British firm building old Jaguars, MGBs with electric drivetrains
A company out of the West Midlands, England is building completely new MGBs with electric drivetrains for the modern age, combining the timeless styling of the classic roadster with technology that looks toward the future, Hemmings reports.
This is the way you do an EV: you take a classic body style, build it out of completely new components so purists don’t get angry at you, and you power it with an electric motor that puts out the same horsepower as the original.
This is the work of RBW Classic Electric Cars, which has just put the finishing touches on its MGB/E. “Our aim is to make these great classic cars better for the modern age, and to do that, we have been fortunate to be supported by great companies who share the same ethos,” says managing director Peter Swain.
The companies that support this project are Zytek, which makes the motors; and British Motor Heritage, which supplies the bodies and has been building brand-new MGB body shells for enthusiasts since 1988.
Zytek is a division of Continental AG, which also supplies Formula E racers with their electrical drivetrains. The motor it’s put into the MGB/E makes 94 horsepower, almost identical to the power of the original. Torque has been significantly increased, however; at 167 lb-ft it helps the light sports car rocket to 96 km/h from zero in only 8.0 seconds, and onto a top speed of 170 km/h.
Range is only about 250 kilometres, but that should be more than enough for a fun drive through the countryside (if you live close to it already, that is).
The interior is standard MGB, except the gearshift has been replaced with a rotary dial, and the Smiths gauges have been swapped out for a digital readout which looks quite handsome (and it will actually work).
Cost is unsurprisingly high for a bespoke EV, at £99,600 pounds (about $167,000), and they’re only building 30 of them. For the record, you can get a real MGB for under $10,000, and a base Tesla Model 3 for $45,600. You can keep your Tesla, we’ll take plan (MG)B.
The firm is also working on a Jaguar XKSS and C-Type EV, which both come in at a bargain compared to the genuine article: £180,000 (~$300,000) and £150,000 (~$252,000), respectively.