If you take a look at the list of competitors that will participate in the 2023 Pikes Peak, you’ll see a healthy number of performance machines from different brands – Ferrari, Porsche, Ford, KTM, and Radical, just to name a few. Wearing race number 4 is a vehicle that hasn’t been seen in the Colorado mountains so far, though – a true race car known as the Radford Pikes Peak Edition. Never heard of Radford? Don’t worry, here’s everything you need to know about it.

For starters, Radford (previously known as Harold Radford) was a Rolls-Royce and Bentley retailer, which developed a bespoke coach-building business in the late 1940s. In the 1960s, the company became famous for its luxury versions of Mini models. That brand was relaunched some two years ago by former Formula 1 champion Jenson Button together with TV presenter and car builder Ant Anstead and business adviser and lawyer Roger Behle. The first product from the revived firm was revealed in August 2021 and now Radford will participate in the 2023 Pikes Peak with a race version of that car.

Gallery: Radford Type 62-2 Pikes Peak Edition

The so-called Radford Pikes Peak Edition is based on the Type 62-2 but features many modifications compared to the road-legal car. For example, the Type 62-2’s aluminium chassis is replaced by a full composite monocoque sitting around 230 millimetres (9 inches) wider. There are new front and rear subframes and new suspension geometry, plus a new underbody. Carbon fibre aerodynamic upgrades all around the body provide more downforce at higher speeds, something that can be regarded as crucial for Pikes Peak.

Powering hardcore machine is a 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine, which shares only its lower block with the street-legal version. That mill now generates around 700 bhp, delivered to the rear wheels through a paddle-shift sequential gearbox. Radford estimates the 0-60 miles per hour sprint takes just 2.2 seconds and the top speed is 160 mph. How is that possible? The PP Edition weighs just 860 kilograms (1,898 pounds).

Radford will tackle the Colorado hillclimb with Tanner Foust behind the wheel, who told Top Gear the car “has basically nothing shared with the road car,” except for “the design ethos and some components, but everything else is either modified or a bespoke version of what is on the road car.”