The Berkeley Bandit will offer both gas and fully electric power.
There's nothing like a good automotive comeback story. The all-new Ford Bronco is one such example that continues to create waves, but less mainstream automakers sometimes do the same, such as Lotus, purveyor of lightweight sports cars. The same can be said for Maserati with its new MC20, too.
You are likely less familiar with Berkeley, a British marque that made sports cars at the Berkeley Coachworks factory way back in the 1950s. Well, the company is set to open its doors once more by producing low-volume sports cars; enter the Bandit Roadster and Bandit GT Coupe. The original Bandit was the automaker's first rear-wheel-drive vehicle and shared a powertrain with the Ford Anglia.
Fast forward to 2020, and things have both changed drastically and remained the same; the 2020 Bandit also uses a Ford engine, but this time, it's the 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine. This powerplant is mid-mounted and paired with a six-speed transverse gearbox. Apparently, the company is also planning to release a fully electric Bandit Roadster. With 400 horsepower, the Ford-powered Bandit will get to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds, acceleration made possible by the fact that it weighs a mere 1,543 pounds.
Part of this light weight comes down to the use of a composite chassis design fashioned from plant-based materials. The company says that flax replaces carbon fiber and the usual chemical resins are replaced by sticky tree resins.
The retro styling is certainly unique; there are no humungous grilles or unnecessary intakes on display here. Just smooth lines and short overhangs. Much the same applies to the Bandit GT coupe's styling, although this version is a tad heavier so the 0-60 mph time drops to 3.8 seconds.
An electrified variant of the Bandit GT is in the cards as well, with electric motors and batteries. These components are said to have been produced in the company's AirRaceE electric pylon racers. Interested customers can now reserve the Bandit with sixty examples set to be produced at a price ranging between £40,000 and £60,000 ($51,850 - $77,775). The Bandit is slated for an April 2021 launch.