The classic Range Rover has been reimagined for the electric era. Capturing the zeitgeist, niche British company Lunaz has set about to restore, re-engineer and essentially breathe new life into some of Land Rover’s coolest products to include James Bond’s roofless off-roader from the 1983 “Octopussy”. The plan is to release an initial run of 50 Range Rovers from the car’s most evocative period between 1970 and 1994, with prices starting from around £245,000 ($330,000).
“Re-engineering, electrification and upcycling are the solutions to the pressing need to further the legacies of the most significant cars in the world,” says Lunaz founder David Lorenz. “Adding classic electric Range Rovers to our portfolio answers sustained customer demand for a clean-air expression of the world’s definitive SUV.”
The Lunaz story has been a successful one. Since starting the company in 2018, the portfolio has expanded from the initial electrified and restored classic Jaguars to Bentleys, Rolls-Royces and now Range Rovers. The Silverstone production facility has since been extended and the workforce expanded to accommodate new orders.
The appeal is partly due to being almost the antithesis of hyper consumption and – the dirtiest of all expressions – “fast-fashion”. The company ethos is recycled and re-engineered cars under the guise of the circular economy. If luxury is about individualism and rarity, then Lunaz has hit the nail.
This, of course, isn’t an isolated story. There are other artisan companies around the world pushing the sustainable “restomod” scene – retro-fitting old classics with cutting-edge technology and replacing old fuel engine with battery-electrics. In California Icon and Zero Labs and Voitures Extravert in the Netherlands are a few examples of start-ups specialize in electrifying classics. Traditional car companies, namely Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover, are also seeing the value in re-imagining their icons with cleaner engines.
Like the above, Lunaz isn’t a vanity project. Rather, the exclusive engines are designed, engineered and manufactured under the guidance of the former Renault Formula 1 technical director, Jon Hilton. “We designed inherent flexibility within our approach to upcycling the world’s most celebrated cars,” explains Hilton. “The commencement of production of the first electric classic Range Rovers demonstrates the scope of vehicles that can be re-engineered and given an entirely new life through conversion to our proprietary electric powertrain.”
The electric Range Rover by Lunaz family will be offered in “Town” and “Country” specifications. The more urban expression will see an increased focus on rear-seat and driver comfort, reflecting their dual-use as self-driven vehicles or chauffeured cars. Plus, the cars will be available in both standard and long wheelbase.
The Country range, on the other hand, will focus primarily on off-roading, so it will have a full suite of engineering, technological and design features that augment a classic all-terrain experience. Expect a four-wheel drive system, updated suspension including anti-roll bars and new brakes. Whats more, customers will be able to select from either the classic three-door configuration or opt for a four-door models. Lastly, a roofless option based on 007’s “Octopussy” Range Rover will be available to order.
Hilton says Lunaz takes cars that are under threat and gives them new purpose. “These cars will be true to the original in their aesthetic, peerless in their performance and effortless in their day-to-day use. To breathe new life into these classics represents vital engineering in the purest sense.”
The design director, Jen Holloway – she has worked with Aston Martin’s Q Division – typically collaborates with each customer to tailor their car. Her team try to work with materials the evoke the feel of the original textiles, although Lunaz also offers more traditional expressions of luxury in the form of fine leather upholstery and wood veneers. Finally, a full suite of modern technologies including infotainment, air conditioning and entertainment screens are sensitively integrated into the existing design.
“Lunaz is born from a passion to preserve and further the legacies of the most significant cars in the world,” Lorenz tells me when I ask how excited he is to see the Range Rover come back to life. “Quite simply, we want to see our favorite classic cars driven, enjoyed and seen for generations to come. From launching our Jaguar XK120, Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars, we have been consistently asked to apply our approach to the classic Range Rover. People around the world clearly have such affection for these cars it is enormously gratifying to know that the work we are doing will ensure they remain a presence for decades to come.”
The first production of 50 classic electric Range Rovers by Lunaz are currently in production, with first customer deliveries anticipated in the summer of 2021.
News Source: Forbes