In the last dying days of the internal combustion engine, sports car makers big and small are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on four wheels. This is the FZERO, a suitably videogame-styled name for a car that is designed to be the fastest machine you can take on a racetrack, F1 cars included.
The brainchild of New Zealand-based engineer David Dicker, the FZERO will be manufactured by Dicker’s company Rodin Cars. Located in a sprawling property in the South Island, Rodin is a playground for the wealthy enthusiast, with no less than three test tracks as well as a full high-tech factory, capable of making the 3D printed titanium gearbox case, as well as all the necessary bits of carbon fibre composite.
Rodin’s first model was the FZED, a track car which is practically indistinguishable from a contemporary F1 or IndyCar. The FZERO is a little bit more sophisticated. For a start, it has closed wheels and a closed cockpit, as well as an outlandish aero package.
Power comes from a bespoke 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged V10 mated to a hybrid system, creating a total output of 1176PS. The long, wide body (5.5m x 2.2m) is fabricated entirely from carbon fibre, helping the FZERO achieve a weight of just 698kg, not that much more than an Ariel Atom.
Ultimate top speed isn’t the aim, although the FZERO’s 360 kmh (223 mph) is hardly shabby. What matters most is lap times, and the combination of power-to-weight ratio and massive downforce should make the FZERO one of the world’s most competent track cars. Just 27 FZEROs will be built.
We can only speculate on the price, but given that rivals from Mercedes, Aston, Ferrari, et al, typically start at the £2m mark, that’s the expected ballpark. Customers will find themselves with the ultimate bragging rights, even if there are no podiums to take.
There’s no such thing as all-out, regulation-free racing – a sort of real-life version of the Gran Turismo Vision series. The hoped-for Le Man's hypercar class was so diluted by legislation that many prospective teams pulled out, focusing their R&D on track specials for a tiny global audience of collectors.
Rodin’s disavowal of road-going rules and regulations might give the FZERO an advantage. Witness the trials and tribulations of both Aston Martin and Mercedes, and their struggles to get their road-legal hypercars to market. Both Valkyrie and AMG-One are now in production, albeit several years behind schedule, and each company has separately admitted they probably bit off more than they could chew.
If all goes according to plan, the first Rodin FZEROs will roll out of the South Island factory complex sometime in 2023.
This article is part of The T3 Edit, a collaboration between T3 and Wallpaper* which explores the very best blends of design, craft, and technology. Wallpaper* magazine is the world’s leading authority on contemporary design and The T3 Edit is your essential guide to what’s new and what’s next.