Designed and built by Autotune in 1983 the Aristocat is a replica ´within the spirit´ of the famous Jaguar XK Series of Sports Cars.
Above: Aristocat Sports Car
Built with Jaguar's written permission, the Aristocat uses all Jaguar XJ6, SI, SII, SIII, XJS or XJ12 components housed in a steel spaceframe chassis.
For ease of build the Aristocat uses the XJ series suspension un-modified, resulting in the car being five inches wider than the XK120 or XK140, but only one inch wider than the XK150. The additional width, let in down the centre of the car, allows for a more spacious cockpit and boot than the originals and drivers of well over six feet can be easily accommodated.
In order to satisfy the purists, Autotune designed and produced the Aristocat Coupe in 1991. This is a dimensionally exact replica of an XK140 Coupe, again using all XJ6 or XJS components housed in a steel spaceframe chassis.
Modifying the suspension to fit under the narrower bodyshell however, makes this a more complex and expensive build.
Above: Aristocat Sports 140 Coupe
The Aristocat´s blend of classic looks with modern mechanical components produces a very capable vehicle, the original prototype being timed by a member of the media at 0-60 MPH in six seconds and a top speed of over 150 MPH.
This particular vehicle is still being campaigned vigorously at circuits throughout Europe, 20 years after it was first built.
Further proving the quality of the Aristocat, Autotune joined the SMMT early on in the evolvement of the car, completing most of the criteria required by the current SVA testing back in 1992. TUV (UK) Ltd., on behalf of the SMMT, tested the Aristocat from all aspects.
They covered the following areas:
Quality of chassis materials
GRP strength and quality
Surface area mouldings
Component fit and accessibility
Continuity of maintenance
Premises, and those of sub contractors
Back-up and service
Above: Racing the Aristocat
It was also necessary to submit a chassis for testing to the EC Directive, Regulation 14, for seat belt anchorages, having a pull test to a load of three tons. The Aristocat passed first time on the Rig at Manchester Metropolitan University, organised by STATUS.
Designed to suit various budgets, the Aristocat can be built using around 80% of the components from the donor Jaguar, even including such items as the seats and dashboard helping to reduce those build costs. Additionally there are various kit options, including three different windscreen options all varying in cost.
Above: Aristocat Steel Chassis
With 20 years of continuous production and exports in most European countries, Russia, New Zealand, Scandanavia, etc. The Aristocat has shown itself to be a well designed and proven vehicle, and must surely deserve a closer look.
Currently under development and due to go into production is an alternative new chassis, designed to take the suspension and other mechanical components from the 1986 and onwards XJ40 and XJ6 Jaguars.