Behind The Scenes >> Visit To Prodrive

Fellow Speedhunters, I thought I'd take the opportunity to combine this month's 'Behind the Scenes' theme with the dawn of a new era for one of Britain's, nay, the world's most highly-respected preparation companies, Prodrive. This visit was a little while ago, after SUBARU's departure from the WRC and while the Aston Martin N24 Vantage programme was in its infancy. It was a day I will not soon forget.

Responsible for making Subaru a household name by taking the formerly 'farmer's car' to the heights of the World Rally Championship and beyond – and for creating a league of devoted fans across the globe, Prodrive literally turned a brand on its head. Subaru cars will forever be viewed in a different light because of it.

I was fortunate enough to be part of a tour of the facility by Group N Product & Development Manager Alan McGuinness, who, I have to say, treated us like kings. Some of the areas we saw I'm not able to show here, but what I can share shows the incredible level to which Prodrive operates. It was mind-blowing.

Here's a picture taken in the Group N customer preparation area, a large portion of the varied business for the company. Imprezas are brought in, totally stripped down to bare metal before a ground-up rebuild. 

Transmission build and rebuild area (with other lucky members of our tour in the background).

Ever wondered how wiring looms are deciphered? This was an eye-opener. 

In closer detail. Every centimetre is accounted for and the process incredibly organised. Typical Prodrive, no margin of error. 

Here's a customer WR (World Rally) car on the rotisserie as it undergoes who-knows-what. Bet it was comprehensive, and probably not all that cheap!  

Here's another customer World Rally car, this one from Ireland. Looks like it's getting the full treatment. 

A quartet of Aston Martin Vantage N24 in initial build. 

Here's a section of roll cage in the jig, ensuring a perfect fit every time – and no weak spots.

Group N Impreza doors awaiting their respective bodies.

Looking down on the Group N workshop with three Imprezas being prepared for various customer teams. 

My visit was around the time of Autosport International, and here the guys completely stripped down and rebuilt a customer Group N Impreza (Nasser Al Attiyah's) in six hours. They repeated the feat all three days of the show. Quite incredible.  

Here the rear suspension has just gone on – and everything is hospital-clean, exactly as it is back at base. I have immense respect for Prodrive (can't you tell!) and it's not just because of the success they've achieved, it's also because everything is done with clinical efficiency. Success isn't about luck, it's calculated – and that's the way it should be.

 – Len Clarke  

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13 comments

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1

Love Prodrive, they're such a solid great company. I hope I can gather some of their pieces on my subaru in the near future! Thanks for the look in.

2

this is really interesting, im considering studing motorsport at college to work for these guys. cheers! :)

3

Like !!!!!!!!! A lot !!!!!

4

Prodrive FTMFW !!!! I loved these guys back when and still do now... Dream Job right there.

5

This is so cool. The Prodrive guys do such a great job at what they do. Thanks for the insight! (did you see any of the new Mini WRC cars?

6

At andrew,



Unfortunately most of the parts from prodrive are absurdly expensive... But if you have the desire and the bank roll check out WRC Spares... Used prodrive rally parts and other manufacturers, i am sure you can keep your wallet emptied.



http://www.subaruwrcspares.com/1.html

7

Fantastic pictures. I hope to take this very same tour some day. As a part time Subaru fan you have to keep a great deal of respect for Prodrive and they accomplishments they have in the trophy case!

8

now this is my kind of behind the scene article. Would love to see even more of pro-drive, this should have been a multi part piece.

9

Awesome write up, i have a subaru as well andrew and their general offerings for road going subaru's isnt anything spectacular but their motorsport line up is a whole other ballgame. If you have deep pockets definitely check out WRC Spares...



Endless offerings of decomissioned rally parts, but they are not cheap.



http://www.subaruwrcspares.com/1.html

10

Phenomenal !

Len, thank you for sharing a piece of history with us. Much appreciate it.

11

Thansk for the insight into this fantastic company.

12

I would love to visit Prodrive! Keep up the good work! :)

13

Glad to see so many rally related articles this week. Prodrive was the icing on the cake

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