More British classics get the electric treatment

| 10 Oct 2019
Classic & Sports Car – Lunaz electric classic cars

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A new firm co-founded by the former technical director of Renault F1 is planning to electrify some of the finest ever British classics – starting with a pair of Rolls-Royces and a Jaguar XK120. 

Lunaz, a UK start-up based at Silverstone, is currently readying a 1961 eight-seat Rolls-Royce Phantom V, 1956 Rolls-Royce Cloud and 1953 Jaguar XK120 for release, with orders expected to be open from next month.

The sympathetic and high-tech conversions come at a cost, though – prices begin at an eye-watering £350,000.

Classic & Sports Car – Lunaz electric classic cars

Each car is a bespoke project that blends cutting-edge technology with traditional methods.

To begin with, the car is meticulously inspected and each corner weighed, giving the team detailed information about the weight distribution that helps them define the chassis set-up, suspension and powertrain packaging. Then, with its original engine out, the car is 3D scanned before being the bare-metal restoration starts. 

But of course, you want to know how they’re powered. Well, all run on Lunaz’ own unique powertrain, developed and built in-house.

We don’t have full details, but we do know that the XK120 has twin motors which produce 516lb ft and 375bhp plus an 80kWH electric battery, while the heavier Phantom V gets a larger 120kWH version.

The cars’ original fuel-filler caps are used as charging points, while the dashboard dials are adapted to give readouts for the new powertrain.

Each vehicle also gets a throttle-by-wire accelerator, while the braking, suspension, steering and electronics systems are all upgraded.

Classic & Sports Car – Lunaz electric classic cars

And the zero-emissions classics will need that uprated electronics system, because each one also receives new air-conditioning and electronic heating units, plus high-tech additions such sat-nav, wi-fi and audiovisual kits.

All cars also have regenerative braking systems, traction and cruise control, and fast-charging capability; no information has been released regarding the cars’ potential range.

Lunaz was founded last year by David Lorenz and former F1 man Jon Hilton, and Lorenz says its mission is “to define the future of classics. We preserve the past by embracing the future, making the most beautiful cars in history a relevant proposition.” 

He continues: “For Luna, my daughter, not to have access to a car like the Mercedes-Benz 190SL when she is of driving age would be a tragedy. Without building Lunaz, this is the reality she faces.”

Hilton adds: “The Lunaz solution takes cars that are under threat and gives them new purpose. These cars will be true to the original in their aesthetic, peerless in their performance and effortless in their day-to-day use. To breathe new life into these classics represents vital engineering in the purest sense.”

The XK120 is currently undergoing final testing and is expected to be the first model released next month. Find out more here.


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