The British practically invented the sports car segment, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they’re rather good at building iconic sports cars!
The world has seen several iconic sports cars, and the production of a good number of these cars is credited to the Brits. With an automobile manufacturing history that dates back to the 1880s through Frederick Simms’ innovative exploits, to the earliest recorded usage of the term “sports car” in the 1919 newspapers called The Times, and finally, to this present day, the UK has been a hub of automotive activities. These activities once saw the UK get tagged as the world’s second-largest car manufacturer, back in the 1950s.
British sports cars, like other brands manufactured in other countries of the world, are built with a keen focus on handling, top speed, and the fun of driving. Scouring through the British automotive history from inception to date, we’ve highlighted here some of the most revered sports cars ever built in the UK.
Here a Top 10 Iconic British Sports Cars List
The Mini Cooper has a relatively long and impressive history as it’s been in production since 2001 (when it was launched as the Mini Hatch). Legendary American automobile designer, Frank Stephenson, is credited with the design of the Mini Hatch.
However, with the involvement of the Cooper Car Company, a sportier version of the Mini Hatch known as the Mini Cooper was built while the supercharged version called the Mini Cooper S soon followed. These cars swiftly won numerous motorists’ hearts due to its performance prowess and remain relevant to date.
9-Aston Martin DB5
Grand Tourers are really special cars built for long-distance trips; this is because they offer exemplary luxury and possess awesome performance prowess. Hence, being one itself, the Aston Martin DB5 is a legendary grand tourer.
From its name, the DB5, this wasn’t the first DB, however, DB5 got its iconic status partly from being an all-round awesome automobile and also from its cinematic fame through movie features – it’s a popular James Bond’s car. DB5 was produced from 1963 to 1965.
Enzo Ferrari built many automobiles he’s proud of, but the Jaguar E-Type was really special to him. When the E-Type was released, Enzo Ferrari called it “the most beautiful car ever made.” He didn’t share such “sentiment” alone, as the car took the first position on The Daily Telegraph’s 2008 list of “100 most beautiful cars of all time” among other honors.
At release, the E-Type was powered by a 265bhp 3.8 L engine and could do a speed of 150mph which was rather okay for a 1961 car. Aesthetically, it was graceful.
Lotus Exige was manufactured by an automotive company that has a massive background in Formula One racing, Lotus Cars Limited. The Lotus Exige personified performance – it’s simply a street-legal race car. Since its production started in 2000, the Exige has been built in several awesome models and variants and remains in production to date.
However, all Exiges are powered by Toyota’s Supercharged DOHC V6 that was adopted from the Evora. In 2017, the Exige Cup 430, the most powerful variant of the car was released producing 424 hp.
Jim Randle, Director of Engineering at Jaguar, along with other Jaguar executives felt there was too much disparity between their racing cars and those for production, hence, the XJ220 was conceived. Positive remarks gotten by the XJ220 concept car at the 1988 British International Motor Show led to the eventual production of 275 units of the sports car.
It’s powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 engine and at a unit cost of £470,000, ranking it among the most expensive cars of that era.
British automobile manufacturing company, Austin-Healey, partnering with the Jensen Motors for bodywork, built the Austin-Healey 3000 from 1959 to 1967. Being the most popular of the three “Big Healeys,” Austin-Healey 3000, won a lot of hearts home and abroad, as evident through the sales figure.
Its introductory model (Mark I) is powered by a 3-liter BMC C-Series engine, which takes the car from rest to 60 mph in 11 seconds. Also, the car had a reputable racing streak that saw it feature at Le Mans and Sebring.
Ultima Sports is a sports car producing company based in Leicestershire, England. Since its inception in 1992, the company has built some inspiring automobiles, and the Evo ranks highly among them all. The Ultima Evo is optionally available as a kit car (meaning it can be assembled by the owner) or already assembled by the Ultima factory.
Powering this sports car is an LS based GM small-block engine that is available in three power output options with the most powerful being the 6.8 L supercharged LS V8 that takes the car to a reported total cost of $122,332.
3-Aston Martin V12 Vantage
Aston Martin V12 Vantage is a hand-built grand tourer making it quite a special car, however, the car has other awesome attributes. Unveiled as a concept in 2007 at the opening of the company’s design studio, V12 Vantage got its name from the AM11 V12 engine taken from the DBS to power it. This engine produces 510 bhp and 420 lb-ft of torque.
After driving the V12 vantage, Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear and The Grand Tour fame showered some glowing remarks on the car through his show. The car is also available in a sportier version called the V12 Vantage S.
The Jaguar F-Type is the “spiritual successor” to the highly revered E-Type. In production since 2013, the car has been built as a 2-door soft-top convertible and a 2-door fastback coupe. The entry model is powered by Jaguar’s new 3.0 L V6 supercharged petrol engine churning out 335 hp, propelling the car to a top speed of 161 mph.
However, the 2018 model is powered by an upgraded engine; a 2.0 L turbocharged Inline-4. It won the 2013 Middle East Motor Awards for Car of The Year.
With the design credited to McLaren’s Gordon Murray and Peter Stevens, the F1’s XP5 prototype, in 1998, fitted with a rev limiter took the Guinness World Record for the world’s fastest production car with an insane speed of 240.1 mph. Though not built for the tracks, a modified version of the F1, took part and won several high profile races.
Autocar described it as; “the finest driving machine…,” while the F1 also ranked first on Channel4’s list of 100 greatest cars. In total, only 106 units of the car were built.
Via : Hotcars