As emissions regulations tighten up all around the world and we gradually move towards an electric future, there has been a surge in classic car conversions with electric powertrains.
To make life easier for those who want to go electric with their classic car, California-based company Zero Labs announced a brand new modular platform designed to accommodate a variety of pre-1975 models.
Zero Labs is no stranger to the electric conversion trend, as it already offers custom electric restomods of the Ford Bronco (1966-1977) and the Land Rover Series III (1971-1985).
This time, instead of upgrading each component individually, it decided to get rid of everything that’s old and rusty (besides the body panels and interior) and swap them with a new modular platform including electric motors, battery pack, suspension, and brakes.
The platform has an upgradable 400V lithium-ion battery pack sitting at the centre, with a capacity of 85kWh or 100kWh. The maximum electric range will be 378km while the battery will allow DC fast charging and regenerative braking.
As for the electric motors, you can have one or two, producing up to 440kW of power. The dual-motor setup will offer all-wheel-drive which is ideal for classic four-wheel drives.
You also get independent suspension with optional adjustable Fox Racing coil-overs, or electronically-adjustable air-suspension for superior comfort.
Last but not least, the Brembo GT brakes will improve stopping power with 350 mm discs / 6-piston calipers at the front, and 345 mm discs / 4-piston calipers at the rear.
The huge amount of power in combination with the 50:50 weight balance, the low centre of gravity, and the modern suspension/brakes should transform the driving experience of any pre-1975 classic.
The full list of compatible models will be available at a later date, however Zero Labs has revealed four different categories: 4x4s (1947-1975), Muscle Cars (Pre-1975), 2-door Coupés (1948-1975) and Pick-up trucks (1947-1975).
Popular models like the Porsche 911, Ford Mustang Fastback, Land Rover Defender 110, Toyota FJ, Ford F100 and Ford Bronco will be included, as revealed by the silhouette renderings on the company’s website.
Zero Labs wants to start limited production of its platform from autumn 2021, and has yet to disclose pricing which will include the full conversion (components and labour).
Among its benefits, an electric conversion would allow classic car owners to move freely in the future where some cities will ban vehicles with internal0combustion engines. It would also make vehicles a lot more reliable while decreasing the running costs and vastly improving performance and driving dynamics.
Having said that, many purists will disagree with any type of conversion that messes up with the true character of classic cars, including their quirky driving experience, the occasional mechanical issues, the characteristic sound and the smell of gasoline.
So what are your thoughts on the new modular platform and which vehicle would you like to convert?