Jenson Button the new coachbuilt sports car will "drive like nothing else."
Best known for its luxurious take on the Mini in the 1960s bought by all four members of The Beatles, bespoke Bentleys, and an Aston Martin DB5 shooting brake, renowned British coachbuilder Radford is being revived by former F1 champion Jenson Button, car designer Mark Stubbs, and TV presenter and car builder Ant Anstead. For its first bespoke creation, Radford is partnering with the Lotus Engineering consultancy firm to build a modern take on the 1969 Lotus Type 62 prototype race car.
Radford says its first car will be "based on Lotus technology," so expect it to be extremely lightweight and agile like the Lotus Evora and the upcoming Emira. A shadowy teaser image previewing the car's sleek silhouette suggests it will be a retro-inspired sports coupe with prominent fenders and a low roofline.
Coincidentally, Lotus and Radford were both founded in 1948. According to Jenson Button, Radford's new sports car will be "truly analog and thoroughly engaging, but with all the refinements that you would expect from a Radford." It will also "drive like nothing else."
"There is a purity to driving that is lost in many cars of today. I will ensure we create a driver's car, a trait that is embedded within the DNA of all Lotus cars," said Button. Matt Windle, Managing Director at Lotus Cars, added: "This is a hugely exciting project for us. It is an engineering partnership at its heart, but one without the usual constraints of working with a large corporate group. And of course, Ant, Jenson, Mark and Roger are a dream team to work with."
"A limited run of the most special of coachbuilt vehicles is engineering nirvana as it allows us to break free of the usual parameters of a more conventional project. Lotus Engineering has a long history of such special collaborations and I'm sure this one will be recognized as among the most unique and fantastic."
Only two examples of the original Lotus Type 62 were made, while Radford will build 62 examples of its modern successor. Technical details haven't been revealed, but the original racer was powered by a 2.0-liter engine developing 240 hp and featured a spaceframe chassis with F1 suspension. Radford will reveal its new retro-inspired sports car later this year and will be accepting orders soon.