Car Industry

Lister's 666hp Thunder takes an F-Type, walks the left-hand path

Britain's oldest surviving race car manufacturer turns up the wick (and the price) on Jag's sexy coupe.

Lister

You'd be forgiven for thinking that the Lister Thunder is just a tarted-up Jaguar F-Type Coupe with bright green lipstick (which it is), but when you take a long look back at the history of Britain's oldest extant racing car company, you'd realize that it makes perfect sense.

Lister, aka The Lister Motor Company, was founded by racer and businessman Brian Lister in 1954 and got its start by making MG-powered sports cars, followed by tuned Lister Bristols (don't say that three times fast). Eventually, Lister moved up to bigger game and started modifying Jaguars, culminating in perhaps the most famous Lister of all, the Knobbly.

Fast-forward a few decades, and you get the 7.0-liter V12-powered Lister Storm, which debuted in 1993 with the largest V12 fitted to a production vehicle since World War 2. The Storm was a racing homologation special in the best sense, and its gargantuan engine was indeed based on the unit found in the wheel-spat-sporting XJR-9 Group C racing car. The Storm came and went, ending production just one year and four examples later.

What does any of this have to do with the tarted-up Jag we mentioned before? Well, Lister feels that the 666 horsepower Thunder is a logical successor to the Storm. The British firm is keeping details reasonably close to its chest at this point, but we do know that it will be adding a bunch of stickers and badges to the F-Type's already pretty bodywork and tossing on a carbon-fiber body kit for good measure. Customers will be able to buy the car assembled from Lister for around £140,000, or they can buy just the body kit for £19,950, thus forgoing the positively EVIL (666hp, get it?) engine modifications. Inside, buyers get nearly an entire herd's worth of posh "Bridge of Weir" Nappa leather on every conceivable surface, all stitched by hand, including the Lister logo.

As it turns out, the Lister name and raison d'être still holds a fairly staggering drawing power, as the company received preorders worth £3.1 million within 24 hours of the Thunder's announcement. Yeah, we were a little surprised too, but all jokes aside, the Thunder should prove to be a fairly hilarious and harrowing car to drive, given how monkeyballs crazytown bananapants the F-Type R already is with just 542 hp. Hopefully, one of our more well-heeled Carfection compatriots can get their hands on a Thunder when it finally hits the streets and verify this for us.

Lister has said that it will release more details on the car at the ExCel show in London next month, but in the meantime, here's Tiff Needell in a weird video introducing the car. Enjoy! 

Update, Feb. 2: This story has been updated to include new information regarding preorders.