I’ve just managed to snatch a glimpse of a truly elegant car, with sweeping lines that may remind some people of a certain age of the Jaguar E-type in it’s heyday. The car was originally unveiled as a concept vehicle based on the Jaguar XKR about a year ago. As with all concept vehicles, once they have been revealed to the public and reviews and comments flood back, the original idea gets diluted and stripped down until the manufacturer feels that it is right for public release.
The Lyonheart website says “..over the years, the British car industry has seen many legendary names disappear..” and one name that I think we can all be relieved to see disappear is the Growler moniker that the poor car was originally saddled with. I mean, what on earth where they thinking? I often wonder sometimes how so many cars have been christened with such awful names over the past 60 years. Well, that’s one thing stripped away from the concept car that we can all appreciate.
At least now if you come to own one of these beautiful beasts you won’t have to stick duct tape over the name as the production car will be called the Lyonheart K, and while the name might be a bit cumbersome, it does give a hint of a very traditional British heraldry.
The concept had a 5 litre V8 (of course) and the Lyonheart K will have the same. But it’s not just about the engine and power with this car. It is completely unarguable to any sane petrol-head that the sleek lines of the Lyonheart are truly beautiful, the car is nothing short of a work of art.
The Lyonheart K will be a limited run vehicle, and while you may have read elsewhere that the run was to be limited to a meagre 50 hand built cars, demand has gently forced the creators, Robert Palm and Bo Zolland, to increase this number to a slightly more satisfactory total of 250. As you will no doubt appreciate, such rare beauty costs, and the Lyonheart K will set you back around £307,000.
But it gets better. There will also be a soft-top version for around £13,000 more with a roof that can be raised or lowered in just 12 seconds up to a speed of 31mph. Now, that will put it at around 5th in the list of convertibles with the fastest roof mechanisms (yes, there is one), just behind the VW Golf Cabriolet, the Audi A3 Cabriolet and top of the pile, the Porsche 911 Targa 4 at 8 seconds. Not bad.
The Lyonheart K body will be fixed to a lightweight aluminium chassis, and with the powerful, remapped Cosworth V8 engine should manage 0-60mph in around 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 186mph. There is no manual option though, just a six speed automatic. Petrol consumption is, as you might expect, a rather lowly 24mpg combined.
While this E-type inspired luxury sportscar might look retro, you get a lot of technology for the huge asking price. The suspension consists of adaptive electronic damping, and the bespoke (Lyonheart say they only use genuine materials) interior will also have a state-of-the-art Bowers and Wilkins audio system.
Despite the original name faux pas, one look should tell you that the Lyonheart K is going to make it’s mark on British car culture for a very different reason. And very modern though it is, you purists out there might still find it gives you a bit of an old-skool hairy ride.
Images from Autoblog.com & pistonheads.com