Sports cars are a dime a dozen. The emphasis on speed has never been much more stated in this type of car, with the design and features contributing to increased acceleration and mobility. However, only few car manufacturers boast the quality of sports cars that Westfield produces.
Westfield has become responsible for manufacturing cars inspired by the Lotus design, one of the most popular open-top, two-seater sports cars in the market. In 1982, historic grand prix competitor and engineer Chris Smith had decided to build a replica of the 1956 Lotus XI Le Mans car. Armitage immediately took interest of Smith's accurate replication of the Lotus that he asked for more copies of the car.
Designed by Colin Chapman, Lotus cars have embodied low weight (averaging at around 500kg) and simplicity, thus delivering the rawest driving experience to car enthusiasts out there. In 1957, Lotus Seven was released, with its 1,172 cc engine and 40 bhp Ford Side-valve features specialize in low-budget club racing. Lotus has expanded their designed throughout the years, releasing Lotus Seven Series 2 (S2) and Series 3 (S3) in 1960 and 1968, respectively. 1973 saw Lotus Cars selling the rights of the Lotus Seven to Caterham Cars, which has been improving upon the Lotus Seven model and has renamed it Caterham Seven.
Despite the fact that the Lotus Cars sold the rights of the design to Caterham, this did not stop Westfield from producing cars using the template of the Lotus. Things even turned ugly for quite a while when Caterham threatened to litigate Westfield in the late 1980s for setting up a rival company and make products that resembled the design and construction of the Lotus Seven. Despite this, there was enough difference between their products where Westfield uses the same glass fibre body method that was traditionally used by Lotus Cars in their production of different car models. Still, production of the Lotus was halted in 1986 to focus their energies on devising new car designs. It was only in 2004 that the Lotus was brought back by the company due to popular demand.
Westfield did produce brand new car models after the Lotus debacle such as the Westfield 7SE and the SEIGHT which were well-received by the public. In particular, the SEIGHT saw the company achieve greater heights with its incredible 0-60mph time of 3.6 seconds, making it their fastest car yet. This was followed when the company became one of the first few car manufacturers to include bike power in their automobiles. The engine was able to achieve incredible speed and performance at low costs.
Westfield is also acclaimed for coming up with the independent rear suspension, a system in the automobile where the rear wheels from the same axle are allowed to move independently of each other. The system makes for better handling characteristics due to its lower unsprung weight and its ability of the rear wheels to adapt according to the road terrain.
Twenty six years after Westfield was founded, the company moved to Potenza Sports Cars. Both are currently on their way of expanding their products to different markets.
Original Authors: Manny
Edit Update Authors: RPN
Updated On: 25/06/2007