07:55 Thursday 13th January 2011
Peterborough Breakfast Show BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
PAUL STAINTON: Have a look in your wallet, because soon you’ll be able to buy a sports car that’s been designed and made in Peterborough, if you’ve got about sixty grand to spare .. Radical Sports Cars is unveiling their brand new road vehicle in Birmingham later today. Who better to check out the big bore, the whatever they have under the bonnet, than Miss Kerry Devine. (MUSIC- TOP GEAR) (TAPE)
KERRY DEVINE: It’s Peterborough’s best kept secret in the world. Hidden away somewhere in Westwood, a new type of road car has been born. The business will be taking on more people as a result. Here’s Will Brown from Radical.
WILL BROWN: This is where we build all of our cars. Last year, over the last twelve months, we’ve built about 200 cars, and they’re all built here in-house.
KERRY DEVINE: I want to see the big bonnets. I want to see the tyres.
WILL BROWN: OK. Well why don’t we go through then into the main area where we assemble our cars. It’s quite a big operation. We’ve got about 120 people employed here.
KERRY DEVINE: It’s quite compact. The room that we’re stood in is about the size of a school hall, isn’t it?
WILL BROWN: I think a lot of people are still surprised when they come here, considering how many cars we turn out, is how compact an operation we have.
KERRY DEVINE: So you’re expanding. Tell me why.
WILL BROWN: We’re just launching a new model. the Radical SR3, today at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham. It ‘s our first serious foray into the road-going sports car market. This is a model that’s been specifically developed for the European Market. The idea is it’s going to be a very durable car that will be perfect for the European market, and for that reason, we’re anticipating an increased demand, and we’ve got to recruit more people.
PHIL ABBOTT: I’m Phil Abbott. I’m Managing Director of Radical Sports Cars.
KERRY DEVINE: You’re launching this car today at ten o’clock. Tell me about the spec.
PHIL ABBOTT: Well we have some very good friends at the Ford factory, who kindly sell us their very latest engine. This engine comes out of the new Ford Focus, which is not launched until the first quarter of this year. But it’s a really high-spec engine. It’s variable cam timing. It’s direct fuel injection. It’s turbo-charged. It is the latest of the latest thing that Ford have to offer, and the very kind people there allow us to use it in our car.
KERRY DEVINE: Check out the suspension. You have basically taken a racing car and given it road specifications, like mirrors and things like that?
PHIL ABBOTT: Yes and we’re going a good deal further than that. It is based on our range of race-cars, of which we’ve made over 1000 world-wide. They start at a very cheap £60,000. Remember that’s 300bhp. That’s EU compliant. That’s 6 speed paddle-shift gearchgange. It has all the specifications that anyone would need.
KERRY DEVINE: What’s the fastest you could drive this baby?
PHIL ABBOTT: On a closed road, not on the public highway, you’d probably see 160mph. But the big feature of the car is its cornering grip. So the G-force that you’ll feel, and the acceleration, and the braking, rather than the outright speed. It’s still a very very fast car in a straight line, but the exhilaration you’ll get from wind in the hair motoring, with really serious acceleration, talking 0-60 in a little over 2 seconds.
KERRY DEVINE: And on that bombshell. (MUSIC – TOP GEAR)