The man behind an ambitious automotive project that will see the car billed as the spiritual successor to the E-Type Jaguar built in Coventry has revealed its production run will be increased five-fold in response to soaring demand.
The Lyonheart K will be built at Envisage Manufacturing, a company well known for its expertise in building low volume series for specialist carmakers, and its designer Robert Palm says 250 of the cars will now be built rather than the 50 originally planned.
Mr Palm, whose Swiss firm Classic Factory has produced the modern interpretation of the classic Jaguar, also revealed a convertible version of the car will be produced.
“We have had huge demand following our last announcement in February and as a result raised production,” said Mr Palm.
“I am surprised that each time we make an announcement more and more people get interested and from further away too,” added the designer, who said most recently interest had come from the Far East and China in particular, as well as from Australia and New Zealand.
“At first we wanted to make 50 coupes and that was it but we have had more customers and that’s why we decided to expand production.
“And many customers asked for a convertible so we thought we would just go for it.”
The first cars are due to be delivered in February or March 2014, with the convertible following six months after.
The company hopes to exhibit preproduction vehicles at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Production at Envisage Manufacturing is scheduled to start in late 2013 and continue until some time in 2015, with between three and five cars being produced each week.
Although there are no other models in the pipeline Mr Palm did not rule out expanding the Lyonheart range.
The bulk of Lyonheart Ks will be destined for the European market (around 70 per cent) with around ten per cent going to the Middle East, 20 per cent destined for China and a small number going to Australia and New Zealand, though Mr Palm said it would be easy to sell more in China if they wished.
He said: “We are not going to allocate too many cars to China – about 50 will be going to China – otherwise we wouldn’t have enough for other markets. We have only 250 cars which may seem like a lot but isn’t when you divide it into countries.”
With demand spread across the globe the only major market where would-be buyers face disappointment will be the US – where the Lyonheart K cannot be sold due to what Mr Palm termed “regulation problems” adding “it’s a pity as we have had a lot of requests from the States – it is proving very popular there”.
The other good news for would-be customers is that the price of the Lyonheart K will be considerably less than was originally thought, thanks in part to the higher production volume.
“The price of the car is not written in stone as we are still at the end of the engineering phase and still need to set firm costs,” said Mr Palm. “There has been a lot of confusion about the price but it will be under 400,000 euros.
“The price will be a lot less than it was in February because if we make 250 cars the costs are divided and it is cheaper than 50 cars.
“That’s if you can say cheap – it’s not cheap but cheaper than before.”
Mr Palm said he estimated the car would cost £290,000 plus taxes, with the convertible costing around £15,000 more.