An electric classic Rolls‑Royce, yours for £350,000
Converting classics cars to run on electric power – contentious for many – is charging forward according to Silverstone-based Lunaz whose first electric Rolls-Royce has now been completed.
Lunaz announced its plan to give petrol-powered classic cars a clean new bill of health last October, with prices – from around £350,000 – in keeping with the flagship Rolls-Royce models chosen to kick off the re-engineering business.
The first of those, a 1961 Phantom V, has now been completed and, says Lunaz, marks the start of production of a run of 30 classic Rolls-Royces, both Phantoms and Silver Clouds, powered by batteries.
“The time is right for an electric Rolls-Royce,” Lunaz founder David Lorenz tells us. “We are answering the need to marry beautiful classic design with the usability, reliability and sustainability of an electric powertrain. We are proud to make a classic Rolls-Royce relevant to a new generation.”
Swapping the classic Rolls-Royce 6.2-litre V8 for Lunaz’s proprietary electric powertrain is, as you might imagine, not the work of a moment. It includes a bare-metal restoration of the donor vehicle and electrification of systems including braking, steering, air-conditioning, instrumentation and new drive-by-wire throttle, as well as a digital cabin makeover – although, says Lunaz, it is all in keeping with the style of the original.
The result is a mix of alpaca wool floormats and polished veneers with satellite communications and infotainment screens, picnic tables and drinks decanters with sat-nav and haptic controls.
The bill for the world’s first zero-emissions Phantom comes to £500,000 plus taxes. For that you get an eight-seater (two three-seat benches plus two jump seats) that can travel up to 300 miles thanks to its 120kWh battery pack. Lunaz doesn’t say it, but that’s presumably 300 miles where the loudest noise is the ticking of the clock…
Lunaz is now offering electric Silver Clouds as well, starting from £350,000, and available as Series I, II and III models in a range of body styles, including four-door limousine, two-door coupe and drop head coupe. The Clouds get an 80kW/h battery. The firm says all its electric Rolls-Royces will be available in every global market.
“Together with our clients we work to create relevant expressions of the most significant cars in history,” says David Lorenz. “I am proud to give new purpose to some of the most beautiful objects ever created.”
Carmakers including Jaguar and Aston Martin have offered heritage models re-engineered with electric powertrains, and specialist firms offer zero-emissions conversions of everything from the Volkswagen Beetle to the Range Rover. But some in the classic world regard the conversions as sacrilegious.
That doesn’t appear to be holding Lunaz back. It says there has been a surge in demand for the electrification of pinnacle classic cars and it is now doubling its workforce at its Silverstone base.