Car News

You can buy your own almost-F1 car for $950,000

The Rodin Cars FZED might be the greatest car you can buy short of owning an actual F1 car.

NEW ZEALAND BESPOKE racing car manufacturer Rodin Cars has announced pricing and specification for its first-ever offering, the open-wheeler FZED.

Priced from $650,000USD (currently $950,000AUD after conversion) the F1-like vehicle is based on the also F1-like Lotus T125. However, Rodin Cars has completely rebuilt the car to be a reliable track-day weapon that can compete in Formula Libre (New Zealand), Europe’s Big Open Single Seaters BOSS series, and other eligible open-wheel racing series around the world.

The Australian-born owner of Rodin Cars, David Dicker, says that the FZED is just the first of more vehicles to be delivered from the manufacturer and that it is one of the best-value racing cars you can buy.

“Where a Grand Prix car is designed to run for just 185 miles/300 km or for two hours and then undergo a complete strip down, we see the Rodin FZED as being superior in terms of endurance as well as cost per lap,” Dicker said.

“We have significant plans to expand Rodin Cars in the future. This is a serious, maximum high-performance track-car building business.”

The FZED can race for around 5000km on 98-octane fuel, and its performance credentials are outstanding. Housing a 3.8-litre 32-valve Cosworth GPV8, the engine produces 503kW at 9600rpm and 490Nm at 7600rpm. Redline is a thrilling10,000rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox from Ricardo.

Don’t worry about the usual 0-100km/h claim, Rodin tells us only the 0-100mph (160km/h) time of 5.0 seconds flat, going on to a top speed of 300km/h.

The chassis and aero package is made from carbon-fibre composite by Italian racing supplier HP Composites, and the complete unit weighs 609kg without a driver. The brakes are F1-spec carbon/carbon units by Alcon, and high-level four-way adjustable TTX-40 racing dampers are supplied by Öhlins. The wheels are 13-inch diameter magnesium rims from Italy’s OZ Racing, wrapped in Avon rubber.

However, it is many of the smaller components that are why the FZED is so unique. Rodin Cars operates from its own facility in New Zealand, which includes a design and development team with a race track for testing. Most of the parts in the car have been replaced with titanium 3D-printed components produced on-site and laser etched with part numbers.

“The car has been fettled and finished by Rodin Cars’ team of talented engineers, who have fabricated many parts from exotic materials at the company’s bespoke facility,” it said in its release.

“Featuring one of the most diverse collections of 3D printers in the Southern Hemisphere, Rodin Cars has had the capability to design and print many components in-house.

This includes the in-house designed steering wheel, which is titanium 3D-printed, custom-fitted FIA-approved composite seat, and titanium/carbon wheels for the next generation FZED which will be even lighter.

“The Rodin FZED is a far more practical and durable proposition compared with buying and running an historic Grand Prix car,” said Dicker.

“People do buy them, I had one, but they are more difficult to run and less durable, plus there’s the risk of crashing a car with an important Grand Prix heritage. Some are getting too expensive to risk on a race track, or parts are no longer affordable, or even available.

“The beauty of the Rodin FZED is that you get the Grand Prix experience: the speed, the power, the downforce and cornering grip, in a package that has been designed for easy access and reliable performance,” Dicker added. “The body uses composite materials and a suspension system very similar to modern Grand Prix cars, and the aerodynamic package is also very contemporary. It looks like a Grand Prix car and it goes like a Grand Prix car, but it has none of the complications associated with running an old Grand Prix racer.

“This is a totally new offer to the high-performance car market. Currently you cannot buy a car like this anywhere in the world at any price.”

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae