The first Land Rover made its debut in 1948. It was designed with brilliant simplicity for extraordinary ability and unrivalled strength and durability. In fact, over six decades on it is estimated that two-thirds of all these incredible vehicles are still at work - many of them in some of the most extreme conditions and inhospitable places on earth.
The Land Rover was the product of continuous evolution and refinement in the 1950s and 1960s and it took the lead in the emerging market for four-wheel drive vehicles. In keeping with the forward-thinking philosophy that founded Land Rover, a radical, entirely new product was introduced in 1970 and created its very own vehicle category. This overnight sensation was the very first Range Rover. It had all the capability of a Land Rover with the comfort and performance of an on-road car.
This culture of innovation has developed ever since with both Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles: new models, more refinement, more innovative technology, more efficiency and fewer emissions. Land Rover will remain in the forefront of advanced design - the new small Range Rover is a testament to the vision that takes the company forward and keeps it at the cutting edge of technology and engineering.
LEVC, standing for London Electric Vehicle Company, is the new name for the maker of the London black cab, and replaces its predecessor The London Taxi Company. Under various guises this company has been responsible for making this iconic vehicle for over seventy years. LEVC is a subsidiary of the Chinese company Geely, which also owns Volvo and holds a majority stake in Lotus Cars.
Now based in a new, purpose-built 37,000 sq ft factory in Ansty near Coventry, LEVC has recently launched it replacement for the current TX4 model, the electric, range extended TX. This taxi is new from the ground up and is an electric powered, range extended vehicle designed to meet London's latest stringent emission regulations for London taxis. A light van, the LCV, based on the same technology as the TX, is under development and order books will open towards the end of 2020.
Lister, founded in 1954, produced Britain’s most successful sports racing car of the 1950's, the Lister-Jaguar. The 'Cars from Cambridge' were designed, and built by racing driver Brian Lister, his big break coming when he was offered the engines and gearboxes by William Lyons from the retiring Jaguar D Types. Lyons was correct in believing that Lister would be capable of developing a race winning car, thus keeping the Jaguar name in the forefront of racing, at little cost to Jaguar and so Lister-Jaguar was born. Brian Lister designed and built a new lightweight and aerodynamic chassis and ‘knobbly’ body to take the Jaguar drive train and the world’s best sports racing car of the 1950’s was born! For five seasons from 1954 Lister cars were always in the headlines and consistently beat the much larger works teams such as Aston Martin and Jaguar.
Laurence Pearce took over in 1995 and designed a new series of Lister Storm GT race cars and spent the next decade rebuilding the racing heritage. The 'glory days' were back with winning drivers such as Tiff Needell. Now, as a totally re-organised company under the ownership of the Warrantywise Group, they are once again building the several iconic Lister Continuation cars together with the contemporary Lister LFT-666, based on the Jaguar F-Type and the LFP, based on the Jaguar F-Pace, from their factory in Cambridge .
Lister Bell Automotive was established in early 2010, with a view to manufacturing the STR - a modern day interpretation of the world championship winning rally car, the Lancia Stratos. The company was founded by Craig White, who has been involved with the sports car industry since 1989 and has a wide range of experience in specialist car construction, chassis development, fabrication and composites. He has with some of the biggest names in the industry including Ultima Sports Cars Ltd, Seven inspired replicas, Cobras, T70's, Stratos replicas and finally Stealth racing cars.
Rather than trying to create a 'rivet replica', the decision was made to create a car which would reflect the advances in engineering over the four decades since the original car was launched, whilst paying homage to the original Lancia Stratos.
Lister Bell is currently building and supplying the STR in various configurations from their premises in north Nottinghamshire.
Over more than 60 years in the making, Lotus has become both a class-leading manufacturer of class-leading sports cars and a globally respected automotive engineering consultancy, working with many of the world's most prestigious car manufacturers.
From humble beginnings when Colin Chapman built his first trial car in a lock-up in 1948, motorsport was the driving force; indeed it was his desire to create competitive race cars that drove him to produce road cars in order to finance his racing ambitions! The motorsport influence has continued throughout the company's evolution. Geely, the Chinese automotive heavyweight, took a majority stake in Lotus in Spring 2017 and now owns the company.
The motorsport heritage remains at the heart of Lotus today and the strategic link to developing cars which offer superlative handling and performance for driving on the race track or on the road. Lotus Cars are designed, developed and built at their history-charged manufacturing facility in Hethel, Norfolk, where the company has been based since 1966.