Exclusive: Austin Allegro to be reborn as an electric classic

| 1 Apr 2019

The venerable Austin Allegro is to get a second life as a technologically advanced electric vehicle, according to new plans discovered by Classic & Sports Car.

The 1970s classic is generally regarded as one of the finest of all British cars, particularly on account of its handling, but hasn’t been in production since 1982.

However the rights to the name and all intellectual property associated with the former British-Leyland vehicle have now been bought by a California startup company, who intend to reinvent it for a new generation.

The startup, called Polar Foil and based in San Francisco, has already retrofitted an original 1970s Allegro with electric tech. In place of its 1.5-litre SOHC E-Series engine will be a lithium-ion battery which will generate 240kWh of energy and an electric motor that’ll pump out 500kw – the equivalent of 661bhp.

It’ll have a range of 350 miles and will feature a regenerative braking system, while a full charge will take four hours. A top speed of 180mph and a 0-60mph figure of 3.2 secs is considerably more punchy than classic Allegro drivers will be used to. 

But as well as reworking old cars, the company is also planning to create new Allegro models. The 2019 Allegro will be called the Allegro E-Clarkson after the original vehicle’s biggest champion Jeremy Clarkson, who is thought to own a fleet of at least 60 examples.

One thing that will be retained from the original model is the famous ‘quartic’ steering wheel – although the one in the new EV version will be an exact square rather than having rounded sides.

The company’s founder Alf Polio said, “This has been a dream of mine for years. Growing up in California, the Allegro was an icon for me, sharing space on my bedroom walls with Ferrari F40s and Lamborghini Miuras. To finally bring the new E-Allegro to market is just too unreal – I really just can’t believe it’s true!”


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