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Hampton Motor Group (HMG) [Generations II]


High quality deisel spec requires the following:

  • more stroke than bore
  • redline no higher than 4000RPM (preferably under 3750RPM)
  • high-ish compresion
  • Highest possible cam profile without losing torque

You know you have a good deisel spec when there is at least 75 more lb-ft than hp (use a nm to lb-ft converter for the complete nm output, not 75lb-ft to nm if needed)


option 2) change the game settings
option 3) divide Nm by 1.3558319
converters are for the weak!




1991 Reorganization: The Three Branches of HMG

By 1991, the Hampton Motor Group had been reorganized into the following three major departments:

Hampton Motor Cars Ltd. - The original car-making and design arm of the company, established in 1948. Has resisted any foreign ownership to this day against all odds, despite some rough periods in the past. In 1991, it moved out of its original premises to an all-new, thoroughly modern factory a few miles down the road, and it has remained there ever since - although the new factory has been expanded and retooled several times in the past 30 years.

Hampton Performance & Racing - The high-performance division of the company, set up by former racing driver Darren Roberts as Roberts Performance Motors in 1978, originally to assist in developing the Harpy GTS and later the Valiant Sprint. In 1987, Hampton would purchase a majority stake in RPM, and by 1990, it was taken in-house and rebranded Hampton Performance & Racing.

Hampton Commercial Vehicles - Founded in 1963 to handle development and marketing of fleet vehicles such as the Nevis and Transtar. After the former became more popular with private buyers, it transitioned to selling fleet and off-road accessories for these vehicles.

The following year saw the introduction of the HPR range of performance cars for the first time, details of which will be given in a future post.


Just don’t use HPE(horpower) for nomeclature-


No need for you to complain; I just renamed HPE to HPR, short for Hampton Performance and Racing, but it still serves the same purpose as before.




1992: Hampton Performance & Racing Debuts With A Bang

Note: This post required a rewrite of Hampton Motor Group’s company lore due to having to better relate the cars shown in this post to those shown previously. As such, the previous (front-engined) rendition of the Vulture is non-canon, and the flagship sports car, the Harrier, is now called the Hawk; both of their debuts have been moved forward to 1992 in the new timeline.

Clockwise from top left: 1992 Hampton Performance & Racing lineup - Vulture 1.8, Valiant MkV 5.0 Sprint, Vulture 2.0 Sprint with Aero Pack, Fennec III 1.8 Sprint, and Hawk 5.0.

Hampton Performance & Racing’s first-ever batch of new cars was several years in the making, but when it finally debuted for the 1992 model year, it proved to be well worth the wait. Initially, their lineup was as follows:

  • Fennec Sprint - Powered by a 140bhp 1.8-litre naturally aspirated inline-four, this hot hatch was renowned for its nippy handling and surprising acceleration, thanks to its light weight and HPR-fettled chassis. At a time when the hot hatch sector was falling out of favour due to rising insurance rates, this was most definitely a bright spot. All Fennec Sprints were available exclusively with a 5-speed manual transmission, unlike lesser Fennecs, which could be ordered with a 4-speed automatic transmission as an option.

  • Vulture Mk1 - The first mid-engined car in Hampton’s history, this affordable 2-seat sports coupe was available with either the Fennec Sprint’s 1.8-litre engine, or, in Sprint guise, a larger 2.0-litre version of said engine delivering a formidable 190 horsepower. The latter trim could be fitted with an Aero Pack, which included front and rear spoilers; however, as with the Fennec Sprint, both versions of the Vulture Mk1 earned plaudits for their razor-sharp dynamics, again due to their light weight, although with two seats and less luggage space, it was not as practical. To set it apart from the Fennec Sprint, the Vulture Sprint came with a limited-slip differential as standard.

  • Valiant 5.0 Sprint - This was the first version of the Valiant Sprint since the original to be powered by a V8 engine. In this case, it was a 5.0-litre version of the HE8 (High Efficiency 8-Cylinder) engine used in Hampton’s more upmarket models, with a longer stroke and forged internals. The result was a heady 355 bhp and 330 lb-ft of torque, sent to the rear wheels via a reinforced 5-speed manual gearbox - but in a package with seating for five and all the creature comforts of lesser Valiants. And thanks to HPR’s handling wizardry, it turned and stopped as well as (if not better than) it went.

