While you’ve been sitting at home waiting for the pub to open, Westfield Sportscars has been quietly innovating like its corporate life depended on it (which, of course, in a very real way it does). Under Julian Turner’s leadership, the firm has already branched out into the business of building fully autonomous electric pods (it supplied the ones you see snaking their way to Terminal 5 from the business parking at Heathrow). Now it has another bright idea: designing, building and certifying an electric car for the DIY customer.
To facilitate this, it has acquired the Chesil Motor Company - an established player in the kit car market and the manufacturer of the Chesil Speedster, a hat-tipping replica of the iconic Porsche 356. According to Westfield, its new purchase has sold over 500 units - pretty good going when you consider that it’s only been going since 1991. Clearly its business model made sense to Turner, but an additional product stream is apparently the least of his ambitions.
The long-term vision is to ‘future-proof’ the Chesil Speedster, by a) incorporating Westfield’s expertise in fibreglass construction and b) making it fully electric (something else its parent company has developed a talent for). This is no pie-in-the-sky aspiration either - the Chesil E Speedster, as it’s inevitably known, will be unveiled at Silverstone Classic for all to see. Press drives, incredibly, are pencilled in for early September.
Granted, there’s no word yet on spec or performance or price - or how exactly a kit-build electric car will work alongside a factory-built alternative - but Westfield already has plenty to show for what it describes as the “culmination of many months of work between the two businesses.” It will continue to build and supply the conventionally-powered Speedster - as it will its own expansive line-up of sports cars - but clearly believes that it has landed on a complementary and impressively novel plan for the next few years.
“We are really excited to have the Speedster under the Westfield Brand," remarked Turner. "We see the continued global growth of the Westfield collection providing a bespoke car to meet the individual needs of our customers. Westfield can now offer you a POD for your mobility needs in the week and car for fun for the weekend – all tailored around your bespoke requirements.”