If you’ve always felt you had the skills to drive in F1 but lacked the opportunity, New Zealand’s Rodin Cars is here to help, offering its FZED single-seater for sale to punters whose bank account is as deep as their talent reserves.
The FZED is an ultra-high performance open-wheel track car eligible for a number of series around the world, including New Zealand’s Formula Libre and the European BOSS series. At $US650,000 (AUD$950,000), it’s more expensive than traditional GT3 machinery, but Rodin claims the FZED has “performance to rival modern era Grand Prix cars”.
It’s based on a carbon-composite chassis built by Italy’s HP Composites with an aero package to match, including an Indycar-style underbody tunnel rather than the traditional flat floor found on most racing cars. Weight is a feather-like 609kg with all fluids before the driver is added.
Producing power is a 3.8-litre Cosworth GPV8 that revs to 10,000rpm, with maximum power of 503kW at 9600rpm and 490Nm at 7600rpm. Acceleration is on-par with the quickest road-going hypercars, 0-160km/h completed in just 5.0sec on the way to a 300km/h top speed.
The engine has been set-up not just for power but also reliability, Rodin claiming more than 5000km can be completed between rebuilds and the engine is able to run on regular 98-octane fuel.
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The rest of the mechanicals are a who’s who of motorsport suppliers: six-speed paddle-shift gearbox by Ricardo, all-carbon brakes by Alcon, four-way adjustable dampers by Ohlins, 13-inch wheels by OZ Racing and slick tyres by Avon.
Many other components are designed and built by Rodin Cars using its battery of 3D printers, including the exhaust system, all fasteners and the steering wheel which are all created from titanium.
Rodin and the FZED are the brainchild of Australian IT millionaire David Dicker, a car nut with some pedigree as a former Ferrari Challenge class champion. He not only built the company from scratch, but designed and built a giant facility on New Zealand’s South Island, including kilometres of test track where FZED owners will be able to hone their skills and stretch the legs of their new purchase.
“The Rodin FZFED is a far more practical and durable proposition compared with buying and running an historic Grand Prix car,” says Dicker. “People do buy them, I had one, but they are more difficult to run, plus there’s the risk of crashing a car with an important heritage. The beauty of the FZED is that you get the Grand Prix experience in a package that has been designed for easy access and reliable performance.”
Rodin is currently assembling the first five examples, which will all be finished in a black-and-gold corporate colour scheme, though owners will be able to specify their own paint on request as well as having a custom seat fitting.
New Zealand has a rich history of punching above its weight when it comes to motorsport. Time will tell if Rodin is able to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Bruce McLaren, Rod Millen and Possum Bourne, but the FZED is certainly an auspicious start.