25 and counting – Radical celebrates its first 25 years

25 and counting – Radical celebrates its first 25 years

Image of author By Radical
By Radical

Radical Sportscars today celebrates its 25th year in business, entering the milestone anniversary in a period of unprecedented health and growth as total production approaches 2,500 cars. To mark the occasion, the Company has appointed Charley Hoyt as official Radical Company Historian. Charley has dedicated an incredible amount of his time documenting the history of the Company, as well as building a registry of Radical cars produced to-date.

Development and production of the first car, the Radical 1100 Clubsport, was started by Phil Abbott in 1996. Joined by Mick Hyde, the pair formally incorporated Radical Sportscars as a company on 28 January 1997 to produce their Kawasaki-powered sports prototype racing car. The 1100 Clubsport’s public debut was at Brands Hatch circuit in April 1997.

With a superbike engine inside a small and lightweight open-cockpit steel tube chassis and the first use of a bespoke powertrain system for a superbike-powered sports racer, the innovative Radical 1100 Clubsport was designed to compete in the 750 Motor Club’s Sports 2000 category. By 1999 there were enough 1100 Clubsports to fill an entire grid, and Radical Challenge racing as we know it today began.   

The Radical 1100 Clubsport pioneered a formula that would go on to see Radical Sportscars become the world’s most popular manufacturer of sports prototype racing cars, and evolve into a company that is now second only to Porsche Motorsport, by volume, as the largest manufacturer of race cars in the world.

There have been many milestones checked along the way, most notably the launch of the iconic Radical SR3 in 2001, the car that would solidify Radical’s place in British motorsport history and secure the fledgling company’s future. The awesome RPE 2.6-litre V8-powered Radical SR8 was added to the range in 2005, there was a run of appearances in the LMP2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 2006, and a 6m48s production car lap record at the Nürburgring came in 2009. The fully type-approved, street legal Radical SR3 SL was unleashed in 2011, and the flagship EcoBoost-powered twin-turbo V6 Radical RXC arrived in 2013, itself becoming homologated for road use in 2015. Radical built its 2,000th car in 2017, and in 2020 launched the Radical SR10, which would go on to become the fastest-selling model in Radical’s history.

Radical holds a unique place in the hearts and minds of racing and track day enthusiasts the world over, and in the early 2000s the Cambridgeshire-made cars began to find an increasingly popular home on the racetracks of the United States. Today, some 90 percent of production is exported, predominantly to the United States, which is yet another incredible tale of traditional British motorsport know-how finding success on a global stage.

Radical plans to celebrate its Silver Jubilee anniversary with a series of events and activations throughout 2022 to mark the milestone.

The first of these is the appointment of Charley Hoyt as the company’s first ever Official Historian, a title given to recognise the fact that while not a Radical employee, Charley’s passion for the brand and his work in building a network of Radical owners embodies the very spirit that has made the brand so iconic.

Through his website, the Radical Sportscar Registry, Charley tracks chassis numbers and build details of Radical cars to preserve the history, and runs a forum which has become a thriving hub for Radical enthusiasts, building the community off the track. Based from his home in Southern California, Charley will be working with Radical throughout its anniversary year across the Atlantic to bring this history out of the archives.

Charley is excited about his new role, and is looking forward to building the Radical community further by contributing to a series of 25th anniversary events.

“One of the primary goals of the Radical Sportscar Registry is to preserve the history of Radicals and to build a worldwide community to share information about them. One of my favourite parts of Radical ownership is all of the friends I meet at the track, and to be able to foster that off the track and to expand it to a worldwide community is incredible. I’m regularly communicating with Radical owners on every continent (except for Antarctica!) and look forward to helping tell the Radical story in its 25th year.”

Joe Anwyll, CEO, echoed Charley’s comments.

“We’ve been aware for some time of the excellent work that Charley has been doing in documenting our history and building the community that we all love so much, and welcoming him as our historian on our birthday is a fitting way to kick off our 25th year.

“Radical has always considered itself a modern and young company, and we tend to look forward rather than backward. But time flies and our earlier cars are rapidly becoming historics, with some of the first Clubsports and SR3s already under restoration to their original specification.

“As we reach this milestone it is good to take a moment to look back and see where we’ve come from. Charley’s depth of knowledge is second-to-none, and his passion for Radical runs deep. We’re thrilled to share our 25th year with him in such a way.”

Radical has enjoyed unprecedented growth as it heads into its 25th year, building and selling more cars in 2021 than at any other time in its history. The Radical SR3 XX and SR10 benefit from a suite of updates, and after its first full year of production the Radical SR10 has become the fastest-selling car in Radical’s history, with over 100 examples already sold. A 32-strong global dealer network spanning 21 countries underpins this growth, and there are now 12 factory-supported Radical racing championships across four different continents, including the Radical Challenge UK and the Radical Cup North America.