The Lancia Aurelia Outlaw CSL is a 300bhp, 1,100kg driver's restomod | Top Gear
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The Lancia Aurelia Outlaw CSL is a 300bhp, 1,100kg driver's restomod

What a thing, huh? A glorious Busso V6 makes its way into a stripped-out classic Lancia and we require a go

Published: 17 Nov 2021
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This isn’t the first Lancia Aurelia Outlaw restomod we’ve seen. But it’s definitely the most enticing. Like the others, it’s the work of Thornley Kelham, a Cotswolds company that began life as a classic-car paint shop in 2009 before evolving into a restoration business.

It’s building nine Outlaws in total, but with just three to go, the ante has been upped. As well as the power. With 100bhp more and 75 kilos less, you’re looking at the Outlaw European CSL.

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Three letters synonymous with stripped out mass, and thus the Aurelia’s been treated to lightweight aluminium panels rather than hand-crafted steel. Building one of these takes 5,000 hours whichever material is used, mind, 800 of those spent painting it. A clear nod to the company’s past work.

The CSL’s power upgrade comes courtesy of one of the great engines, a 3.2-litre ‘Busso’ V6 familiar from some truly iconic Alfa Romeos. It displaces the 2.8-litre V6 Thornley Kelham usually sticks in the Outlaw.

“The new engine will deliver in excess of 300bhp,” we’re told, “a significant upgrade over both the previous iterations of the ‘Outlaw’, at around 220bhp, and the original Aurelia itself, which offered around 118bhp.”

It transfers power to the rear wheels via a five-speed transaxle gearbox and a limited-slip differential. Power steering is optional, modern brakes are standard and there have been suspension tweaks over the company’s other Aurelias. It should feel proper, in other words.

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“Weighing in at a little over 1,100kg, the European CSL is incomparably light by modern standards, offering an entirely different thrill to heavy modern road cars with turbocharged engines and wide tyres,” we’re promised. “It offers a razor-sharp purity that simply can’t be recreated, even in the most driver focused road cars of today.”

The interior gets a fully integrated roll cage, standard air conditioning and roll upon roll of Alcantara. As you might expect, the final spec and appearance are bespoke to the (no doubt rich) buyer’s tastes.

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