Currently reading: Jaguar XKR base used for new retro British sports car
New start-up firm David Brown Automotive chooses the Jaguar XKR as the base for its new model

Start-up British sports car company David Brown Automotive will base its first model on the Jaguar XKR.

The as-yet unnamed new model will use the XKR's 5.0-litre supercharged engine, chassis and associated running gear.

David Brown Automotive will work with Coventry-based Envisage Group, which has recently helped create the Jaguar E-type-inspired Lyonheart sports car, to give the XKR a completely new retro-styled body made from hand-crafted aluminium panels and a new interior.

The firm has released two closely cropped pictures showing details of its new model, revealing the retro-shapes of the car's grille, front and rear headlights, and back end. The full reveal is planned for the Top Marques motor show in Monaco in April, where order books will also open. 

Specs and performance of the new model match the XKR, meaning 503bhp for the V8 engine, a 0-62mph time of 4.8sec and a top speed limited to 155mph. Drive is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox.

David Brown Automotive is the creation of wealthy businessman David Brown. He said: "I wanted all the impact and style of a classic sports car, but with modern capabilities and conveniences. This is what I want in a car, but it’s not something anyone really offers. So, I’ve created it myself."

Speaking to Autocar earlier this year, he added: "The car will take inspiration from a lot of cars, not just British. It will be a mix of Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin and Jaguar. They will all be brought together into what I think is a beautiful and cohesive style".

The company intends to sell the model in limited numbers, starting with an initial run of 50 units. A maximum of 200 units could be produced annually, depending on interest.

The car has been named 'Project Judi', although Brown has confirmed the model will not retain that name when it goes on sale. While official pricing has yet to be revealed, Brown confirmed it will be a six-figure sum, which "will reflect the costs that are going into it, and the materials".

Among the design team for the new car is ex-Land Rover chief designer Alan Mobberley. Mobberley was previously linked with the Eterniti Motors project based in north west London.

Addtional reporting by Darren Moss

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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madmac 11 February 2014


The quoted 0-60 time is a second off the pace it needs to be at the price level,even no matter how good it looks.For goodness' sake the 2 "trucks" given first drive this week,Macan Turbo and GLA45 are faster,not to say better on a snowy slushy hill! Could be a nice garage Queen,though.
Peter Ward 11 February 2014

"Not something anyone really offers"?

"I wanted all the impact and style of a classic sports car, but with modern capabilities and conveniences. This is what I want in a car, but it’s not something anyone really offers..."

No, nobody else does that of course! The XK is classically styled itself, while if you want to go beyond that there's Eagle and KWE. Plus multiple kit-based replicas, some of which are very good. So that's not really a good justification for these.

So if there is a good justification, it must be in the cars themselves. The XKR isn't a bad starting point, but I personally feel that the original is better looking than the DB reworking. And I'd rather have an F-type!

Smilerforce 11 February 2014


What's the history behind this david brown venture? It does sound like another eccentric tweed wearing Brit who has more money than sense.