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New Lister Knobbly confirmed for 2020

British firm reveals its modern take on the iconic '50s racer ahead of production

By Sam Sheehan / Thursday, March 14, 2019

Looking for a good news story to come out of Britain today? Try this: Lister has confirmed that it will build a modern interpretation of the iconic Knobbly racer, and has revealed the car’s exterior design. The two-seat open-top model is due out next year with a low-set windscreen and hunched arches, just like the 1950s original with which Lister made its name. Gorgeous, no?

We’re yet to see any additional details, such as build numbers, price and what will power the machine. But for now let’s just be happy it’s coming to inject some classic prettiness into a world of high-tech track-focused performance cars. That being said, it’s not all old-school on the Lister, as is evident from the use of carbon fibre for the front splitter and side slats, a set of enormous wheels and what look to be LED headlights.

As such, we’re expecting there to be something very much from the 21st century under the bonnet. Lister’s longstanding ties with Jaguar suggests JLR’s new inline six could be used; it’d certainly fit the bill because the original Knobbly used a motor of the same layout. However, given that the 3.0 straight-six is still brand spanking new – it’s only just found its way into the Range Rover HST – it’s probably more likely that JLR’s older V6 will provide the firepower.

Still, that’s a pretty spectacular motor, offering 400hp in the supercharged Jaguar F-Type and making all the right six-pot noises while offering the sort of punch that ought to make a paired-back roadster quite lively. Lister may be synonymous with classic cars but it’s not lost touch with the art of modern car setup - as shown by the recent 675hp F-Type-based Thunder - so we can expect the chassis to be appropriately capable.

Whatever gets squeezed beneath that curvaceous body, count us among the very long list of parties that can’t wait to see the new Knobbly for real. 

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