Views and opinions from the experts

Ian Hyne from KIT CAR is impressed

Kevin Eason of TODAY thinks it is the star of the show
"They said there would never be another car like the E type Jaguar" proclaim the adverts from Triple C, going on to say "but now it has a serious rival; the Challenger". Such advertising comparisons are nothing new from the replica manufacturers but, in the case of the Challenger, I can reveal that Derek Robinson and John Wilkinson are fully justified in their claims. The long, low, red car glittered in the glorious sunshine of a brilliant summer's day. Opening the door and sliding into the driver's seat, I raised my eyes to behold a sight that could only belong to one car. The undulating bonnet
Challenger is the star of the show and its performance is not very far away from the original dream machine either, thanks to a Jaguar 4.2-litre power plant under the bonnet. That gives the car the 150 mph performance of the original as well as electrifying acceleration at 0 to 60mph in a staggering 5.1 seconds. Even more power is available for the lion-hearted few if Triple C is allowed to tweak and twiddle with the Jaguar production engine. The 1988 version has a few benefits that would make original E type owners grateful even now. For a start the Challenger is rust free because of its fibreglass and zinc-coated chassis. That gives the model a life expectancy as good as anything on the market, plus some pretty good handling characteristics.
projecting from the dashboard decorated with the huge Jaguar clocks could only belong to an E type. If there was ever any doubt, twisting the key prompted the classic twin cam to confirm it. The car billed as being dimensionally and visually identical to the series 1 E type and while that is perfectly true, you are immediately aware of a most unusual E type trait; the low speed ride is extremely comfortable. Slotting into the Corby town traffic, the warmed up engine pushed the car along with seemingly indifferent ease reaching top with around 1500 revs in evidence and holding it without effort. Indeed, reaching the quicker stretches of dual carriageway, the Challenger overcomes the need to change gear by pulling strongly and instantly the throttle goes down. However, drop a cog and hit the pedal and the car digs it heels in and goes off like rocket. The rev counter is red lined at 6000 but how on earth public roads ever give you the chance to get the needle anywhere near it, heaven only knows. 3000 is more than adequate for fast road driving and even then, your speed is stretching the discretion of the boys in blue! Normally 2500 will maintain the legal limit while taking it to 3000 in the gears and popping in the overdrive will bring it back to the 2500 mark. Truly the car has the power to match the 150 mph top speed quoted for the original cars and, while you may never have the chance to do it, you can certainly enjoy the acceleration the car has to offer. So, if you have ever imagined yourself cruising down the highway behind the wheels of an E type, the Challenger represents the chance of a lifetime. They said there would never be another but, they were wrong.

Dave Hill of WHICH KIT looks at the chassis
As can be seen, a great deal of effort has gone into the Challenger's chassis, with the concomitant rewards. At a kerbside weight of 984 kg the Mark Two version is some 136 kg lighter than its predecessor, not to mention a massive 341 kg lighter than the original. In addition, the new chassis' torsional stiffness is 20% higher and accident protection, particularly side impact protection, is much improved. By the way, should the use of sheet steel, with its habit of corroding, be concerning you there is no problem. Production chassis are supplied flame sprayed in molten zinc to BS 2569, as seen on good oil rigs everywhere. The lifespan of this coating is in the order of 25 years.
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