Jensen GT to relaunch automotive heritage brand
After four years of legal wrangling in order to establish ownership of the brand, the Jensen Group is getting ready to build a new car worthy of carrying the Jensen badge.autos Updated: Mar 02, 2015 17:34 IST
After four years of legal wrangling in order to establish ownership of the brand, the Jensen Group is getting ready to build a new car worthy of carrying the Jensen badge.
However, while the Jensens of the 1960s and early 70s were known for their thrilling turn of speed, the Jensen Group is planning to take things slowly and will be starting with a continuation model called the Jensen GT.
Hand-built with more than enough scope to integrate a discerning client's bespoke wishes, the GT will look and feel like the Jensens of yesteryear, but will be technologically up to date. Under the long, sloping hood will be a supercharged General Motors-sourced 665bhp 6.4-liter V8 mated to either a manual or semi-automatic gearbox.
Inside, the cabin promises to be awash in leather and alcantara and customers will be able to specify the car as a two-seater with upholstered rear luggage space or as a 2+2, although all cars will come with a proper trunk.
The company expects to build just a handful of examples for around £350,000 each with the first completed cars scheduled for a 2016 delivery.
The Jensen GT is about to enter the prototype testing stage but the company is confident that by next year it will also be ready to reveal a completely new Interceptor model.
Back in the 1960s, Jensen's grand touring cars, the Interceptor and the FF, were mentioned in the same breath as Ferrari, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Maserati.
Hybrid cars in the old-school sense, they married European styling, chassis design and handling with the brute force and reliability of an American V8 engine -- like the AC Cobra or De Tomaso Pantera.
But the Jensens were truly innovative. The FF was the first sportscar in the world with four-wheel drive when unveiled in 1966 and the first road car with ABS. But the price tag was too high and by 1976 it was over.
Still, love for those original cars, despite their mechanical faults, is so strong that there is a huge demand for restoration services and for companies that can take the cars and make them not just immaculate, but reliable again.
The most famous, Jensen International Automotive (JIA), takes dying FFs and Interceptors and makes them workable, painstakingly and by hand.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Jensen Group has joined forces with JIA to design, develop and build the new Jensen GT.
First Published: Mar 02, 2015 11:17 IST