software to bring the total output to 600 bhp (447 kW).
The Classic model sports a standard six-speed manual transmission with an optional seven-speed dual-clutch, while the Gold Leaf and JPS trims use the DCT exclusively and come with an electronic limited-slip differential. The Classic and Gold Leaf versions also get four-piston AP Racing brakes, while the JPS opts for more powerful carbon-ceramic stoppers.
No matter the trim though, each Type 62-2 uses the same Lotus monocoque chassis, with a bespoke rear subframe designed by Radford to improve strength, stiffness, and agility. That setup also helps keep the curb weight down; the Type 62-2 tips the scales at a dry weight of just 1,000 kilograms (2,204 pounds). And the company notes that Jenson Button personally calibrated the car to achieve "exceptional steering feel and driver feedback."
Stylistically, the Classic version is the most subtle of the bunch. Designed without a rear wing, it wears 17-inch wheels up front and 18-inch wheels on the rear. The Gold Leaf model pays homage to the classic Lotus race car with retro livery, track-focused aerodynamics, and a prominent "double ducktail" spoiler specially applied by Lotus to improve downforce on the track. And this model rides on 18- and 19-inch wheels.
On the inside, the Type 62-2 features two "wing mirror" cameras that project an image of the outside world onto the driver- and passenger-side A-pillars. The rear-view mirror is a camera as well – due to the solid rear panel – and a 6.0-inch digital cluster lives just behind the steering wheel. The digital dash includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, which allows you to pump audio from your phone through the five speakers within the cabin.
Radford doesn't say how much this beauty will cost, but limited to just 62 units worldwide, we can't imagine the Type 62-2 comes cheap. Production will start at the company's facility in California beginning later this year, with the first example expected to hit the road early in 2022.