Automotive

Lunaz to give classic luxury cars an all-electric make-over

Lunaz to give classic luxury c...
The Jaguar XK120's new twin motors are good for 375 bhp
The Jaguar XK120's new twin motors are good for 375 bhp
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A 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud will be among the first cars completed
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A 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud will be among the first cars completed
Lunaz' goal is to make classic cars relevant into the 21st century
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Lunaz' goal is to make classic cars relevant into the 21st century
This 1961 eight-seater Rolls-Royce Phantom V will come complete with a 120-kWh battery pack
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This 1961 eight-seater Rolls-Royce Phantom V will come complete with a 120-kWh battery pack
Lunaz' 1953 Jaguar XK120, with an 80-kWh battery pack, is currently in testing
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Lunaz' 1953 Jaguar XK120, with an 80-kWh battery pack, is currently in testing
The Jaguar XK120's new twin motors are good for 375 bhp
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The Jaguar XK120's new twin motors are good for 375 bhp
Each interior will be finished to a high (and custom-designed) specification
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Each interior will be finished to a high (and custom-designed) specification
Orders can be placed direct with Lunaz from November, with prices starting at £350,000 (US$430,000)
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Orders can be placed direct with Lunaz from November, with prices starting at £350,000 (US$430,000)
The cars are stripped back to their metal exteriors, then 3D scanned so the bespoke powertrain needed can be designed by computer
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The cars are stripped back to their metal exteriors, then 3D scanned so the bespoke powertrain needed can be designed by computer
The proprietary powertrain is custom-designed for each model
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The proprietary powertrain is custom-designed for each model
3D scanning and CAD are used to make sure the electric powertrain fits the shell "to the millimeter"
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3D scanning and CAD are used to make sure the electric powertrain fits the shell "to the millimeter"
Lunaz claims to address even imperceptible body defects before finishing
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Lunaz claims to address even imperceptible body defects before finishing
Lunaz is based at Silverstone, UK, apparently right next door to Virgin Racing's Formula E team
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Lunaz is based at Silverstone, UK, apparently right next door to Virgin Racing's Formula E team
Lunaz' creations will come equipped with Sat Nav, Wi-Fi, communications and entertainment systems
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Lunaz' creations will come equipped with Sat Nav, Wi-Fi, communications and entertainment systems
Lunaz promises that only the "highest specification modules" are used for its closely-guarded propulsion systems
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Lunaz promises that only the "highest specification modules" are used for its closely-guarded propulsion systems
Lunaz includes fast-charging and regenerative braking with every model
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Lunaz includes fast-charging and regenerative braking with every model

Brand new startup Lunaz seeks to make a bold entry into the high-end car market today, as it announces its plan to restore history's "most beautiful and celebrated cars," fitting them with all-electric powertrains to keep them relevant in the 21st century. Though Lunaz may be a new name on the market, its team is replete with automotive expertise.

The electric powertrains are new, proprietary technology which is designed and built entirely in-house in Silverstone, UK, and adapted "to the millimeter" for each model of the car, not only for fit, but to suit its intended driving characteristics. This is informed by weighing the original vehicle at each corner to assess how that weight is distributed. The cars are stripped back to their metal exteriors, then 3D scanned so the bespoke powertrain needed can be designed by computer.

Its electric car credentials gain bonus points for including fast-charging and regenerative braking with every model, plus the welcome drive aids of traction and cruise control. The cars' accelerators are converted to throttle-by-wire. An especially nice touch is that the old fuel caps are repurposed as electric charge points.

Each interior will be finished to a high (and custom-designed) specification
Each interior will be finished to a high (and custom-designed) specification

Lunaz says it will update interiors with bespoke designs from leaders from the automotive and fashion industries. Its cars will also come equipped with Sat Nav, Wi-Fi, communications and entertainment systems. New heating and air conditioning systems will be fitted. Lunaz says even the original dashboard dials will be "adapted" for use in an electric car. The company claims to address even imperceptible body defects before finishing.

The team is currently working on three classic models: a 1961 eight-seater Rolls-Royce Phantom V which will come complete with a 120-kWh battery pack; a 1953 Jaguar XK120 with an 80-kWh pack; and a 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud (with a power pack yet to be revealed). The Jag sounds nearest to completion, being in final testing. Lunaz says its twin motors are good for 700 Nm (516 ft-lb) of torque from standstill and 375 bhp.

A 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud will be among the first cars completed
A 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud will be among the first cars completed

The project has come to fruition under the technical leadership of Jon Hilton, former Technical Director for the engines divisions for a number of Formula 1 teams, including Renault. The Lunaz team has gathered experience from Aston Martin, Ferrari, Ford, Jaguar, Volkswagen, McLaren, Rolls-Royce, plus the world of F1.

Along with Hilton, Lunaz was founded by classic car-lover David Lorenz, inspired by the birth of his first child.

"For Luna, my daughter, not to have access to a car like the Mercedes-Benz 190SL when she is of driving age would be a tragedy," Lorenz explains in a press release. "Without building Lunaz, this is the reality she faces."

Ten fingers, ten toes. Orders can be placed direct with Lunaz from November, with prices starting at £350,000 (US$430,000) excluding tax.

Source: Lunaz

5 comments
Expanded Viewpoint
Hmmm... Instead of Lunaz, maybe they should just name it for what it really is, lunacy?? Does anybody actually have that great of an urge to stroke their own pseudo environmentalist overly inflated ego, that they're going to take a petroleum fueled classic car that rarely goes more than 50 miles in one trip, and pay someone many thousands of dollars to convert it into an electric car that still requires charging up off of the power grid that is mostly carbon based fuels derived?!?! Um, yeah, lunacy pretty well sums that game up!! Just how many cars do they plan on converting to electrical power to make their scheme feasible? Or is this just another government grant sponsored boondoggle? I think that we've seen enough of those to get the general idea by now. Randy
paul314
All they need for a successful niche company is a small supply (a few to a few dozen a year) of car collectors with more money than sense. And considering all the other uberpriced bespoke super/hyper/metacars out there, this one doesn't seem that much more improbable.
martinwinlow
Sorry, Randy, but you are completely missing the point (which, to be fair to you, is one not made very clear in the article)... This is that in the not too distant future, fossil fuel-burning vehicles simply will not be permitted to operate within most, if not all, major cities in the world due to their noxious emissions. Furthermore, the fact that America chooses to continue to provide much of its electricity through the burning of fossil fuels does not mean the rest of the world does nor does it mean that America needs to, either. The advent of the electric car has provided the means to fill in the missing bit of a truly practical renewably generated energy world in the form of cheap battery storage. On top of that photovoltaic generation is now considered, globally, to be the cheapest means of generating electricity and it is only the overly cosy relationship between big oil and our political decision-makers that perpetuates this insane status quo. However, I would agree with you that paying $350,000 for any car is total lunacy. But then I don’t have several billion dollars sitting in my bank account busily twiddling their thumbs as, very clearly, far too many people do, these days (much of it no doubt derived from the oil industry). MW
Expanded Viewpoint
I always call it having more dollars than sense. Something that has eluded me for many years now, is what is the EXACT mechanism behind these otherwise fools, in obtaining a large enough cash flow to engage in that kind of behavior? How do they accumulate enough wealth to do such stupid stuff?? Are they all idiot/savants or what? If I could discover just how they manage to pull that trick off, I would duplicate their successful actions to the letter, but I hope that I would remain smart enough to put the wealth to better use.
Luke Beauchamp
For my daughter to not have access to a $430,000 car would be a tragedy. That's not even a first world problem. That's a zeroth world problem.