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[NEWS] Jaguar XK European: British restomod gets redesign, more power

Jaguar XK European: British restomod gets redesign, more power

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Heavily reworked XK is the first entry into Thornley Kelham’s ‘European’ restomod range

A British car restoration firm has revealed a new model based on a 1950s Jaguar XK, which the firm says offers a “full range of performance and comfort upgrades”.

The Jaguar XK European has been built by Cirencester-based Thornley Kelham, which has developed the car from a derelict donor vehicle. It features a lightweight aluminium body with styling tweaks designed by Paul Howse, who heavily contributed to the design of the McLaren P1

It’s the first car to be produced as part of Thornley Kelham’s ‘European’ range, which the firm says will feature the “the ultimate incarnation of a number of European sports cars in the golden era”.

The XK European is driven by an uprated, re-engineered version of Jaguar’s original 3.8-litre straight-six engine. It now features an upgraded aluminium radiator, redesigned vents and an oil cooler. 

The engine produces either 295bhp or 335bhp depending on specification and is mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The original engine had an output of 160bhp to 200bhp.  

In addition, the XK European features reworked suspension, with double wishbones at the front and rear, Bilstein shock absorbers, Eibach springs and coilovers. Its basic leaf springs have been replaced with four-piston discs, while the model also makes use of a limited slip differential. 

To incorporate the changes, the model has been fitted with wider wheel arches, sculpted bodywork and wider alloy wheels. 

A crease has been added to the bonnet which runs into the split windscreen and onto the roof, while the rear has been reworked into an aero-efficient teardrop shape. 

Inside, the dials are surrounded by leather, the dashboard is made of body-coloured aluminium and the seating position has been dropped, improving headroom and knee clearance. Meanwhile, electric windows, electronic gauges, air conditioning, power steering and bluetooth connectivity are included as standard.

“With our concours-winning restoration heritage and our years of experience in perfecting our bespoke Lancia Aurelia ‘Outlaw’ project, we have developed a team perfectly placed to design and engineer a car that reimagines automotive icons authentically, in intricate detail and with a fastidious attention to quality,” said Simon Thornley, co-founder of Thornley Kelham. 

“The Jaguar XK European is, to our eyes, the most beautiful car yet in the restomod sector, backed up with expertise and experience in developing cars that aren’t just perfect in their finish, but thrilling to own and drive.”

The first commission for an XK European is already underway. Prices for the model cost £550,000, without the costs of sourcing a donor car. The firm says the full restoration process takes over 5000 hours, and production numbers are “strictly limited”.

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