Five British niche manufacturers showcase their latest creations at this week's motorsport and performance car event in Birmingham
9 January 2015

The Autosport International show is already one of the premier indoor motoring events on the calendar.

It's the show that gives smaller, bespoke car makers the chance to make a name for themselves. Of the six new road and track car launches at this year’s show, held from 8-11 January at Birmingham’s NEC, five were from British car firms.

Noble flaunted an open-top version of its M600 supercar, dubbed the Speedster. In stark contrast to the British supercar maker’s loyalty to a manual transmission, the company has fitted the M600 Speedster prototype with a six-speed semi-automatic gearbox.

While this model is strictly a prototype, Noble managing director Peter Boutwood confirmed to Autocar that if enough interest is sparked in the Speedster, it could find its way into production.

The recently revealed Ariel Nomad all-terrain performance vehicle was also on display to the public for the first time, although eagle-eyed punters could spot it tucked away on the Bilstein stand, due to its partnership with the suspension brand.

Ariel general manager Henry Siebert-Saunders said the firm has further plans for the £30,000 Nomad, stating that this is only the beginning for the all-terrain vehicle and that more evolutions of the Nomad could be spawned in future, in the same way that the Atom has evolved over the years.

Another British sports car company, Zenos, pulled the wraps off its much-anticipated E10 S production car at the Autosport International show.

The E10 S, which is made from aluminium extrusions and recycled carbonfibre with a thermoplastic core, is on sale from £29,995. Zenos co-founder and former Caterham Cars CEO Ansar Ali said 50 per cent of the company’s budgeted production E10 S cars for this year have already found buyers.

Track car specialist Radical chose Autosport International to reveal its latest performance flagship creation, the RXC Spyder. The Peterborough manufacturer states this is its "most advanced, powerful, and aerodynamically-developed" open racing car yet.

The RXC Spyder, which costs £131,940, is powered by a high-revving 3.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 producing 440bhp at a heady 10,500rpm. The Radical RXC Spyder’s order books are now open with deliveries from early this year.

Autosport International also hosted the unveiling of the first Lister Jaguar ‘Knobbly’ Continuation. Built from the ground up using orginal tools from 1958, the Lister is powered by a Jaguar D-type race-specification engine developing 330bhp at 6750rpm.

The 0-60mph sprint is dealt with in 4.3sec before topping out at 181mph. Priced at £295,000, the Lister Jaguar ‘Knobbly’ Continuation is eligible to compete in all historic racing events worldwide.

Meanwhile, Renault was the only mainstream car maker to reveal a new model at the indoor show - the Renaultsport R.S.01.

Making its UK debut, the R.S.01 has 493bhp on tap from its 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6, and tips the scales at 1100kg. It will make its debut in the Renaultsport Trophy later this year.

Other attractions at the Autosport International show included the loud and proud Live Action Arena, numerous racing simulators and interviews with world-class racing and rally stars on the Autosport stage in the middle of the hall.

Read Autocar’s guide to the Autosport International 2015 show

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    It's got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again