Recreating a legend is never easy. On the one hand, you want to give an iconic sports car that’s no longer in production the rebirth it deserves; on the other, you run the risk of upsetting purists and enthusiasts alike.
Toeing the line is Swiss-owned Lyonheart Cars (clearly a reference to Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons), who has come up with the stunning aluminium-bodied Lyonheart K. Just by looking at it, you know where it gets its inspiration from – and like the eponymous Jaguar E-Type, it’ll be built in Coventry.
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If you believe you’ve seen this somewhere before, you’re right – the Lyonheart K is an evolution of 2011′s Growler E concept by Swedish design firm Visualtech. Like the concept, the Lyonheart K is a Jaguar XKR underneath, but with the 5.0 litre supercharged V8 tuned by Cosworth to deliver 575 PS and 700 Nm of torque.
That, along with the standard ZF six-speeder, gets the Lyonheart K to 100 km/h in just under four seconds and onwards to a limited top speed of 300 km/h – nothing old-fashioned about its performance, then. Fuel economy is quoted at 11.9 litres per 100 km; CO2 emissions at 292 grams per km.
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There are bi-xenon headlamps, LED DRLs, LED rear lamp clusters and stainless steel twin tailpipes. The convertible features an electrically-operated soft top that raises or lowers in 12 seconds at speeds of up to 50 km/h.
Interesting exterior details that pay homage to the E-Type include wire wheels (measuring 20 inches, no less), an oval-shaped grille and a bonnet bulge flanked by twin louvres. The bonnet is a front-hinged, clamshell type like the old car too.
Inside, the instruments, gauges and steering wheel also mirror those on the E-Type in layout and looks, while the driver will be cocooned in a sea of wood, leather and brushed stainless steel or aluminium. Needless to say, customisation options are endless.
Modern amenities such as the Bowers & Wilkins audio system, Bluetooth, iPod and USB connectivity and a retractable seven-inch display infotainment system are carried forward from the XKR, so the bespoke sports car is not as much of an anachronism as you might think.
With such an exquisite bit of kit, you know it’s going to be exclusive – and it is indeed. Production is limited to 250 units, of which half will be sold in Europe and the remainder in China and the Middle East. The first car is slated to be built in December.
How much? The coupe is priced from €360k (RM1.45 million) and the convertible from €375k (RM1.51 million), excluding VAT and including delivery in the EU and Switzerland. Sex on wheels? Perhaps now you wouldn’t mind being sent to Coventry.