Modern engineering and the nostalgia of the wealthy has combined to create a new niche in the automotive world: the retro-rod, a car with up-to-date technology designed to look like it rolled off the showroom floor a few decades ago. For years, Corvette fans have been able to buy an fifth-generation Vette dressed like it was 1953, and now a British firm plans a similar kind of time travel with the Jaguar E-Type — but the trip doesn't come cheap.
Called the Lyonheart K, the British start-up plans to build 250 coupes and convertibles based off the Jaguar XK designed to look as close to a modern E-Type as possible. (That Jaguar has created an all-new car, the F-Type, meant to evoke a similar emotion has not stopped this plan as of yet.) More than just a custom body, Lyonheart says its K-cars have had their Jaguar V-8s tuned by Cosworth to 567 hp and 510 lb.-ft. of torque, enough to push the K to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds.
Inside, Lyonheart has redone the interior with its own custom woodgrain dash, higher-end stereo and more baubles. Which one would expect given the price tag for this trip into the past: $466,000 for the coupe, and $485,000 for the convertible. For that money, a Jaguar enthusiast could buy an original E-Type, a new F-Type and still have cash to splurge on the company's R-tuned models. Sometimes it's just easier to make history than repeat it.