David Brown Automotive’s first car
An all-new British company hopes to cause a stir with its first model, dubbed "Project Judi," which is set to make its international debut in Monaco in April. Until January this year, no one in the industry had heard of David Brown Automotive, but if
the car it is planning is anywhere near as good as the company claims, all of that could change this spring.
The company wants to be a real alternative to existing luxury British sports cars and has set about recruiting some big hitters, in the form of Land Rover's former head of design, Alan Mobberley, as well as a host of automotive craftsmen and bespoke suppliers, to realize its goal.
As David Brown explained: "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."
When a new car company launches from nowhere with promises of sporting prowess and luxury, limited production and bespoke features, it's usually a recipe for disaster. The more bespoke a car is, the less likely it is to be reliable. The smaller the production run, the smaller the fund for future improvements, research and development.
However, what could make David Brown Automotive different is that the company isn't starting from scratch. It is using a proven platform for its first car -- the Jaguar XKR no less -- and adding to and improving it. So the signs look promising.
It means that buyers will be getting a car capable of 0-62mph (100kph) in under five seconds and a wonderful 5-liter supercharged V8 engine.
"As reliability is vital, we chose to adopt a thoroughly proven and acclaimed chassis that not only delivers dynamic performance but also lends itself to our lightweight aluminium design. Renowned for its performance and handling, the XKR has been extensively developed and refined by one of the world's greatest car manufacturers, making it an obvious choice on which to base our car," said Brown.
The company has released a selection of teaser images to whet the appetite before the car is unveiled at the Top Marques Show in Monaco on April 17, 2014 and it hints at a design philosophy shared by the company's namesake -- this is not the first successful businessman called David Brown that has designs on the sportscar industry.
Back in 1947 another David Brown saw a car company advertised for sale in his newspaper and as a result became the owner of Aston Martin. Under his leadership the company built the DB series of sportscars (named in his honor) including the now legendary DB5.
One of the first things that Ford did when it bought Aston Martin in 1987 was reintroduce the ‘DB' badge on the DB7, which, interestingly enough, was built on an existing Jaguar platform to ensure reliability as well as good looks.