Britain’s newest car manufacturer, Alcraft Motor, has unveiled digital images of its debut car, the GT. The sleek shooting brake is currently set to be a two-seater pure EV and is projected to have 600 horsepower and over 840lb/ft of torque, courtesy of three electric motors (giving active torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive). If the demand is there then rear seats and a range extender – the latter of which would expand on what is already claimed to be a 300-mile range – could be added later.
Having secured big-name suppliers like Continental and Michelin, the company is now running an Indiegogo campaign to fund the production stages of its first car.
In a year when new electric supercars seem to have been popping up on a fortnightly basis, the Alcraft GT is pitched as something defiantly different to this crowd, despite boasting the same sort of supercar performance numbers – the most obvious difference, of course, being the shape.
Mark Carbery, Alcraft’s brand and marketing director, explains: “We’re not trying to create a definitive EV design. We set out to create something we’d all like to own, and in the ‘mood board’ phase of planning, many of the references were to cars like the Reliant Scimitar GTE, Lamborghini Espada, Maserati Indy, Citroën SM, Saab Aero-X, Ferrari FF, Volvo Concept Estate – cars which revised the form of performance cars and had an element of practical usability about them.”
“Several of these have two doors and a tailgate, and that’s what we kept coming back to – something you’d drive for fun but which can take you and your partner to the Cotswolds for the weekend with plenty of kit.”
That said, the GT remains very much a performance car with a hatchback added – not merely an estate with two doors missing – as Carbery asserts: “‘Shooting brake’ is more a term others have used; the practicality element was never allowed to compromise the aesthetics. But the fact is that a two-box form offers great proportions, and a super-sleek two-box car can be a very beautiful thing.”
“One of the main objectives was to produce something which has immediate impact, is very pretty, but is also relatively understated and hopefully timeless. That is something which for us is inherent in a lot of the best British car designs – think E-Type for instance.”
While this can certainly be true, and the Alcraft GT does at this stage have a good balance in profile, the two-box, three-door car has long been a small niche with a cult following, not a mainstream product – as we’ve previously discussed with Maximilian Missoni of Volvo – but this doesn’t phase Carbery.
“If this does limit appeal then it’s not a problem for us. We’re looking only at low volumes, and in fact that’s an asset – if we can be part of the UK’s world-renowned specialist low-volume car industry then that’s perfect. It also means that the cars will remain exclusive.”
“But in fact, I see an increase in shooting brake-style cars. Estates have been far more popular than saloons in most of Europe for a while now – look at Audi’s success with its performance Avant derivatives. Then you have the SUV phenomenon – we’re already seeing coupé-SUV crossovers from the premium brands, and I foresee a lot more this over the next few years… And now we’ve just seen the Aston Martin Zagato shooting brake which is very similar to our GT – and even a slick Kia shooting brake concept – so it’s a good space to be in.”
He's not the only one who thinks so; as well as taking on ex-Morgan designer Matt Humphries (credited with the Aeromax, 3-Wheeler and EvaGT concept among others), the company has enlisted Charles Morgan, grandson of Morgan Motor Company’s founder, in an advisory role. The venture is also suppurted by local engineering firm Delta Motorsport, who have led the vehicle development thus far, as well as Continental who are supplying safety systems and Michelin tyres.
The target, after receiving funding for the next steps, is for cars to reach customers before the end of the decade.