Richard Hammond said it's the most fun he's ever had and Jeremy Clarkson said he loved it. No, they are not reminiscing about Top Gear, but instead about test driving a Wildcat from one of the few remaining truly British car brands in the UK. And in an extraordinary step, for the very first time the public are being offered the chance to own a part of the business.
Wildcat, the Plymouth based automotive group that is owned and run by 35-year old Oliver Mitchell – has turned down numerous offers from foreign investors and instead, is turning to the public in order to develop two new Wildcat models through the world's leading crowd-funding platform, Crowdcube.com to help raise £1.5 million. Further details and along with the estimated returns can be found from Friday 3rd July at: www.crowdcube.com/wildcat.
Wildcat is no ordinary car brand, having enjoyed victories in the world's most demanding Rally Raids including record breaking successes at the Dakar, Tuareg and Pharaon. These stand as a testament to the car's innate capacity and as a result Top Gear described it as 'not just a supercar but a super car that is virtually indestructible'
A decade after the first model was created Oliver and his team now plan to expand the Wildcat offering even further with the Wildcat W22 and MV-LSV. The W22 is based around a lightweight highly rigid composite platform and designed to provide 4X4 'track day' performance with the extraordinary Wildcat off road capabilities, whilst retaining the comfort of a luxury SUV. The W22 has a top speed (governed) of 155 mph (250km/h) and a world beating 0 – 60 mph (100 km/h) of under 4 seconds with torque ratings of up to 800 Nm.
The second car in development is the MV-LSV (Light Strike Vehicle). High speed through harsh environments' is the LSV's strength, providing the user with an ideal lightweight rapid intervention vehicle for special forces, border patrol, reconnaissance or strike forces. Wildcat's MV-LSV offers unrivaled performance for a vehicle in this size and weight class. There is already a huge amount of interest for this car with several major governments wanting to put it to the test.
Wildcat is one of the few remaining truly British car brands and stems from Oliver's childhood passion for high-speed motor sports. Unlike other British brands like Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Mini and Ford, Oliver is hoping to buck the trend of selling out to foreign investors, by keeping the Wildcat automotive group under British ownership, providing jobs to British workers in our UK car plants.
Whilst the company is profitable, developing and producing new vehicles is an extremely costly exercise and in order to achieve their goals and take the business to the next level, investors through the crowd-funding site are estimated to get an 800% return on their original stake over a 5 year period along with several company benefits if the targets are achieved.
One of the original investors alongside Mitchell was Mark Holland, who bought a Wildcat for himself and loved it so much he has bought into the company. He has extensive experience in the Financial Sector includes senior positions at Holley Holland Group, the London Stock Exchange, HSBC Asset Management, KPMG Consulting, and Fidelity International. However, perhaps more important than all of that is that he has a degree in engineering and is a devout petrol head. Mark, and Oliver Mitchell the CEO – also form part of the rally team and drive the fastest Wildcat ever built with a 525 bhp 6.2L V8 engine that tops out at 160mph and will do 0-60 in sub 4 seconds!