Radford teases first Lotus-based sports car


The reborn Radford company has announced that its new coachbuilt model will be based on Lotus technology.

Radford can trace its roots to 1948—coincidentally the same year that Lotus was founded—and specialized in re-bodying Rolls-Royces and Bentleys, re-fitting them with even more luxurious interiors. Radford also produced a run of Minis and, famously, The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein bought one for each of the Fab Four.

Today’s Radford also has celebrity backing, with Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button and broadcaster Ant Anstead joining designer Mark Stubbs and lawyer Roger Behle to bring the brand back to life.

Radford’s first model since it offered a deluxe version of the R50 Mini in 2005 is to be based on a Lotus, but neither company has revealed whether it will be based on the last of the Elise, Exige or Evora line or sit on the new Emira chassis. From the silhouette images released by Radford (top) and Lotus (below) there does seem to be a similarity in the rear flanks between the two, though.

“Our first car will be totally new and something very special,” says designer Stubbs. “It will be a Radford, through and through. And that means it will be unique—the body will be sleek and elegant, the interior will be cosseting and luxurious, and the drive will be out of this world. Everything about it will be totally bespoke to Radford.”

Grand Prix star Button promises that the Radford will also be a rewarding drive. “We’re already hard at work developing this car and the driving experience will be different and very special. It’s going to be truly analogue and thoroughly engaging, but with all the refinements that you would expect from a Radford. It will 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,” he says.

Lotus Emira_Rear
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