Back to the future | UK based Lunaz Design electrifies classics
Why must electric cars sport futuristic designs? Is there an international law that obliges designers to draw cars that resemble those from fictitious sci-fi flicks? The e-trons, Teslas and ubiquitous 'Vision' concepts are certainly making us ignore restoration of worthy classics with modern and sustainable powertrains. Thankfully someone has noticed this. Silverstone based automotive engineering company Lunaz Design is envisioning something to please all generations of enthusiasts and environment activists. The concept is simple – tastefully restore classic cars with electric powertrains.
About Lunaz Design
Lunaz Design sources limited number of vehicles that are no longer functional and restores them to clean and usable electric classic cars. They are fitting their proprietary technology into some of the most celebrated classics in history – a 1961 eight seat Rolls-Royce Phantom V, Rolls-Royce Cloud, 1953 Jaguar XK120 and Bentley S2 Flying Spur make the list so far.
With the Lunaz Design HQ based in the home of British motorsport, the company comprises of a diverse talent pool of designers, engineers, craftsmen and electric technology specialists from Aston Martin, Cosworth, Rolls-Royce, McLaren, Jaguar and even Ferrari and Volkswagen. John Hilton, MD and technical director, Lunaz Design, himself has quite a decorated CV. He has been the technical director for the Renault Sport F1 team and worked as a chief engineer for Cosworth Engineering, Arrows F1 and an engine designer for Rolls-Royce in the early 2000s.
Restoration and electric powertrain
The details regarding Lunaz Design’s electric powerplant are minimal, but we do know that they have a 120kW battery for the Rolls-Royce Phantom V while the Jaguar XK120 can be fitted with one or two electric motors that can produce 375bhp and upto 700Nm of torque. That said, the restoration process includes re-engineering from ground up starting with exhaustive inspection of chassis set-up, powertrain packaging and suspension. Following that, the ICE and associated components are then removed and the chassis is prepared for electrification. After the uprating of braking, suspension, steering and electronics systems, every circuit is tested before first start-up procedures begin.
Restoration isn’t limited to powertrain only. Traditional coachbuilding techniques are employed and cars are stripped down to a bare metal shell. Even minute body defects are addressed by hand before the surface finish process begins. Lunaz also equips the car with modern features like WiFi, infotainment systems and navigation aids. The battery chargers and DC converters are cleverly integrated using the fuel filler caps. System like air-con are then installed and the accelerator is converted to throttle-by-wire. Even the dials in the instrument cluster and the dashboard are adapted to appropriate read-outs for the electric powertrain.
Proper road tests of Lunaz Design classic electric cars haven’t surfaced yet, but we are certain that when they do, a lot of us enthusiasts will be curious to learn about their real-world performance. Moreover, there are early signs that the company has a bright future. Testing times due to the coronavirus have forced manufacturers to reduce production scales and in some cases, even downsize their workforce. Lunaz Design on the other hand has doubled their workforce as the global demand for sustainable luxury is witnessing a multi-fold surge.