Ostensibly, Car & Classic has, um, classic cars sighted in its crosshairs most of the time. However, the name is Car & Classic, and that means when a new vehicle with some genuine, exciting kudos lands in our inbox, we have a duty of care to make you aware of it. Especially when said car, despite being brand new, is still keenly and loudly championing the internal combustion engine. And that’s exactly what the Rodin FZERO prototype is doing with gusto. How much gusto? 10 cylinders and 1013bhp’s worth of it.
The FZERO project has been designed and developed from Rodin Cars’ state-of-the-art facility near Mount Lyford on New Zealand’s incredibly beautiful South Island. Somewhat juxtaposed against the bold lines of this animal, not to mention the scream of that V10. The facility includes three purpose-built test circuits and a high-tech production facility. The driving force behind Rodin Cars, and the designer of the FZERO and its bespoke twin-turbocharged V10, is David Dicker; technology billionaire and keen racer. A hard life, we’re sure.
Mr Dicker personally took to the wheel of the FZERO for its first outing and was very impressed with the car’s performance and durability; “While there’s a long road ahead of testing and development, running the FZERO for the first time gives me immense pride in what everyone at Rodin Cars has achieved in bringing this programme to life. The test went very well and we were able to work through our programme. We’re excited as the FZERO project enters its next phase. It really is a car like no other.”
And while ol’ Dicker is of course going to say buzzwords and quotable things about the car of his creation, he’s not actually wrong to do so. This really is a car like no other, especially in the landscape of all things automotive in 2023. It’s an egregious, outlandish, loud, unapologetic celebration of turning liquified and boiled dinosaurs into speed, and we love it. We also love the way it looks with those mad rear haunches and the closed cockpit. It’s modern, but there is no denying the hints of flavour from the Ferrari P3 and later Jaguar XJR-9 and other cars of that ilk and motorsport application.
The FZERO is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V10 engine designed by Rodin Cars’ founder and CEO, David Dicker. This engine – known as the RC.TEN – develops 1013bhp (755kW) at 9500rpm, while only using 11psi of boost. A naturally aspirated iteration of the RC.TEN is presently in development. The RC.TEN will power the FZERO to a top speed of 360km/h. or just over 230mph in old money.
After two prototype engines were built in the UK by Neil Brown Engineering, the RC.TEN development and manufacture has moved in-house at Rodin Cars. In a further exciting development, Rodin Cars intends to offer the RC.TEN as a crate motor for motorsport applications. So presumably that means you could buy one and put it in an old BTCC car or something, right? Yeah, definitely. Can someone do that please? Thanks.
The Rodin FZERO is not a car for popping to the shops in. It’s a car for speed and for clipping apexes with such ferocity they don’t know what’s just happened. It’s also a proud hoorah for the benefits of internal combustion and what it can still achieve. It’s a car fan’s car, it’s exciting and like any good machine should, it makes you go a bit tingly in your special place. Dicker’s done it. He’s proven with aplomb that modern day speed needn’t come from a lithium-ion source.