60 years ago the Berkeley Bandit was produced, it was the last car designed and engineered by British brand Berkeley and built at Berkeley Coachworks in 1960. Only 2 cars were ever launched to market
Sixty years since the Old Warden aerodrome doors closed, they’re open again thanks to former aviation and automotive industrial designer Martin Rees and motorsport engineer Simon Scleater. Proud to reveal the rebirth of the British brand out of its original location with the launch of the modern Berkeley Bandit, a lightweight, high performance exotic sportscar available in April 2021.
Berkeley originated at the Old Warden airfield in the 1940’s, manufacturing vehicles using recycled aircraft components, and, given the new founders' combined experience in the aerospace and automotive world, Berkeley Sportscars will continue to re-establish links between both.
Known for its clever design and innovative engineering, the original Berkeley cars were a great success, both as enjoyable road cars but also for competitive road racing. The pioneering Berkeley SA322 was the first composite production car, which, launched at the London Motorshow, was driven by Sir Stirling Moss at Goodwood in September 1956.
Strategically located in the very same Old Warden aerodrome facility where the Berkeley story first began, the new Berkeley Coachworks team will use innovative technology to shape the face of the current e-mobility market.
Having come up with a design for a composite chassis using plant based materials, flax to replace carbon fibre and sticky tree resins to replace the chemical resins, Berkeley’s “bio-chassis” design allows it to be used for a range of different powertrain options around its mid-engine layout whether for liquid fuelled engines, hydrogen fuel cell, or battery electric drive in either 2 or 4 wheel drive.
This chassis will form the basis of the Berkeley car range and is centric to Berkeley Coachwork’s boutique customer approach, offering clients the option to design their own unique features to suit their desired powertrain and style options.
Focussing on the future of the automotive industry and its responsibility in shaping our society’s car culture and impact on the planet, Berkeley was re-born in celebration of British Engineering excellence, combining new and innovative technology without having to forgo iconic, quintessential British classic car styling.
Alongside a limited number of modern IC options, the new Berkeley Bandit will also be available as a new electric low-volume sports car that is accessible, sleek and iconic in design.
The new Bandit, designed by young Lithuanian designer Vladas Trakselis, epitomises the elegance and sportiness of the original Bandit and will be available both as a Coupe and Roadster.
This exotic sports car will weigh 730kgs for the GT version and 700kgs in the roadster version, thanks to its 400bhp it will be boast from 0-100km / h in just 3.5 and 3.8 seconds, in the roadster and GT version respectively.
60 units will be produced and they will cost between £40,000-£60,000 each.