Aristocat

Designed and built by Autotune in 1983 the Aristocat is a replica ‘within the spirit’ of the famous Jaguar XK Series of Sports Cars.

Built with Jaguars written permission, the Aristocat was designed as a kit form classic which amateur enthusiasts could build at home using ‘donor’ components from any of the Jaguar XJ6, XJS or XJ12 models, 1968 through 1996.

For ease of build the Aristocat features a steel spaceframe chassis which is fully bracketed to accept all the major Jaguar mechanical components. The XJ series suspension axles are used un-modified which results 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 much more spacious cockpit and boot than the originals, and drivers of well over six feet can be easily accommodated.

The Aristocat blends classic looks with modern mechanical components to produce 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 same Aristocat ‘JSV’ is still being campaigned vigorously at race circuits and hillclimbs throughout Europe over 35 years after it was first built.

Further demonstrating the quality of the Aristocat, AUTOTUNE joined the SMMT in the early years of manufacture, completing most of the criteria required by the current IVA testing back in 1992.  TUV (UK) Ltd. on behalf of the SMMT tested the Aristocat from all aspects, including:

  • Design,
  • Production methods,
  • Quality of chassis materials,
  • Welding,
  • GRP strength and quality,
  • Surface area mouldings,
  • Component fit and accessibility,
  • Body fit,
  • Road holding,
  • Continuity of maintenance,
  • Premises, and those of sub contractors,
  • Assembly illustrations,
  • Back-up and service,
  • Company integrity.

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 plus instruments, thus helping to reduce build costs.  Additionally, there are various kit options, including three different windscreen options all varying in cost.    Weather gear and chrome work can also be purchased.

With over 35 years of continuous production and exports all over the world, the Aristocat has shown itself to be a well-designed and proven vehicle and must surely deserve a closer look.

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