David Brown Speedback GT
Is that an Aston Martin? It looks like one of the old cars… Nope – this is an entirely new car, the David Brown Speedback GT. It's inspired by the Aston Martin DB5 and DB6 – and according to designer Alan Mobberly, who worked on the Land Rover Discovery, it also draws on Ferrari and Maserati design cues.
Why make a modern car that looks like a 1960s grand tourer, though?Well, the problem with those old cars is that they just don't perform like their modern equivalents. As the Speedback's creator David Brown tells Autocar, "I was on a classic car rally in the south of Spain, in a Ferrari Daytona. It kept breaking down and it was about 150 degrees in there. We'd hired a Peugeot 106 with air-con and everyone wanted to be in that, and not the Ferrari. So I decided to build a car with that sort of style and visual simplicity which would work properly."
And does it work properly?It's based on the current Jaguar XKR platform and powertrain, with a supercharged 5.0l V8 engine that'll pump out 510hp and 461 lb-ft of torque, plus a six-speed ZF transmission. Performance is similar to the Jag, too: 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. So, yes. Yes it does work properly.
You get plenty of mod-cons too; LED headlights, air-con, sat nav and a neat little fold-up picnic bench built into the boot.
Waitaminute. Is this David Brown any relation to the Sir David Brown who lent his initials to the DB5? Nope. It's all just a weird coincidence. Though oddly, Brown's father built tractors, just like Sir David Brown. Spooky.
What about the build quality? Is it vintage or just antiquated? Well, the body panels are all made from hand-formed aluminium, but there's plenty of 21st-century tech in there too. The clay pre-production model was laser scanned in order to create the forming bucks for the panels, instead of being measured by hand – so it's much more accurate. The interior may be swathed in leather and wood, but the centre console packs a touchscreen sat nav and multimedia controls – and the switchgear is made using the laser sintering 3D printing process.
That all sounds very pricey… It is. This car's designed for people who already have a stable of classic motors – a reliable modern vehicle that won't look out of place in their collection. And David Brown Automotive is only planning to make a maximum of 50 cars a year. While the price won't be revealed until the Speedback's official unveiling at the Top Marques show in Monaco on 17th April, expect it to cost "somewhere between £100,000 and £1m."
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