Home Cars 20 Best British Muscle Cars Most People Overlook

20 Best British Muscle Cars Most People Overlook

Vukasin Herbez July 20, 2018

7. Rover P5B V8 Coupe

Rover, like Jaguar, was always known for its formal sedans and premium four-door cars. In fact, they were the favorite transportation of the British upper middle class. In those days, Rovers were restrained cars for comfortable cruising with no performance pretensions. However, in 1967, Rover introduced the P5B with a 3.5-liter V8 engine.

In contrast to its stately appearance, the P5B Coupe was a luxury muscle car. Under the hood was a 3.5-liter V8 engine with 165 HP that could propel this heavy sedan to 60 mph in 9.6 seconds. Interestingly, they called the four-door version with a slightly lower roofline a coupe, as well.

The interior was an elegant mix of finest wood and leather, making the driver feel comfortable while speeding on Britain’s motorways. Performance car fans loved the Rover P5B. And it was so respected in the UK car community, even Queen Elizabeth owned one.

8. Jaguar Mk 2

Jaguars were always powerful, fast machines, covered in beautiful bodies with luxury interiors. Car enthusiasts’ dream cars, combined aesthetics with smooth six-cylinder engines and luxury trim. Over the years, Jaguar earned its performance credentials with numerous racing wins and beautiful sports cars.

But in the 60’s, they presented a proper muscle car they disguised as a performance sedan in the form of the Jaguar Mk 2. This car earned the nickname, the “Bank Robber’s Express,” because of its speed and handling, which helped bank robbers quickly escape the scene. That is why the British Police also started using them in the 60’s.

With a top-of-the-line 3.8-liter engine from the E-Type and 220 HP, the Mk 2 was a capable, elegant sedan. It could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just nine seconds flat. Thanks to independent rear suspension and four-wheel disc brakes, the Mk 2 handled and stopped perfectly. This made it quite a capable machine in the right hands. Even today, the Mk 2 feels modern and potent.

9. Triumph Stag

The Triumph Stag is one of a few British cars common in America because it was their main export market in the 70’s. The Triumph brand was famous for its range of compact roadsters like the TR4 or Spitfire. But in the late 60’s, this company wanted to present a more capable and bigger model. So they decided to enter the GT segment with the Stag. This was an interesting convertible model that came with a mandatory roll bar and hard top.

Triumph presented the Stag in 1970 and produced it until 1978. The market was impressed with this new model that featured cool styling and open-top driving. And it still had enough room for four adults and their luggage. The Stag came with a 3.0-liter V8 engine with 145 HP, which was enough for a decent performance.

With its muscular appearance and V8 rumble, the Stag looked like a luxury muscle car, attracting some buyers. Unfortunately, some owners experienced the Stag’s notorious unreliability. This sealed its chances on the American and global market along with higher prices. When they ended production in 1978, they only produced 25,000 cars.

10. Ford Sierra Cosworth

Ford UK is a popular economy car manufacturer. But occasionally, the company produced machines with truly amazing performance and power at affordable prices. Some say those fast Fords were the perfect example of “blue collar” sports and muscle cars. This is because mid-class buyers bought them expensive sports car drivers feared them.

One of the most legendary British muscle cars is the fantastic Sierra Cosworth, which they introduced in 1985. The Ford Sierra was an ordinary family sedan they produced in numerous versions. The car featured rear-wheel drive and independent rear suspensions. But, it was when Ford contracted the Cosworth tuning house for a performance model that the legend was born.

Cosworth took a three-door body and added a special body kit with spoilers, as well as unique wheels and colors. Under the hood was a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produced 225 HP, propelling the car to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds. For 1985, those were fantastic numbers, so the Sierra Cosworth immediately became one of the hottest British cars on the road. Also, it was successful on the tracks, winning many races.

11. MG ZT 260

American buyers will always remember MG for its line of affordable, cool-looking roadsters which were quite common in the 60’s and 70’s. And they are still great summer cruisers. But in Europe, MG tried to enter the performance market in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. So they used Rover-based models they equipped with more power and numerous go-fast add-ons.

The MG ZT 260 was the best model from this period and quite an interesting car from an engineering point of view. Rover, MG’s parent company in those days, was producing the elegant, somewhat popular 75 sedans. They modernly engineered it as a front-wheel drive four-door. MG’s engineers realized they needed much more power, as well as a rear-wheel drive layout to present a proper performance model.

So, they fully re-engineered the FWD Rover 75 into a rear-wheel drive MG ZT 260, fabricating different components and the suspension setup. The next piece of the puzzle was the engine, so MG sourced 4.6-liter V8 units from Ford. It delivered 260 HP and a fantastic soundtrack.

