UK coachbuilders Lunaz Design are turning classic Rolls-Royces into tech-filled EVs

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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A blend of classic design, traditional artisanal coachbuilding, and future-tech shows that perhaps there is a replacement for displacement

There are various low-volume design-houses and coachbuilders around the world converting classic car designs into future-proofed electric vehicles, with manufacturers like Aston Martin and Jaguar even offering factory electric conversions of their own.

In most cases however, the thought of replacing a classic’s characterful internal combustion powerplant for a stack of batteries is likened to heresy; but the latest project of Silverstone-based coachbuilders, Lunaz Design, sort of makes sense.

Lunaz recently lifted the veil on their latest creation, a battery-driven 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V.

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Originally weighing in at 2.5 tonnes, and powered by a guzzling 6.25lt V8 (producing 136kW), the classic Phantom V’s powertrain now comprises of Lunaz’ new proprietary EV drivetrain.

Exact details are said to be a closely guarded secret, however Lunaz do state that their proprietary drivetrain comprises of a modular platform housing a 120-kilowatt-hour battery pack. The package yields 280kW, 699Nm of torque, and a confident driving range of 480 kilometres.

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The finished package however consists of more than the simple swap of the engine however, and begins with a full bare-metal teardown, after which Lunaz 3D scans the shell and completely restores the body and interior by hand.

Subtle and sympathetic adaptation to the interior allow for the fitment of a suite of modern luxuries, including: a modern infotainment system, modern climate control, mobile phone connectivity, Wi-Fi, rear seat audiovisual entertainment, and even an integrated bar service built around your favourite drink of choice.

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Lunaz Technical Lead and Managing Director, Jon Hilton stated: We believe that preserving the most beautiful cars in the world is vital engineering".

"Our commitment to perfection is felt in every weld, stitch and line of code".

Of course, Lunaz’ pursuit of perfection doesn’t come cheap. 30 build slots are available: with the cost of converting a smaller Silver Cloud starting at GBP£350,000 (AU$635,000), while the flagship Phantom V conversion begins at GBP£500,000 (AU$908,000).

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Oh, and you still need to bring-your-own Rolls-Royce.

Just 813 Phantom Vs were produced between 1959 and 1968 – so simply sourcing a donor car will be a costly exercise in itself.

Does the effortless and silent wasp of the electric powertrain make sense in a luxury limousine? Or would it have better been left alone?

 

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