Last updated on April 22nd, 2020 at 11:35 am
All-electric vehicles have a futuristic look, but what if you're someone who's into their classics? Lunaz might have the answer. The British-born company restores and electrifies classic cars at its headquarters in Silverstone, England. A 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V, 1953 Jaguar XK120 and 1956 Rolls-Royce Cloud are currently being prepared for their introduction to the market.
Taking the cars' chassis, Lunaz restores and converts the vehicle with an electric powertrain. The 1953 Jaguar XK120, for example, comes fitted with an 80 kWh battery pack, while the 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V has a larger 120 kWh battery configuration.
The classic cars are designed to support fast charging, have regenerative braking systems and modern-day technologies such as traction and cruise control built-in. Remember, back in the day these vehicles didn't have any of those features – these electrified classics provide a cleaner, more complete package than their gasoline predecessors.
The vehicles' power has also drastically improved. Let's take the original Jaguar XK120: its 3.4-litre straight-six and twin side-draft SU H6 carburettor dispatched around 160 bhp; later models that were modified (including those made for racing) went up to 220 bhp. The twin motors found in the new electrified Jaguar is set to deliver up 375 bhp – it's faster, cleaner and more practical for modern-day driving conditions.
Better still, these electrified classics have an efficient motor, whereby WhichEV was told the upcoming Rolls-Royce Phantom V will have a range of around 300 miles – not only impressive for a modern-day EV but it should outlast the original 6,230cc Rolls-Royce V8 petrol engine, too.
How does it all come together?
The Lunaz team need to re-engineer the classic car from the ground up. Given the differences between the gasoline and the electrified variants, it's not an easy task. First, the engineers assess the car's weight distribution to understand the current chassis setup. It's an important step to help determine the location of the all-electric motor, batteries and sensors.
Once analysed, the internal combustion engine (ICE) and associated systems are removed. Once stripped, the car is then 3D scanned, allowing the engineers to create a CAD model of the vehicle. This is then used to create a custom electrified system, where the whole process is designed, developed, engineered and tested in-house.
After the team has carefully analysed every inch of the vehicle, the electric powertrain and all of its components are installed – even the dials on the dashboard are renovated and adopted to read-out the car's all-electric systems.
The attention to detail doesn't just encompass the exterior of the vehicle but the interior, too. Telecommunication modules, audiovisual entertainment systems and even Wi-Fi come as standard. Then the Lunaz team subjects its vehicles to extensive testing to ensure the car meets expectations.
Pricing and availability
At the time of writing this article, Lunaz's Rolls-Royce Phantom and Rolls-Royce Cloud are nearing completion. The Jaguar XK120 is also currently being subjected to rigorous testing. The EVs won't come cheap, prices start from £350,000 (excluding local taxes). Orders will be available from November 2019.