Despite its four-door form, the MG ZT 260 was a proper V8-powered muscle car with elegant design and capable performance. It’s too bad they only sold it in Europe. They discontinued it after a few years, as well as the Rover and MG brands.

12. Ford Escort Cosworth

Ford built the Escort RS Cosworth from 1992 to 1996. It was one of the best British muscle cars of the ’90s. They used some Sierra RS Cosworth parts, but this Escort was smaller. However, it featured the improved 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produced 227 HP.

The exterior meant pure business with its flared wheel arches, hood with cooling vents and massive easily adjustable rear wing. One of the main features was the rally-proven all-wheel-drive system that proved necessary since the car developed over 230 lb-ft of torque. The Escort RS Cosworth could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds, so it could beat most sports cars of the day.

13. Marcos TSO

Outside of Britain, Marcos was a little-known sports car manufacturer. But on the domestic market, it had a reputation for building fast and relatively affordable sports coupes. Always considered a kit car company, Marcos used engines and drivetrain components from other brands.

In 2004, Marcos presented the TSO. It was a cool-looking coupe with Chevrolet’s LS1 V8 engine that delivered 400 HP to the rear wheels. Despite its great looks, brutal performance and aggressive marketing, the company managed to build and sell just a few of them before disappearing from the market in 2007.

14. TVR Cerbera

The Cerbera was one of the best affordable sports muscle cars on the British market in 1996. Designed as a two-seater coupe with a V8 engine up front, it was a cross between a classic coupe and a muscle car.

The design was retro-futuristic with a long hood and aggressive silhouette. Today, even at 22 years, this car still looks great. The best engine option was TVR’s own 4.7-liter V6 engine with the interesting “Red Rose” performance pack. It delivered 440 HP and an exhilarating performance.

15. Morgan Plus 8

Everybody knows about Morgan, the legendary British company with models that didn’t change in appearance and technology since the 1930s. Despite the archaic style and looks, Morgan is quite popular with waiting lists several years long.

In 1968, Morgan introduced the Plus 8 model. It featured their signature design and thumping V8 engine that brought some real performance to Morgan’s range. The model proved popular and remained in production until 2004. Since then, they have introduced the new Morgan Plus 8 with unchanged looks, but with updated modern safety features and brakes.

16. TVR Chimera

For those customers who wanted a classic British roadster but with a healthy dose of muscle car grunt, TVR introduced the Chimera. This was a smaller, more affordable model compared to the Cerbera they produced in higher numbers.

Under the hood was a Rover-derived V8 engine delivering 240 to 400 HP. And TVR offered several versions and displacement levels. They started production in 1992 and ended it in 2003 after making several thousand cars.

17. Aston Martin DBS

It is hard to call Aston a muscle car, but the DBS model not only looks like one, it also feels like one. That is due to its V8 engine and rumbling sound from the twin exhaust pipes. Aston Martin introduced the DBS in the early ’70s.

At first, it featured a six-cylinder engine, but it was later upgraded to a 5.3-liter V8 with around 300 HP. The design was undoubtedly American-inspired since it featured a fastback roofline and big chrome grille with four headlights.

18. Bristol 603

Bristol Cars are one of the craziest companies in the world. Not for their models, which are quite strange, but for their business policy. The company barely made any money for decades. They operated only one showroom and sold only one or two cars per year.

In fact, they refused to modernize their lineup for decades. In 1976, Bristol introduced the 603. It was a bespoke coupe with a Chrysler V8 engine that combined the luxury of a custom-built car with the performance and torque of muscle cars.

19. Bristol Fighter

In 2004, Bristol decided to introduce a new model with uncompromised performance and a fresh design. And that is how the Bristol Fighter was born. The chassis was custom-made with a special body that featured gullwing doors and a long hood.

The design of the Fighter has no resemblance to other Bristol cars, but it carries the tradition of using Chrysler engines. This sports car has an 8.0-liter V10 from the Dodge Viper rated at 525 HP. With 0 to 60 mph acceleration times of around four seconds and top speeds of over 200 mph, it was one of the fastest cars in the world when they introduced it.

20. Jaguar XKR

Jaguar was always known for its line of perfect GT coupes and convertibles with luxury appointments and power. But from 1996 to 2006 XKR coupe is a proper muscle car. Under the sleek body and acres of finest leather lies a supercharged V8 engine delivering 370 HP and a brutal performance.

Also, the XKR is a bit different than regular XK coupes or convertibles due to some subtle design changes and a different grille and wheels.

These are the best British muscle cars in history. Some of them may still be on the road, so if you can get one, be sure to grab it fast. These cars will be harder to find as time goes on.

Please wait 5 sec.