HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG, GCVO, visited Radical Sportscars in Peterborough today to officially open the manufacturing facility for the company’s new road-legal model, the Rapture, ahead of the car’s global launch next week (4 July).
Cousin to The Queen and a full-time working member of the Royal Family, The Duke of Gloucester opened the Rapture Production Centre during a tour of Radical’s 40,000 square-foot headquarters, the company’s premises since opening in 1997.
Since then, the British marque has produced over 2,200 road, track and race cars, making it one of the most successful sports racing car manufacturers in the world.
The Lord-Lieutenant for Cambridgeshire, Mrs Julie Spence, accompanied His Royal Highness for a tour showcasing each of the core areas of the business, hosted by Radical’s Chief Executive Joe Anwyll.
Arriving at the main assembly hall, The Duke viewed the fabrication, composites, engine building and assembly areas. Interest was also shown in the Radical Precision Engineering (RP) arm’s diverse product portfolio across the marine, oil and gas exploration, hydraulics and pharmaceutical industries.
On display was Radical’s 1340cc, 182bhp SR1 sports prototype car. Representing the base of the company’s motorsport pyramid, the hugely popular and successful entry-level racing model has been exported across the world, with fleets delivered to the USA, Philippines, Israel, Poland and South Korea in the last 12 months alone. Pride of place stood Radical’s most successful model, the 225bhp SR3, of which over 1200 have been sold worldwide.
Chief Designer, Nick Walford, who has designed every Radical since the company’s inception, was on-hand to give an insight into the firm’s technical advances and innovations.
An architect, who holds a keen personal and professional interest in design and engineering enterprises, His Royal Highness met with department heads and spoke at length with five engineering apprentices amongst some of the 130-strong team of staff based at Ivatt Way.
The tour culminated with The Duke unveiling a commemorative plaque marking the official opening of the Rapture Production Centre. The new road-legal sports car, which will be unveiled at the world-famous Goodwood Festival of Speed on 4 July, will be solely designed, engineered and built in Peterborough, providing a timely boost for the British industry.
Darryl Roberts, Radical’s Operations Director, said: “There has been an air of excitement across the business since we knew HRH The Duke of Gloucester would visit. His recognition of the in-house skills and capability of Radical is testament to our dedicated employee base. It was an inspiration for our team members and apprentices to have the opportunity to speak with him and share their expertise.
“Radical is enjoying a busy summer of activity across the globe. This visit has taken place in the same week as Radical Championship racing in Belgium and the USA, and just days away from the most important product launch for the company in over five years; that of the new Rapture open sportscar. It was an honour to have His Royal Highness officially open the Rapture Production Centre.