British businessman David Brown has revealed a new British sports car based on a Jaguar XKR and inspired by retro GT cars from the 1960s.
Brown, who bears no relation to the David Brown of Aston Martin fame, will launch the new car, called Speedback GT, at the Top Marques show in Monaco on 17 April.
Under the Speedback's unique, hand-formed aluminium panels are the complete platform and mechanical package of a Jaguar XKR. Management and designers from Jaguar have seen the Speedback and declared themselves happy with the project.
It will not compete with any Jaguars because a production Speedback will be much more expensive according to Brown, who envisages building 50 cars a year at most.
The design draws its inspiration from the likes of the Aston Martin DB5 and DB6 models from the 1960s, but designer Alan Mobberley, who did much design work on all three Land Rover Discovery generations and also shaped the 1981 Talbot Samba, says there are also shades of Ferrari and Maserati in the design.
There have been plenty of 'bespoke' British GT projects, typically with tubular frames, glassfibre bodies and an American 'crate' off-the-shelf V8. Nearly all have come to nothing.
Brown says the key differences between his project and other British start-ups, that have come to nothing, is the thoroughly engineered platform, and the ability to produce bespoke small parts by 3D scanning and printing.
All visible exterior and interior parts are unique to the Speedback, including switches made by 'direct metal laser sintering’ that builds the component from laser-melted nickel alloy in 63-micron layers. The Speedback is the first car to use this technology.