British cars will go down in history as some of the most luxurious and innovative ever built.
While the British car industry was once on its knees, there seems to have been a renaissance in recent decades. Now, British automotive brands are thriving and have filled the market with homegrown cars.
We are taking a look at the top British car companies still around today.
Thanks to its association with a certain James Bond, Aston Martin has been recognised as one of the leading luxury car manufacturers in the world. Stretching back to the DB5, British luxury cars have a lot to thank Aston Martin for.
It has become synonymous with James Bond and Aston Martin even created a special film-only car just for the world-famous spy. That car was the Aston Martin DB10 and only 10 were ever built.
Aston Martin’s iconic logo is a pair of wings behind the brand’s name. The manufacturer’s history dates all the way back to the First World War and its most iconic vehicles are its grand tourers.
Some other famous Aston Martins throughout the years include the DB11, DBS V12, Vantage and the track-only Vulcan.
Not so long ago, Jaguar was in danger of joining the long list of classic British cars no longer in operation. Jaguar was doing little more than clinging to its existence after many years of poor sales. However, the manufacturer of British sports cars turned things around and is now thriving again.
Much of Jaguar’s automotive prowess has come from success on the racetrack but it doesn’t shy away from luxury cars either. Jaguar has also joined the fight to bring electric cars to the masses from an early stage.
The all-electric I-Pace from Jaguar is an industry-leading SUV. Other leading Jaguars include the legendary C-Type, E-Type and XJR.
The Mini was once the pride of Britain. Its iconic Mini Cooper was the small British car of small British cars. Driven by millions, perhaps the most famous owner of the Mini Cooper is Mr Bean but that doesn’t make the car company a joke.
There are many Mini Cooper car clubs around the country still keeping this iconic little car alive. Many thought Mini was dead and buried but it enjoyed a revival in the 2000s thanks to its new ownership.
BMW took over the production of Mini and introduced a larger, more modern version to the roads. The latest Mini has been a huge success and kept the spirit of the vintage Mini alive.
British car manufacturers don’t come much more high-end than Rolls-Royce. If the Queen is being driven around in one, you know it’s one of the most luxurious vehicles around.
Rolls-Royce has been in business since 1904 and it is still going strong today. Some of the most famous and luxurious Rolls-Royce cars include the Phantom and Silver collections as well as the Ghost.
Besides making cars, Rolls-Royce also supplies the engines to many of the world’s commercial airlines.
Vauxhall is arguably the most common of all British vehicles. In fact, there’s a good chance that any time you venture outside you will spot at least one Vauxhall on the road.
Vauxhall is still going strong after first introducing its cars to the public in 1903. Although a popular brand in the UK, Vauxhall is known as Opel in Europe and is a part of Groupe PSA which also owns Peugeot and Citroen.
There aren’t many English cars with the racing prowess and reputation of McLaren. This British car brand is one of the most successful Formula 1 teams of all time and its road cars are not too shabby either.
McLaren brought the world the iconic F1, which was one of the first road-legal cars to be able to hit 200 mph.
Beautifully crafted luxury supercars is McLaren’s main aim while also introducing plenty of technical innovations to the automotive industry. That forward-thinking approach to car manufacturing is what helped put McLaren at the front of the Formula 1 grid more often than not.
Another British car manufacturer famed as much for its track success as its sporty road cars is Lotus. Lotus cars are built by hand and deliver high performance, often for much lower costs than many of its competitors.
Famous road-worthy Lotus models include the Elise, Exige and the iconic underwater Bond car, the Esprit. Lotus also was a major player in the Formula 1 world championship scene.
Under the racing name ‘Team Lotus’ the British manufacturer delivered seven constructor’s championships and six driver’s world championships. Visit any British car show and there’s a good chance you will see multiple Lotus cars proudly displayed by their owners.
Bentley is a powerhouse in the luxury car market thanks to years of honing its craftsmanship. Some of the most famous Bentleys, owned by some hugely influential people, include the Continental GT, Mulsanne and Flying Spur.
It is the executive car of choice for the rich and powerful thanks to its capable engine and strong build. It’s hard not to feel safe and secure in a Bentley thanks to their large mass and refined interior.
Land Rover has been building rugged off-road capable vehicles since the 1940s. Used by farmers and those who don’t follow the beaten track for generations, Land Rover has since added a touch of class to its interior.
Nowadays Land Rover is known for being one of the most capable 4×4 vehicles around while also offering plenty of luxury to its passengers.
Perhaps the most iconic Land Rover of all time is the Defender, once driven by the Queen herself. Those buying a Land Rover today have the choice of something comfortable for the road or something rough and ready for just about anywhere else.
What Car Companies Are Still British Owned?
Although Britain has a rich history in the automotive industry, manufacturing has advanced from when the UK’s car brands were building at home. Now, several of the big British car brands are owned by foreign companies, with some choosing to move manufacturing abroad.
Brands like Jaguar, Land Rover, and Mini are no longer British owned. BMW is now the owner of Mini, although there are plenty of Minis still being produced on UK shores.
Why Do British Cars Have The Steering Wheel On The Right Side?
Equally, countries like America or Canada drive on the opposite side of the road so their steering wheels are also flipped. This allows drivers to see what’s going on ahead of them better than if their steering wheel was on the opposite side.
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