Renowned Porsche replica producer has been purchased by track car manufacturer Westfield and together they showed an electric reproduction of the iconic 356 at a Silverstone Classic event. Producing fibreglass track cars inspired by the Lotus Seven in the West Midlands, Westfield hopes to use its fibreglass production methods to “futureproof” Chesil’s flagship – a faithful recreation of Porsche’s first production model.
The E Speedster debut is the result of months of collaboration between the two firms. Westfield calls it “the first fully electric car for the home-build market”, with existing options limited primarily to conventionally fuelled lightweight track cars.
Externally, the E Speedster is indistinguishable from later variants of the original 356, although the switch to an electric powertrain is likely to entail some chassis upgrades and modern interior technology.
Performance details and pricing are expected to be revealed at the model’s launch.
The E Speedster will be produced at Chesil’s headquarters alongside the conventionally powered Speedster, which uses chassis and powertrain components from the original Volkswagen Beetle.
Westfield and Chesil will retain separate production facilities, although models for export will be built at Westfield’s Kingswinford factory to the company’s existing type approval criteria.
“We see the continued global growth of the Westfield collection providing a bespoke car to meet the individual needs of our customers,” said Westfield CEO Julian Turner.
This latest development marks another step in the continued diversification of the firm’s product portfolio. In 2017, it launched a driverless shuttle bus to act as a pilot for an autonomous vehicle feasibility study in cities around the UK.
Dorset-based Chesil has been producing replicas of the 356 since 1991, with more than 500 units sold so far.