  • Hawk GT 5.0 - Replacing the Peregrine II in the Hampton lineup, this was a more upmarket machine than its predecessor, and it showed. Sharing its engine with the contemporary Valiant Sprint, it was developed in response to rumors that Katsuro, one of Hampton’s chief competitors, was developing its own flagship sports car. Less weight (~1290 kg) and better aero than the Valiant Sprint ensured that it could reach a scorching 180 mph and get to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.8 seconds, making it the fastest Hampton ever at the time of its launch. To complement all that grunt, it had specially tuned 4-wheel independent suspension (dual wishbones at the front, with a multi-link setup in the rear), 17-inch alloy wheels shod in staggered high-performance tires, and large vented disc brakes at each corner. The result was Hampton’s first true supercar - one that could go toe-to-toe with the best the rest of the world had to offer.

While the Vulture and Fennec were aimed at budget-conscious enthusiasts, the Hawk and Valiant competed in the more exclusive premium performance sector. The new range was an unqualified success from day one - but there would be more to come from Hampton’s high-performance skunk works in the years that followed.


I may have something up my sleeve to take on that Fennec Sprint. Stay tuned!


1995/96 Hampton Model Range Changes

The changes for the Hampton Motor Group line-up for 1995/96 were as follows:

  • Fennec: 1.6i Essence now has 90 bhp. 1.8i Prime now has 110 bhp. Sprint has 150 bhp and gains optional viscous LSD. Variable intake and exhaust valve timing are standard on all engines. CD player is optional from Prime upwards. Driver’s side airbag is now standard on all trims.

  • Ferret: Fully redesigned for 1996 on all-new platform. 2.5i Prime, 3.0i Deluxe and 3.2 Supreme have 140, 180 and 225 bhp respectively, with the latter two trims also having premium interiors and audio systems as standard. Supreme spec retains Performance Pack (which includes performance tires and viscous LSD) as optional feature. All trims can now be ordered with optional 5-speed automatic. CD player, passenger airbag and traction control are all optional on Prime, standard on Deluxe and Supreme. Driver’s airbag is standard on all trims. Performance tires are optional on Supreme.

  • Valiant: Base engine is now 180-bhp 3.0L I6; 225-bhp 3.2L I6 is optional. Mid-spec 4.5L V8 now makes 275 bhp from 1996. 1995 SuperSprint now has 375 bhp. 5-speed automatic transmission is standard on all trims except SuperSprint, which is now 6-speed manual only. CD player is now standard on all trim levels.

  • Vanguard: V12 boosted to 360 bhp in 1995. 275-bhp 4.5L V8 becomes base engine from 1996 onwards. Standard transmission is now a 5-speed automatic. CD player is standard on all trim levels.

  • Venator: Same as for Vanguard.

  • Braemar: 2.8L and 3.2L I6 engines develop 130 and 165 bhp respectively. Optional automatic transmission is now a 5-speed automatic. CD player is optional on all trims. Driver’s side airbag is now standard. Passenger’s side airbag is now optional. Deluxe trim (which adds dual airbags, alloy wheels, CD player and premium interior) is added to Braemar 3.2 4x4 only.

  • Nevis: Same as for Braemar, except Deluxe trim is not available.

  • Vulture: From 1996, base model now has 150 bhp. Sprint is renamed SuperSprint and now has 200 horsepower plus 6-speed manual gearbox. Performance Pack (larger alloy wheels, high-performance tires and viscous LSD) and Aero Pack (front and rear lip spoilers) are optional on base model for the first time. CD player is optional on base model, standard on Sprint. Driver’s side airbag is now standard.

  • Hawk: GT model is now called GTS, with 375 bhp and six-speed manual gearbox. Standard wheels are now 18-inch forged items. CD player is now standard equipment.

  • Transliner: Redesigned for 1996 with new body and platform incorporating multilink rear suspension. 5 seats standard, 7 or 8 seats optional. Standard engine is 110-bhp 1.8L I4 mated to 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. ABS becomes standard for the first time. CD player becomes an option for the first time.

  • Transtar: Re-engined for 1996 with the same 1.8L HE4 I4 as used in the Fennec, thereby reducing emissions and fuel consumption.

Above from top: A series of images from a 1992 issue of Straight 6 Magazine’s 1992 Sports Car Clash, titled “Battle of the Nations” depicting the Hampton Hawk GTS competing against the TDF SS38iS and Katsuro Vatina. It was this article that really put Hampton Performance & Racing on the map, especially among the enthusiast set.

