Electric Vehicles

RBW EV Roadster combines classic sports car design with EV technology

The RBW EV Roadster is based on the MGB Roadster of the 1960s, but all new and complete with an electric powertrain.

Photo courtesy of RBW

Everything old is new again, if the Peter Allen song is to be believed. Certainly it's true in this era of modern electric vehicles, where special attention is being paid to classic cars, retrofitting them with electric powertrains. RBW EV Classic Cars has revealed a pre-production version of the RBW EV Roadster, a model that fits into the spirit of these revised older models.

Inspired by the MGB Roadster of the 1960s, the RBW EV Roadster has a brand-new heritage-style body shell designed by British Motor Heritage.

The RBW System and architecture isn't a one-off. It can be installed into other shells including those from Austin Healey, Jaguar, and Mini.

RBW EV Roadster The RBW EV Roadster is on sale now.Photo courtesy of RBW

Its patented drivetrain system has been three years in the making. To develop it, RBW worked with Continental Engineering Services and Zytek Automotive, both part of Continental AG. Continental AG provides the technology for Formula E race cars.

"Our patented systemplaces the electric motor at the rear of the car and Hyperdrive Innovation's lithium-ion battery technology under the bonnet, which gives perfectly balanced weight distribution," said Peter Swain, managing director, RBW. "Not only does this give the driver much better handling of the car, retaining that sports car feel, but it also affords maximum battery volume to be housed."

The RBW roadster has a bespoke front and rear suspension that utilizes independent coil-over damper technology. There are OEM-developed brake discs and calipers that deliver regenerative braking capability.

RBW touts the maintenance-free usage of the car compared to a true classic. All parts and components installed are brand new. Also unlike a vintage vehicle, the RBW EV Roadster has been designed with modern noise, vibration, and harshness mellowing considerations.

The car isn't a technological relic either. It also has a multi-function dashboard with driver gauges and messages that are featured on an easy-to-use graphic interface. The Pioneer Flagship Wi-Fi-enabled navigation system works in tandem with a 7.0-inch touch screen located at the center of the dashboard. There's an HDMI input so the screen can mirror smartphones, and a SD input, dual USB inputs, and gold-plated RCA connectors.

Its interior has been designed by Prototrim.

RBW has created 30 limited-edition hand-crafted Roadster models. Plans are underway to offer a fixed-head GT version in 2021 as well as another RBW electric vehicle.

Production begins early 2021 with prices starting from £90,000 plus taxes, with an initial £5,000 deposit. Orders are already being taken with RBW taking the car to clients for Covid-safe test drives. For more information visit: www.rbwevcars.com.

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New electric luxury vehicles

Three new Mercedes-Benz EVs we can't wait to see

Mercedes showed off its electric future at the 2021 IAA Mobility show in Germany.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is going electric, and though it only recently announced its firm plans to do so, it already seems that the German automaker is moving quickly toward that goal. At the 2021 IAA Mobility show in Munich, Mercedes showed off some of its upcoming electrified products. We've seen the EQS, a flagship electric sedan, but three newcomers made an appearance at the show.


Mercedes-Benz EQB EQB will be Mercedes' electric family SUV.Mercedes-Benz


EQB

EQB is the brand's family-sized SUV, offering seating for up to seven people. A long wheelbase of 111.3 inches and adjustable second-row seating allows more interior space for people and gear. Mercedes says the EQB will offer two powertrain configurations: The EQB 300 4MATIC will get 225 horsepower and the EQB 350 4MATIC will sport 288 horsepower. A front-wheel drive configuration will go on sale later and a long-range model will follow.


Mercedes-Benz Concept EQG The EQG will eventually become the brand's electric off-roader.Mercedes-Benz


EQG

Concept EQG is a preview of the eventual electrification of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, its boxy, upper-crust off-roader. This concept is far closer to a design exercise than something we'll actually see in production, but it's an interesting demonstration, nonetheless. With 22-inch wheels, wild exterior lighting touches, and what the automaker says will be legendary off-road abilities, the EQG will be an exciting vehicle when it does make an appearance.


Mercedes-Benz EQE EQE will follow the EQS as a smaller, sportier electric sedan in 2022.Mercedes-Benz


EQE

EQE is the second car to use Mercedes' EVA2 electric architecture, following the EQS sedan. The car is currently scheduled for a staggered release in mid-2022 and will feature a more compact and sportier design than its predecessor. Mercedes says that the car will be available with either 19- or 21-inch wheels, and notes that its size is comparable to the current CLS coupe-sedan. The car offers an impressive range of up to 410 miles on a single charge from its 90kWh battery and special charging capabilities through the Mercedes me Charge network.

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The Roadster's specs are impressive, to say the least.

Tesla

Elon Musk took to a stage in late 2017 to announce a new product, the second-generation Tesla Roadster, and the numbers were impressive, even for a guy known to casually drop massive bombshells in 160 characters or less on Twitter. He pledged a 620-mile range and a 0-60 mph time in 1.9 seconds for the car – impressive specs, to be sure. When Musk unveiled the car, production was scheduled to commence some time in 2020, but as we all now know, last year wasn't a banner year for car manufacturing. In January, he pushed that date back to 2022, but the timeline has slipped again - into 2023 at this point - and that's only if everything goes smoothly between now and then.


Tesla Roadster Supply chain issues have caused delays in the Roadster's release.Tesla


Responding to a tweet on Wednesday, Musk stated that "assuming 2022 is not mega drama, new Roadster should ship in 2023." That's a pretty big asterisk, given how things have been going over the last 18 months. It's not surprising, though, and Musk acknowledges what we've known for some time now: The global supply chain is a mess, thanks to microchip shortages and pandemic-related closures and delays. "2021 has been the year of super crazy supply chain shortages," he said, admitting that "it wouldn't matter if we had 17 new products, as none would ship." Again, it's not surprising, but it is most likely frustrating for reservation holders, who've plopped down anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000 to hold an order for the Roadster.




Tesla is far from being the only automaker to experience delays, but even if we assume that the rest of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 go smoothly, there's still a lot that can happen. All of Tesla's suppliers would have to get their ducks in a row and there can be no COVID-related production delays. That would also peg 2022 as one of the automaker's flagship years for product releases, with both the Semi and Cybertruck on the schedule. It's possible, but far from guaranteed, that all of those pieces fall into place, making Tesla's 2022 a banner year. As for the Roadster, 2023 could be the year that we're all blown away by its range and acceleration, but recent history suggests that anything can happen at any time, so we won't be holding our breath.

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