Classic cars are beautiful. Unlike their mass-produced modern-day counterparts, they are all different, unique in their own ways, they look and feel out of the ordinary. They have one major problem, though – their cost. Aside from the pile of cash that you have to spend on restoring their looks to their former glory, classic cars were not built with energy efficiency in mind – so many of them guzzle up gas like there’s no tomorrow. Even if you don’t count their carbon footprint, they are far from being the most efficient solution for your everyday needs. Unless, of course, you give up parts of their charm and give them a new, electric life.
With many of the cars to look forward to in 2020 are hybrid or electric, it shouldn’t be a surprise that many owners of classic cars are giving their rides an electric makeover. Especially when they have examples like these in front of them.
Jaguar E-type Concept Zero
The Jaguar E-type Concept Zero was built by Jaguar’s “Classic Works” workshop in Warwickshire, the UK, in 2017. The goal was, of course, to give the car once called “the most beautiful car in the world” by none other than Italian designer Enzo Ferrari a life beyond fossil fuels. The car was based on the 1968 Series 1.5 Jaguar E-type, one of the six car models that were included in the collection of the New York City Museum of Modern Art.
The car was presented to the public at the 2017 Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest in London, then carried Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from Windsor Castle to their wedding reception a year later.
Jaguar planned to offer its E-Type Zero (and conversion kits for owners of the classic) starting 2020 but they halted this plan last year. Still, Concept Zero remains one of the most beautiful electric cars to date.
Before you dismiss the Mini Cooper as “just another small city car”, you should know that the Morris Mini Cooper S won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, and the Mini Marcos GT – based on the then-new Mini Cooper S – was the only British car to finish the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. Since then, the Mini has proven its worth countless times. And its time has come to get an electric makeover.
The Mini Electric (also known as the Mini Cooper SE in some areas) set to be released this year is not the first Mini to go electric, though. A decade ago, BMW (the owner of the brand) did a trial run of an electric Mini (called Mini E), producing around 500 units.
The new Mini Electric will look and feel like the “traditional” Mini but with a 184 hp engine, a top speed of 150 kph (93 mph), and a battery good for up to 270 km (168 miles).
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz
Finally, let’s not forget the revival of one of the iconic cars of the 1970s, the Volkswagen T2, better known as “the Campervan” or “the hippie bus” (and, of course, many other names, including “Pão de Forma” or “loaf of bread” in Portugal). The T2 was produced around the world more or less constantly between 1950 and 2013 when the last plant making it was closed in Brazil. Its popularity never waned, though, so a revival – and an electric one – was to be expected.
The Volkswagen I.D. Buzz looks and feels like a worthy successor to the classic. Set to enter production in 2022, the I. D. Buzz will have a 111 kWh battery that will offer it an autonomy of up to 600 km (373 miles), with a top speed of around 160 kph (99 mph).