The Lister Storm. Too fast for it's own good?

Lister boss Laurence Pearce was an expert tuning specialist who made his living by increasingly the size of Jaguar XJS engines and boosting their power output. He was able to boost their power so efficiently that their top speed increased to more than 200 mph. This was very profitable work; many of his creations sold for more than a hundred thousand pounds and he was encouraged by his success to build his own car from scratch. Supercars were very much in vogue during the early 1990s; Lister decided to build the ultimate one, the Lister Storm.

Unveiled in 1993, after two years in development, the Storm was one powerful beast, with the largest V12 engine that had ever powered a production car. Displacing just under seven litres this bored out Jaguar engine with twin superchargers generated 546 brake horsepower, giving the car a top speed of 208 mph and a nought to 60 time in just a whisker over four seconds. With rear wheel drive through a six speed Getrag gearbox this was claimed to be the fastest four seater saloon car in the world.

Could it really claim to be a full four seater though? In order to balance the weight the huge engine was set slightly back, pushing the seats further back so that a 2+2 configuration was a more realistic description. Weight was kept down by the honeycombed aluminium lightweight chassis and body panels of aluminium and carbon fibre.

Creature comforts were not ignored. There was a decent sized boot, air conditioning, a top quality hi-fi entertainment system, electrically adjusted seats, and an interior fully fitted out in top-quality leather.

The car was hand built however, which pushed up costs. The body styling was somewhat unusual (and some thought it ugly) and build quality could have been better. The overriding problem with the car however was the price. At £220,000 most people felt that it simply wasn't value for money compared with many of it's rivals.

Ultimately just four road going Storms were built and sold. It is debatable however whether this was a real problem for Lister. Since they had created road cars they were allowed under racing regulations to build six racing versions and these competed in the Le Mans 24-hour race as well as GT Championships. These met with mixed success but in 2000 the company's driver Jamie Campbell-Walker won the FIA World Championship. Perhaps the street legal Lister Storms were never meant to be a serious product but merely a way of advertising the tuning skills of Lister? Who knows.

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