What is it?
The latest offering from Jensen International Automotive, creator of the GM ‘LS3’ V8-powered Interceptor R, a version of which we drove in our modernised classics feature at Goodwood in the summer.
Unlike that car, the modernisation of which was largely outsourced, the £180,000 Interceptor R Supercharged you see here was almost entirely rebuilt (starting with a full shell refurb) by JIA’s five workshop staff at its new base in Banbury. Only retrimming and painting took place elsewhere, the former at long-time marque restorer Rejen near Winchester.
The ‘Supercharged’ bit comes thanks to the installation of the LSA engine – essentially a blown LS3 – which makes 556bhp (a full 127bhp more than the ‘R’ we drove) and 551lb ft, dispatched via an upgraded prop shaft. This tune matches that of the LSA-powered Cadillac CTS-V. The six-speed GM auto gearbox seen here is now available in all ‘R’ models; our previous encounter was with a four-speeder.
The R Supercharged also demonstrates a host of refinements that JIA is introducing to its range. Changes include a bonded windscreen in place of the traditional rough and leaky rubber seals, electric front seats and column stalks sourced from a Jaguar XJS, larger, body-coloured heated door mirrors in place of the fiddly little chrome jobs, an effective single wiper replaces the pair of flappy originals and there’s upgraded air-con.
The split-prone black vinyl dash is replaced with a new custom-designed, two-tone leather layout, and two rows of illuminated aluminium toggle switches adorn the revised centre console.