All these changes meant that Hampton was offering the widest variety of cars in its history to date. However, I have deliberately left out one very special model - it deserves a post all to itself.

Generations II: The Full Line Challenge [LORE][FINAL SCORES]

Hydra: The Ultimate 50th Birthday Present

In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the parent company’s founding, Hampton Performance & Racing began development of a halo car to sit above the Hawk and Vanguard. Unlike the smaller Vulture, however, this would be a highly exclusive supercar made in very limited quantities - 50 in total, one for each year.

The 1993 Hampton Hydra 6.0 in its original form.

Powered by a 560-horsepower version of the HE12 V12 engine found in the Vanguard and Venator, the Hydra was the first Hampton ever to exceed 200 mph, and could sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just under three seconds. Race-bred pushrod-actuated suspension and full carbon-fiber construction made it feel as light and agile as its makers intended, despite the size of its mid-mounted engine. And in true Hampton tradition, it was very sumptuously equipped inside, with Connolly leather, genuine wood trim and a top-spec stereo sound system with a built-in CD player.

The 1995 Hydra 6.0 LM, with more power, a larger rear wing and deeper air intakes.

For those seeking an even more focused intense driving experience, Hampton made five LM models in 1995, with an uprated 600-horsepower engine, track-focused suspension, upgraded brakes, and a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox. A lightweight interior replaced most of the standard car’s luxury trimmings, reinforcing the road-racer feel even further.

The Hydra earned plaudits from the world’s motoring press on debut, but it was quickly apparent that despite its immense price tag, HPR was guaranteed to lose money on every example they made. Nevertheless, 50 Hydras (including 5 LMs) were made between February 1994 and March 1998. Ultimately, lessons learned from the Hydra’s development would benefit the Hampton Motor Group as a whole, especially in the use of advanced lightweight materials such as composites and alloys. Today, the Hydra is considered to be the Holy Grail for Hampton collectors worldwide, especially in LM guise.


Holy sh*t


For the Hydra (named after a constellation), I took some visual inspiration from the Jaguar XJR-15 (front airdam and rear wing) and McLaren F1 (headlights and rear grille/taillights). And, like both of those, it’s powered by a normally aspirated V12 and has a full carbon-fibre chassis and bodywork. Whether or not Hampton decides to build another hypercar later in the company timeline, however, remains to be seen.


2002: Hampton Enters the 21st Century

Left to right: Fennec MkIV 1.8 Prime 5-door in Graphite Grey, Ferret MkV Series II 2.8 Prime in Avondale Green, and Hampton Braemar 3.0i 4x4 in AA Yellow.

Hampton Motor Group underwent another extensive makeover for 2002 - all of its cars were either completely new or significantly updated. Their core range was as follows:

  • Fennec MkIV - The entry-level offering in the range, available as a 3- or 5-door FWD hatchback with a choice of all-new 1.8-liter or 2.0-liter engines (featuring variable valve timing and lift - a first for Hampton), and fitted with an independent multilink rear suspension for the first time to improve ride and handling over its acclaimed predecessor.

  • Ferret MkV Series II - Now with a larger base engine (2.5 liters vs 2.8 liters) incorporating variable valve timing and lift, the Ferret remains a solid mid-range premium offering in a highly competitive market.

  • Braemar Mk2 - Completely redesigned for 2002 with retro styling reminiscent of the original 1956 Nevis, this rough-and-ready off-roader has a coil-sprung solid live axle setup front and rear for improved comfort, without sacrificing its predecessor’s off-road capabilities.

These three cars formed the bedrock of the 2002 Hampton Motor Group range, and comprised the majority of the company’s worldwide sales. In time, they would be joined by a new breed of premium and high-performance offerings, thereby fleshing out the lineup for the new century.

Generations II: The Full Line Challenge [LORE][FINAL SCORES]

I am sorry, but that braemer is fugly.


I beg to differ - I think it looks cheerful, if I’m honest, especially in bright yellow. The idea was to evoke the front end of the original 1956 Nevis, and the overall body shape is also similar. Then again, I could not find any other grille shapes that were suitable for the retro look I was aiming for.


A more square grill might have done better…


Since this is the final round (I think), are you going to end Hampton’s history or keep going?


I do not yet know if the current round of Generations II is indeed the last one (and I really hope it isn’t). For now, I plan to continue the history of Hampton Motor Group further into the 21st century. As far as 2002 is concerned, I have only shown the core range of cars so far - the rest of the range will come later.