The cold, wet and miserable island of Great Britain has long been a hub of design excellence. And before you start sniggering at the back, we’re serious.
From the E-Type to the E-Pace and from the Land Rover Series I to the McLaren Sports Series, some iconic cars have been designed and built among those dark, satanic mills. We’ve rounded up just five of the greats that you can go out and buy right now.
Mini Hatch John Cooper Works
Cheesy? Possibly. Cute? Probably. Cool? Just a bit. BMW’s reinvention of the iconic Mini brand has been surprisingly successful, and the standard three-door Mini Hatch has been the spearhead. This John Cooper Works version comes with chunky bumpers and a powerful engine to give it a bit more machismo, but it’s still the same basic shape we all know and love.
If you want a basic Mini Hatch, you can have one for a mere £14,620, but this John Cooper Works model, with its 228bhp four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine costs a slightly less wallet-friendly £23,780. Still, it’s prettier than a Golf GTI and similarly fast.
Jaguar F-Type Coupe
Jaguar’s spiritual successor to the E-Type was never going to be ugly, but we were as stunned as everyone else when the F-Type was unveiled. From the sharp rear that sits as high as a model’s cheekbone to the long, seductive bonnet, the F-Type is absolutely gorgeous.
And, if you’re a cheapskate who’s happy with the very un-Jaguar-ish four-cylinder engine, you can have one for as little as £49,900. If, on the other hand, you’re a little wealthier, the £110,000 V8-powered SVR will be right up your street.
The Dawn has been designed to look like a luxury yacht and it has worked a treat. The long nose, the sweeping rear deck and the way it all looks as though it has been hewn from one solid lump of metal have given it real presence.
If you want access to the sumptuous interior, for which a great many bulls had to lay down their lives (cows are apparently no good because they get stretch marks when they’re pregnant), you’ll have to fork out a massive £264,000. If you’re in the market for one of these, though, that probably won’t bother you too much.
Range Rover Sport
Forget the footballers and the Cheshireishness for a moment and just look at that car. It’s a looker, isn’t it? In fact, we think it’s one of the most handsome SUVs on the market, and that’s not all it’s got going for it. The top-spec SVR model is a capable 4×4, a luxury family estate and a rampaging supercar all rolled into one. Don’t let Wayne Rooney and his mates spoil it.
All this capability doesn’t come cheap, mind you. The entry-level 2.0-litre diesel costs a smidgen over £60,000, and buying one that you’d actually want will set you back something in the region of £70,000. The aforementioned SVR, meanwhile, costs £97,780.
Aston Martin Vanquish S
You’ve seen the picture. You know it’s a V12-powered Aston Martin. You want it. You don’t need us to tell you that it packs a whopping 568bhp or that it’ll take you from 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds before topping out at 201mph. You don’t even need to read this to know you want it.
You do, however, need deep pockets to buy it. It’s £200,000 (or as near as dammit), and unlike the F-Type, there’s no option to spend a little less and have a smaller engine. If you’re drowning in money, though, you can have it painted in absolutely any colour that takes your fancy.