David Brown Automotive has recently unveiled its all-new sports car the Speedback GT at the Dubai Motor Show. We caught up with founder David Brown to find out more.[Not a valid template]
Situated in the nostalgia hall of the Dubai Motor Show is the Speedback GT, the first model to be produced by David Brown Automotive. And here’s the interesting bit: to David Brown, the GT is ‘a modern, classic car’. Seems redundant right? Not quite. While the Speedback GT has the styling of something more classic, it also features all the modern comforts we’ve come to expect over the years. There’s a 510bhp 5.0-litre V8 supercharged lump under the bonnet, capable of 0-100kph in 4.6 seconds and 250kph, thanks also to 461lb ft of torque. It should, on paper at least, offer exceptional performance. And at just a shade over $750,000, it’s also very exclusive, limited to just 100 units worldwide.
So, what of the man who started such a venture? His name is David Brown. He started out in engineering building earth moving equipment in 1972 and has gradually become an entrepreneur in his own right. He’s also a prolific car nut.
“I’ve always had an interest in cars but found as the years have gone on, the production and design of a vehicle lacked the class that came from the older car, such as the icon that is the Aston Martin DB5,”David explained to us at the Dubai Motor Show. “The idea to build a car that is modern with a contemporary power train with classic looks was just the best of both worlds in my eyes.
“I suppose that’s why the Speedback GT has been loosely likened to many prestige manufacturers such as Porsche, Aston Martin and Jaguar. The car was designed with a digital scan, as opposed to measurements, ensuring the CAD information was right, to maximise airflow. We’ve really tried to do this properly, down to the last detail.”
And, trust us, that’s not just a throwaway line. To build just one Speedback GT takes 3200 man hours, each of which also houses 142 bespoke panels. More than 24,000km have been covered during testing – 24,383km if you’re looking to be precise – and since the prototype stages, some 237 engineering improvements have been made incorporated into the production model. We’re not even going to ask how much time went into developing the pearlescent ‘Blue Moon’ paint. Understandably, then even though it’s already a very limited-edition model, David Brown has made customisation a key aspects.
“It’s not a performance car, but it does have an incredible ride, one which people can enjoy on any given day, whether they’re popping to the shops or going for a long drive”, David continues, having explained that first deliveries are set to take place within the next few weeks. “Production though takes around six months from date of order, so the model we have on display at the Dubai Motor show is only the fourth model we’ve ever built.
“So with that in mind, and because the model numbers are limited, we’ve tried to offer as many personalisation possibilities as possible. There is a choice between two types of wheel; a Ferrari classic style wire wheel and a special alloy wheel which we designed to mimic our badge, incorporating the Union Jack flag. Consultants are also on-hand to try and get the exact exterior colour you want. There is even a picnic bench to the rear of the car.” Indeed, buyers are able to tailor their interiors from a wide range of veneers and leather materials, much like the Mulliner section of Bentley.
But as we’ve found already at this year’s Dubai Motor Show alone, limited edition models from independent companies face a steep uphill challenge, particularly considering the multi-national presence of established marques. Not that this phases David of course…
“Speedback is the true realisation of a dream for me, and is the result of skilful and dedicated work by a team of highly talented designers, engineers and craftspeople. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes from our presence in Dubai.”