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Thursday, Jun 13 06:15pm
AUTHOR: Mark Petch

Revealed: The fighter jet-inspired 1000hp Rodin FZero

Rodin Cars are building an incredible new hypercar right here in New Zealand that will sprint from zero to 300km/h in less than 10 seconds. And this is no flight of fancy as David Dicker’s dream car is closer to reality than many would believe

 

Rodin Cars is no stranger to these pages, we’ve featured its outstanding facilities before. However, during our latest visit we got to drive the awe-inspiring FZed single seater (feature coming soon). But it would be remiss of us not to introduce the ultimate Rodin, the FZero, this render (pictured above) showing the concept car’s intent.

 

Australian entrepreneur, owner and founder of Dicker Data, David Dicker, has forsaken his county of birth in order to build the world’s fastest, road registrable hypercar right here in New Zealand. And not just anywhere in New Zealand, but on a sprawling alpine farm covering some 1400 acres in the foothills of Mount Lyford, two hours drive from Christchurch.

 

The Rodin Cars facilities and its brand-new, high-speed test track borders the inland road to Kaikoura, used as the main road linking the coastal town with the rest of the South Island after the devastating 2016 earthquake.

 

Uploaded Image

 

The earthquake also destroyed Rodin Cars’ original test track, built to develop the FZero’s prototype, while also allowing Dicker to hone his own driving skills behind the wheel of the numerous supercars in his extensive collection. The original and very challenging test track, located out of sight in a lush, river-bordered valley, has now been repaired and widened for future use as a ride and handling test facility.

 

Dicker was born in Australia in 1953, and in 1978 he started Dicker Data, a company that was involved with the burgeoning microcomputer industry. It has grown from a two-person, husband and wife operation into a listed company with facilities in Australia and New Zealand. Dicker Data has an annual turnover in excess of $AU1 billion and employs some 400 people.

 

Dicker’s love of fast cars and his tech background soon had him dreaming of building his own supercar rather than settling for what’s on offer from the likes of Ferrari. Being an amateur race driver, his initial thought was to take a well proven Le Mans prototype and develop it into a road registrable supercar. That opportunity presented itself in 2002 when he acquired a carbon monocoque-based GT1 project car (pictured below), which had been developed by Lola in 1999 in the UK as a road registrable, track-based supercar.

 

GT1

 

It was soon obvious that the raison d’etre for the Lola project car wasn’t clear. The more Dicker thought about the stillborn Lola GT1 project, the more convinced he became that building just another two-seat supercar for a crowded market seemed destined to fail. And so the idea for the FZero single-seater hypercar was born.

 

Dicker soon realised that a great deal of thought would be required in the design process of such a car. It was this thought process that lead him to adopt the name Rodin, after the renowned French sculptor’s most famous work, “The Thinker”.

 

Fast cars and racing yachts have one thing in common; an increasing reliance on carbon fibre composite. Dicker has an interest in both sporting fields and this led him to start the design of his extreme supercar based around a fighter jet-inspired, pod-like cockpit with huge front and rear wings, as seen in this render of the concept car.

 

For it to succeed, Dicker knew it needed to have its own bespoke engine, rather than it be just another “special” using an off-the-shelf V8.

 

Map

 

“I am curious about the recently revealed Brabham, which deserves to succeed, but to me its DNA is confused as it’s essentially using a modified crate engine,” Dicker said.

 

He said that early in the design phase he resolved that they would have to build their own engine, and it must be “fit for purpose; lightweight, compact, fuel efficient and very powerful both in normally aspirated and turbocharged iterations”. This 4.0-litre engine will need to develop in excess of 700bhp in naturally aspirated form while the turbocharged iteration will exceed 1000bhp.

 

“It would be fair to say that although I personally designed the original engine concept, turning this into the end product has been a long and costly exercise.”

 

Workshop

 

Dicker said that they now have the first prototype on the dyno in the UK.

 

“Once we’re satisfied with it, we’ll install it, along with our very own eight-speed transmission built for us by Riccardo, into the prototype car.”

 

While we have viewed the prototype FZero, we weren’t allowed to take photographs, but it’s fair to say that this render closely resembles the actual prototype that we have seen in past visits.

 

Stay tuned for the full feature on the FZed driving experience

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