New Zealand’s Rodin expanding into new markets

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Donington Park outing of FZED radical single-seater is the first time the car has tested in the northern hemisphere.

A Rodin FZED single-seat track car has run for the first time in the UK at Donnington Park, as the New Zealand maker continues to develop a UK-based, 5000sq m ‘client facility’ at the same track. This will eventually be capable of displaying both the firm’s cars: the existing FZED and the upcoming FZERO.

Precise details on the latter remain scarce, but we do know it is a closed cockpit track car that is proving popular with potential customers, gaining 10-15 enquiries a week.

Despite the name, the FZERO isn’t an electric version of the FZED. Instead, it will run a 4.0-litre V10 ICE motor that’s being developed by Neil Brown Engineering in Spalding, with an initial planned dyno session at the end of August.

However, Rodin’s engineering, testing and build facilities will remain largely based in New Zealand, where the team has recently installed the world’s largest 3D printer.

Although Rodin is forging ahead with FZERO development and eventually aims to build 30 cars a year, the FZED will continue to be sold. The latter features a 3.8-litre Cosworth V8, producing 503kW and 489Nm, in a car weighing just 609kg.

Despite the high outputs and 10,000rpm red line, Rodin claims the Cosworth is capable of almost 5000km between rebuilds.

The UK showroom is also an opportunity for Rodin to demonstrate its claim that, despite appearances, the FZED isn’t a tricky car for customers to run, something that David Dicker, Rodin’s CEO and founder, wanted to emphasise.

“After years of development and thousands of kilometres of testing on Rodin’s own circuits in New Zealand, we’ve established the Rodin FZED as one of the fastest open-wheel race cars in the world,” said Dicker.

“More than that, we’ve also ensured that it’s easy to run, giving amateur drivers a true taste of top-level open-wheel motorsport.”

Red Bull Junior Liam Lawson gave the car its first test in the northern hempisphere. The 19-year old F2 and DTM driver is also from New Zealand, so has previous experience with the FZED: “It was great to be back in the Rodin FZED. I’d forgotten just how fast the car is but straight away I felt comfortable and realised how manageable the car is to drive close to the limit. I didn’t want to stop and nearly did more laps than I was allowed.”

Piers Ward

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