Eight marvellous motors that changed the culture and reputation of British motoring.
The British motor industry has a rich and illustrious history, with some of the most iconic cars ever produced. From luxury sports speedsters to rugged off-roaders, the UK has produced vehicles that have captured the hearts of petrolheads around the world.
1. The Land Rover Defender is an iconic British off-roader that has been in production since 1948. Originally designed for agricultural use, the Defender has become a symbol of British engineering and adventure. Renowned for its ruggedness and reliability, it has been used by the military, farmers, and explorers all over the world.
2. The Mini is a British motoring icon that first appeared in 1959. Originally designed by Sir Alec Issigonis, the Mini was a revolutionary car that was small, agile and cheap to run. It quickly became a cultural icon, featuring in films such as The Italian Job and becoming synonymous with the Swinging Sixties. The Mini went on to become one of the best-selling cars in British history.
3. The Jaguar E-Type is often cited as one of the most beautiful cars ever made. Introduced in 1961, this sports car was an instant hit thanks to its sleek styling, impressive performance, and affordable price tag.
The E-Type was powered by a 3.8-litre six-cylinder engine that could propel it to a top speed of 150mph, making it one of the fastest cars of its time.
4. Rolls-Royce is one of the most prestigious car brands in the world, and the Phantom is its flagship model.
Introduced in 1925, the Phantom has been the choice of royalty, heads of state, and the rich and famous ever since. The car is famous for its luxurious interior, smooth ride, and attention to detail. The latest Phantom model, released in 2017, features a 6.75-litre V12 engine and can accelerate from 0-60mph in just 5.3 seconds.
5. The Aston Martin DB5 is one of the most iconic British sports cars of all time, and is best known for its appearance in the James Bond films. The car was produced between 1963 and 1965, and featured a 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine that could propel it to a top speed of 145mph. The DB5 was also one of the most expensive cars of its time, and was a symbol of luxury and sophistication.
6. The MG MGB is a classic British sports car that was produced between 1962 and 1980. The car was designed to be affordable and practical, and quickly became one of the best-selling sports cars of all time.
The MGB was powered by a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine that produced 95 horsepower, and could accelerate from 0-60mph in 11 seconds.
7. The Bentley Continental GT is a luxury grand tourer that was first introduced in 2003. The car is known for its exquisite craftsmanship, refined performance and luxurious interior.
Powered by a 6.0-litre W12 engine, the Continental combines style and substance in immaculate fashion.
8. The Lotus Elise is a lightweight sports car that was first introduced in 1996. The car was designed to be a pure driver’s car, with an emphasis on agility, handling, and performance.
The original Elise was powered by a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine that could produce up to 190 horsepower, and could accelerate from 0-60mph in just 4.9 seconds.