It’s getting easier and easier to perform EV conversions on classic vehicles, especially as more electric crate motors become available. But that’s not the only way to turn a classic car, or indeed, a classic SUV into an EV. ECD Automotive Design’s latest Range Rover Classic restomod goes electric with a different method.
ECD Automotive Design makes an electric Range Rover Classic with a Tesla’s help
Florida-based ECD Automotive Design already has a reputation for its Land Rover and Range Rover Classic restomod builds. But up until now, the company has only offered V8 engines in the latter, MotorTrend reports. That changes with its new electric Range Rover Classic.
The first SUV to benefit from this restomod process is a 1995 Range Rover. And normally, ECD would swap its original 4.2-liter V8 with a Chevrolet V8. However, in this case, the company gave the SUV the 450-hp electric motor from a Tesla Model S. And it’s mounted in the middle where the transmission used to be so it can drive both axles, Ars Technica explains.
That electric motor is powered by two battery packs mounted in the cargo area. Their total capacity is 100 kWh, which ECD claims gives the electric Range Rover Classic 220 miles of range. And thanks to that Tesla motor, this restomod EV goes 0-60 mph in a claimed 5.5 seconds.
The electric powertrain isn’t the only update on this Range Rover Classic restomod
Although the Tesla powertrain is a significant change, ECD does more than that to its Range Rover builds. It takes an estimated 2,200 hours for the shop to turn a standard Range Rover Classic into this Tesla-fied version, GQ notes. And that effort goes into both the exterior and interior of the SUV.
Inside, the electric ECD Range Rover Classic has Spinneybeck Puelito leather upholstery, new wood trim on the dash, and new gauges. It also has an Alpine audio system with a 9” center touchscreen, complete with Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, SiriusXM, and navigation. And there’s a CD player mounted in the glovebox. Plus, rather than coil springs, the ECD Range Rover rides on the company’s air suspension.
Despite ECD’s upgrades, the electric Range Rover Classic is still an old SUV, Ars Technica notes. So, compared to a modern EV, there’s more wind noise. However, it’s noticeably quieter than it used to be. And thanks to the new air suspension, it rides comfortably, though it still leans a bit in the corners. ECD is also still calibrating the SUV’s new electric power steering, so there is some slack, Ars Technica reports, but that will likely be rectified soon.
How much will this restored SUV cost you?
As of this writing, ECD Automotive Design has only made one Tesla-swapped Range Rover restomod. But the company does plan to make more, though getting one won’t be easy on your wallet.
A V8-powered ECD Range Rover starts at $169,995. But the electric version starts at $195,000 before options. Add in features like brush guards, roll cages, roof racks, and you’re looking at a $250K SUV, GQ reports.
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