Ultimate Cars, Watches & Hi Fi S03 ep5 : Anthony Keating, Keating Cars, [England]
Interview with Anthony Keating
The Keating ZKRs boasts engine power from 600BHP-2200BHP (twin turbocharged and supercharged assisted) all cars are hand built in England to customer specific orders; which allows the company to tailor coach work and trim options. Our Monocoque chassis has had years of development reducing the cars centre of gravity with dual low lying fuel tanks that are incorporated to increase chassis strength and performance. Our aim is to produce a driver's dream with all the luxury of a modern day supercar.
Keating: Keating Supercars, we’ve been developing the car for nearly well over a decade now.
Keating: We launched a car in 2006 at the British Motor Show and then we launched another car
in 2008 the SKR which was a 400 brake horsepower all the way up to 850 and then 2009 we took
the TKR which is 1800 brake horsepower to Elmerage Dry Lake in October and they carded 260.1
miles an hour. Had we had enough space we’d have carried on all the way up to 300.
Keating: I did automotive engineering at Bolton University so I did the CAD full CAD design on
the car back in the 1990s originally so the first design was done in the 90s when obviously there
was plenty of money in the supercar industry and everyone else was on a boom. From then we
actually foam machined the CAD drawing and then made a plug, we did it all ourselves and then
once we’d developed the plug we then started work on the chassis and it was basically it was like a
big snowball, once we started we couldn’t stop.
Keating: It was a boom time then, we had TV hours around, Vauxhall are close by to us at
Elsemere Park, MG was up in Birmingham, they’re all doing well and then obviously then in 2000
things started to happen, MG went under, everyone else tightened their belts up within the
automotive industry, we just tended to carry on and plough through it ourselves.
Keating: I’m lucky to enough own another engineering company that I can push men from one
guy, one end to the other to get to help work on the car, it’s just not all my creation, we’ve got,
I’ve got a good team of guys who are able to do stuff.
Keating: The actual guts is a Chevy V8 block, it’s an aluminium block which is machined from a
guy in the States who does all our engine work. We’re running a V8 and getting on a thousand
horses eight years ago and these guys are up to 3,000 horsepower already.
Keating: We’ve run a bespoke supercharger and basically when the supercharger reaches full boost
it then starts to cool the intercoolers full once the turbo chargers have kicked in at boost and that
keeps the induction system at its maximum basically so we can keep on pushing and pushing. The
horsepower is basically for the top end power it’s not a bragging figure or anything like that, it’s
for when you’re getting up to well over the 250, 260 range, the air’s that thick going through it’s
like soup and the car’s got to push a lot, lot harder.
Keating: This car becomes lighter and lighter as it gets faster and faster but we’ve had to adjust the
splitters on the car so we’ve done quite a lot of work on the undertray on the car and keep the down
force of the car because the car’s got to stay on the ground especially at them speeds if it goes up
in the air, it ain’t coming back.
Keating: We enjoy doing the top speed runs because it just pushes us engineering wise, we do the
gear box ourselves now so we try and keep everything bespoke on the gearbox just because the
torque you’re shoving out torque figures are up to nearly 1600 foot pound a torque and there’s not
a gearbox out there that does it unfortunately so.
Keating: A Formula 1 engine is designed to once it crosses the finish line, if they’ve designed it
perfectly it should blow up. We’re running probably in the 6,500-7,000 rpm range where they’re
up into the 18-20,000 rpm so we can’t get our engines to rev up ever that high.
Keating: The cost of the engine and gearbox far outweigh the cost of the car now so they’re the
most expensive pieces of the kit within the car which is engineering wise the gearbox is 120 grand
for the car to engineer the gearbox just for the one car, we cannot, we’ve got to pass that cost on
and unfortunately that shoves the price of the car up. We do do a smaller Chevy V8 engine with a
different gearbox that’s a lot cheaper.
Keating: There is some beautiful cars here and we’re surrounded by Lamborghini, Ferrari there’s a
GTA there and they’re absolutely stunning cars and a … and they’re all engineered in different
ways and we tended to follow the fact that if you get in my car, nobody’s going to beat you.
Simple as. So it doesn’t matter what car you’ve got, we’ll beat it.
Keating: The only testing we do is we test it on a track near us but it’s trying to get a long enough
run as I said in the States, we did 260 in the States and we ran out of space, we’re going back to
Bonneville hopefully because we want to be the first supercar to hit, break the 300 mile an hour or
505 kilometre barrier or something like that.
Keating: The maximum amount of production we can actually do is from 15 to 25 maximum,
that’s all we’d be able to cope with, we’re not high end mass production on the cars.
Keating: We’ve got a customer from Germany who’s flying in on Friday to see the car, we’ve got
the photos of the car that we’re building for him so he’s coming just to discuss final detail on the
car. He’s probably going to say I don’t like it I want to change it all, that’s what we’re expecting.
Keating: We did a blue TKR back in 2005 was for a customer and that was, used our own engine
which was a 1005 brake horsepower and that’s probably the most extravagant because he just went
wild on silly stuff we put a diamond in the dash that was probably worth more than the dashboard.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Anthony Keating, Keating Cars, England