Putting some spark in the old MGB

Riley Riley

Nowhere is it written in stone that electric vehicles or EVs as they are known have to be small and geeky cars.

RBW’s Roadster Evolution shows they can be small and anything but geeky, maybe even to die for.

The English company, RBW EV Classic Cars, has revealed a pre-production version of its stylish electric roadster based on the 1960s MGB.

Under the brand-new heritage body shell from British Motor Heritage, sits a patented electric drivetrain that has been three years in the making.

RBW has worked with Continental Engineering Services (CES) and Zytek Automotive, both part of Continental AG, which provides the world championship winning technology applied to Formula E racing cars.

RBW EV Classic Cars MD Peter Swain.

It was RBW founder Peter Swain’s vision to created a vehicle with the aesthetic appeal of a classic car but with modern electric engineering.

Swain said the patented powertrain places the electric motor at the rear of the car and Hyperdrive Innovation’s lithium-ion battery technology under the bonnet, giving the roadster perfectly balance.

Not only does this deliver much better handling, retaining that sports car feel, but also allows more space for the battery.

“The RBW system has been tested and has achieved European Regulation No 100 of the Economic Commission, which confirms RBW as a recognised automotive worldwide manufacturer,” he said.

“What is even more exciting for us is that the RBW System and architecture can be installed into other body shells such as Austin Healey, Jaguar E-Type, Mini, and many more. Each car can be built to the clients’ personal specification and requirements.

“The opportunities are endless and therefore safeguards the future of classic motoring.”

The RBW roadster also features bespoke-built front and rear suspension, all-independent coil-over dampers, and OEM developed brakes discs and callipers, with Regen braking also included.

It’s also got the latest generation of hub design and wheel bearing technology installed to ensure maintenance free usage.

All parts and components installed are brand new.

With an initial 30 examples to be built, the limited-edition hand-crafted models have been designed with high quality performance levels of noise and vibration.

Over the past 20 years, CES has accumulated experience of optimising Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH) in such vehicles, especially the challenges brought about by the replacement of an internal combustion engine with an electric drivetrain.

This has been applied to the RBW Roadster to ensure a pleasant experience during pull-away, city-traffic, cruising and spirited driving.

The multi-function dashboard display combines driver gauges and messages with safety diagnostic symbols in an easy to use graphic interface designed around safe and smooth operation whilst driving.

Pioneer’s Flagship Wi-Fi enabled built-in navigation system brings a large motorised 7.0-inch 24bit True Colour Capacitive WVGA multi-touchscreen to the dashboard.

It also features a HDMI input to mirror smart phones, SD Card input and Dual USB inputs and gold-plated RCA connectors for the highest audio quality possible.

The interior of the car has been designed by Prototrim, specialists in trim development with more than 100 years combined knowledge and experience.

With the very highest levels of craftsmanship, every finished interior is exquisite from the accuracy of the patterns to the quality of the stitch detail.

Further model developments are already underway with a fixed head GT version to follow in 2021 along with a second RBW electric recreation.

Production begins early 2021 with prices starting from £90,000 plus taxes (about $160,000 Aussie dollars) with an initial £5,000 deposit ($9000).

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Just the specs

Accreditation REG 100 H/V compliant for IVA and new vehicle registration
Top Speed 130 km/h
0-100 9 seconds
Range 260km

Increases to 320km if optional seventh battery installed

Batteries Six Hyperdrive Lithium-ion battery (up to eight as an optional extra)
Power Output 70 kW
DC Charging 3.0 kW
Recharge Hours 8 hours
Patented bespoke subframe Gen 3 bearings

Five stud wheel adaption

Uprated drive shafts

Suspension Bespoke double wishbone

Coil-over damper technology

Braking OEM brakes discs and callipers

Regen braking

Insurance Brokerage Compliant
Interior Leather

Choice of five colours

In-car Technology Pioneer AVIC-Z920DA

7.0-inch 24-bit True Colour Capacitive Multi-touchscreen

Dual USB, HDMI and Dual camera input

Satellite Navigation

Electric windows

Colours 14 colour options
Wheels Six wheel style options
Roof Soft and Hard Top available.


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