British Sports Cars: 10 Best
The top British sports cars bring to mind elegant design, sleek styling, and speed. Decidedly more refined than its American or Italian cousins, England’s fastest automobiles trade flash and overtly rugged muscle for beautiful lines and exceptional handling. While these cars will leave your wallet significantly lighter and some may put your personal safety into question, but owners find the trade off well worth it. Here are ten of the best British sports cars in terms of style, character, and speed.
- Lotus Elan. The Lotus Elan has a devoted following, ranging from its initial release in the 1960s to the lauded redesign in the 1990’s. The Avengers’ Emma Peel drove a powder blue S3, putting its lustful lines and sleek, quick design to good use in her frequent getaways.
- Jensen Interceptor. Simon Templar’s (aka “The Saint”) sleek British car of choice was the GT-styled Jensen Interceptor Saloon in Briazs Blue. Jenson Motors hand built the steel-bodied Interceptor from 1966 to 1976. Interceptors may no longer be speed demons on the road, but enthusiasts describe an almost lustful feeling when eyeing the curving wrap-around rear window and sporty, yet distinguished, design.
- Jaguar E-Type. An elegant icon of the swinging 60’s, the Jaguar E-type combined beauty and brains with high performance and a more affordable price point. Jaguar’s successful British motoring gem sold over 70,000 models during its production run.
- Aston Martin DB5. The widely heralded DB5 is perhaps the most recognized of Agent 007's sports cars. In 1963, its graceful lines shot across the silver screen as James Bond’s ride of choice. With a 4.0 liter engine, the five-speed two door reached speeds up to 145mph and boasted an impressive 282HP under the bonnet. Novel for the time, the DB5 also featured electric windows and an interior with pile carpet.
- Austin-Healey 3000MKIII. The Austin-Healey 3000MK III was only produced for four years, from 1963 to 1967. Under 17,800 models exist. The combination of luxury and power made this car a stunner upon its release in October 1963, and the 3000’s amazing performance at rallies has won over enthusiasts for decades. While Austin-Healey stopped production of cars in the late 1960’s, the 3000 is still used in rally competitions today.
- TVR Sagaris. TVR released the Sagaris for public consumption in 2005. The gorgeous exterior hides some impressive mechanics – the TVR “Speed-Six” 4.0L engine with 380HP and 349ft of torque @5000rpm. The car’s name, Sagaris, is derived from the Greek description of a light but powerful axe used to pierce enemy armor in battle.
- Noble M12 GTO. Don’t let the rugged design fool you; the Noble M12 GTO is a sophisticated speed warrior that blends modern technology and a twin-turbocharged 360hp V-6 engine. Noble Automotive, England’s premier manufacturer, created the M12 as an upgrade of the popular M10. Released in 2000, the M12 GTO routinely provides jaw dropping speed on and off the track.
- Morgan Plus 8. The aristocratic Morgan auto empire was founded in 1909. Morgan’s product line features a number of exquisite British models, but the Plus 8 is perhaps the most popular sports car. With a waiting period of over one year, the Morgan Plus 8 was carefully crafted for 36 years, from 1968 to 2004. The quality construction combined with unparalleled performance and exhilarating handling are what keep the Plus 8 model still in demand today.
- Jaguar XK120. In its heyday, the Jaguar XK120 was the fastest automobile available built by standard production. From 1948 to 1954 the XK120 reigned over the racing and auto enthusiast world, reaching top speeds of 120mph. Jaguar’s first sports car built post WWII was available as a drophead coupe convertible, roadster convertible, or as a fixed head coupe.
- Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II. Rolls-Royce is a given icon in British luxury autos, but the Silver Cloud II gained esteem as the first production Rolls to feature a V8 engine. The Silver Cloud II also boasted fast acceleration times despite its heavy body weight, clocking in at 10.8s to 60mph. The V8 engine model first used in the Silver Cloud II is still used in some Bentley and Phantom models.