Skip to main content

The Lyonheart K signals return of the truly British sports car

The Lyonheart K, a new, truly British sports car that is essentially a modern interpretation of the legendary Jaguar E-Type, launched yesterday to meet customer demand for the concept created by Swiss company Classic Factory and designed by Robert Palm in collaboration with Bo Zolland.
Posted: February 22, 2012 - 7:28PM
Author: Don Bain

A limited series of the British inspired and crafted exotic cars will be built over the next two years or more.

"We want to make the 'Made In England' label into a truthful concept, not just a statement,” said Robert Palm, CEO of Classic Factory. “Every part of the Lyonheart K is developed, engineered and hand-built in England. The design clues of the Lyonheart K reflect Britishness at its best: cool, elegant, refined, understated yet powerful and dynamic."

Beneath its bonnet resides a 5.0 liter supercharged V8 with 32 valves and variable inlet camshaft phasing that produces 550 Bhp and 502 ft.-lb. of torque. Carbon fiber panels ensconce a state-of-the-art aluminum chassis, reducing the car’s curb weight to a mere 3,520 lbs. The exhilarating Lyonheart K can sprint zero to 6o mph in 3.7 seconds, with a top speed electronically governed to 186.4 mph.

Classic Factory takes a simple approach to the vehicle’s fabrication using only the highest quality of carbon fiber, leather, veneers, polished stainless steel, brushed aluminum and chromed metal in the Lyonheart K. Did you notice the lack of any kind of plastics that make up so much of most cars today?

The hand-built tribute to the legendary Jaguar XKE is assembled with the utmost attention to each and every detail inside and out by highly skilled craftsmen in Coventry who have founded Lyonheart Cars Ltd.

The Lyonheart K claims a fuel efficiency of 15.2-mpg city and 35 highway for an impressive if true combined rating of 24 mpg. Those are good numbers from a supercharged V8 with over 500 horses milling beneath its bonnet. It comes with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Along with a number of cosmetic touches and treatments the exotic coupe also features polished stainless steel 'Lyonheart K' tread plates, dual round polished stainless central exhaust pipes, projector light-sensing, automatic headlamps; daytime running LED signature and taillight clusters, brake light on roof; stainless steel, power heated side mirrors; keyless entry system with red glass start button on gear lever; soft-closing, power-latching doors; parking assistance front and rear with audible signal and graphics, as well as dual fuel intakes with polished stainless steel caps.

Their Bespoke program allows the discerning buyer to suggest how the Lyonheart K could be built specifically to their taste and style, providing input before the car goes into production.

The Lyonheart K comes with a 3-year warranty guaranteeing repair or replacement for any defect found in the car, with certain conditions, even if the vehicle has changed hands from the original buyer.

The Jaguar XKE the Lyonheart emulates was built from 1961 until 1975, during which time 70,000 of them were built. It was chosen the top pick in the Daily Telegraph’s 100 Most Beautiful Cars of All Time, and named number one in Sports Car International’s Top Sports Cars of the 1960s.

It was sheer dream to drive if not necessarily to own, but one that has left an indelible image in the realm of automotive design. If Lyonheart Cars Ltd can recapture even half the romance, mystique, sophistication and performance of the legendary coupe and roadster; they will have accomplished a remarkable feat. The phrase Made in England could once again inspire pride and sublime satisfaction in the hearts of Anglos the world over.

Orders are now being taken for the first 50 cars in the series at the grossly exorbitant price of $655,578. Building cars one by one by hand has gotten expensive so it’s up to the builders of the Lyonheart K to make it worth every penny. The first models to be completed won’t come out of the factory for 18 months so even the most patient potential owner has a while to wait.

We can’t help our curiosity about whether it’s worth it, but genuinely hope it can live up to its full potential. We think Richard the Lionhearted would be delighted with what they have wrought.


Nicolas Zart    February 23, 2012 - 11:58AM

Do we know if they designed the V8 or took it from another car maker? All in all, it reminds me a little of the Lightening GT in terms of aesthetics. Stunning and beautiful British lines. And as for the price... So what? 'Tis but chump change!