A brand-new British sports car company, David Brown Automotive, has revealed its first ever model at a private event in London. The Speedback is a handcrafted 2+2 coupe designed to reference classic GT cars from the sixties, while using modern technology where possible.
The chassis and powertrain are carried over directly from a Jaguar XKR – hence the unmistakable crackling exhaust note when the engine fired up at the reveal. Under the skin is the XK’s aluminium spaceframe chassis, 503bhp 5.0-litre supercharged V8 and six-speed auto, while the basic XK interior architecture is retained.
“I was in a classic car rally in Spain, in a friend’s Ferrari Daytona, when it broke down. We hired a Peugeot 106 and everyone wanted to drive in that because it had air-conditioning,” David Brown, fournder and CEO of the company told us. “It gave me the idea to blend the Sixties style with technology that worked properly.”
A clay model of the Speedback was prepared by chief designer Alan Mobberly, which was then digitally scanned and used to accurately make the aluminium skin. And this blend of traditional styling and materials with modern techniques is a running theme throughout the car.
“These wire wheels were specially made for us, they’re actually the widest wire wheel in production,” said Brown. “The headlights are encased like a Sixties original, but actually use LED technology.”
Although Brown couldn’t give us a number for the production run he called it very much a “limited edition,” although buyers will be able to personalize their cars. “If they want work done on the engine we can do that, if they want a different exhaust note, that’s not a problem,” he added.
The Speedback makes its official debut at the Top Marques show in Monaco from April 17 to 20, when the price will be announced.