A four cylinder supercar. A four cylinder supercar concept. Mmmm, interesting. The RJM Eden is one of those cars that intentionally sounds dull just to allow it to rebut and go “Ahh, but you see…”
And what it will tell you is that this four cylinder MR supercar would have a rough retail price of $250k, would be capable of 200 mph and could lap the Top Gear track in 1:11.49 seconds. You’ll be glad to know that the latter two facts aren’t just rough calculation; they’re really what this thing can do.
The Eden is far from pretty. It’s far too staunch at the front to be anything less than serious and moody, while the tail lights feel a bit discontingent. That whopping great exhaust is at least very cool, and those active aero flaps are very space age.
Like most RJM cars, the interior is brilliant, and this being a concept, it’s a no-limits fiesta of technology and high end materials. The “5-year-old-kid-messing-with-poster-paints-and-glitter-glue” of car interiors. It’s glorious, and half of it actually works too!
Obviously, that tech isn’t really the point. What matters is that this bubble cockpit feels incredible to sit in, with a panorama view out the front that shoves the oncoming roads right into your eyes.
When you’re driving on said roads, its frisky, but not too twitchy. It goes - hell yes, it goes - but it doesn’t want to kill you. The 468 hp 2.0l turbo i4 claims to have achieved the highest specific output of any gasoline engine ever, which I’m not 100% convinced about (Merciel’s Group B team from the mid-eighties might have something to say about that). I am convinced however that it is a phenomenal unit. It hardly has the dramatic noise you’d expect of a super car, but its reassuringly shouty buzz is certainly adequate.
The turbo spool is lazy if you aren’t ramming the throttle pedal into the floor, but keep it in the top end, and the power delivery is stellar. The sequential gearbox means you don’t have the worry about loosing control when shifting cogs, which does make a difference when really trying to work this car.
In the corners, its tight and focused without being ultra sharp. It gets a bit soft on the limit and certainly warns you about its general desire to oversteer early on, but switch off the traction control and learn to embrace it and it makes for a great drive. Not that I would have the confidence to try and slide this car around any public roads…
The electronic-everything nature of the car makes it feel space age. I could be nit picky and criticise it for not being as engaging as a more analogue car, but that misses the point - this is supposed to feel advance and electronic, and it feels like it needs to be to handle itself.
One thought I was left with more than anything else was how sophisticated this car is. It really is pleasant to drive, yet also very, very quick. Sure it’s a bit odd having four cylinders, but the pay off is serious lightness and therefore great handling. It could probably be a little more hard on the suspension side of things, just to really get the most of that carbon fibre chassis, but not being like that also makes it rounded.
I wouldn’t see myself paying $250k for such a car, but I am certainly keen to see if RJM take the Eden concept any further towards some sort of road going project. For now, its a mighty fine bit of kit. Proof that supercars don’t need bit shouty engines to be good.
- Gavin Anderson
Photo by @titleguy1, who also lent me the car! Full article on the Eden here