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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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

As part of its CES presentation, General Motors showed off its future electric vehicles.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

General Motors has made no secret of the fact that they see the future of the company is electric. Their presentation at CES this year put their future products out there for public consumption, but hidden in the shadows. Let's turn up the brightness and take a peek at what is there.

Scroll down to the bottom of this article to see a lightened, clearer view of all the models.

GMC Hummer EV

General Motors EV preview CES 2021

Photo courtesy of General Motors

Front and center is the 2022 GMC Hummer EV. The Hummer EV is slated to have 1,000 horsepower, a 350-mile range, and a $112,959 price tag when it arrives at dealership lots in 2021. Other forthcoming Hummer variants are set to have unique powertrain setups and lower price points.

Cadillac Lyriq

General Motors EV preview CES 2021

Photo courtesy of General Motors

The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq debuted in prototype form mid-2020. When it comes to market, Cadillac expects the Lyriq SUV to offer drivers 300+ miles of all-electric range, luxurious accommodations, and the buyers choice of rear-wheel drive or performance all-wheel drive. The Lyriq will come with Super Cruise, the General Motors hands-free driving system that allows for 200,000 miles of hands-free highway driving and automated lane change.

Cadillac Celestiq

General Motors EV preview CES 2021

Photo courtesy of General Motors

In addition to showing the Celestiq here, Cadillac decided to show off its flagship electric car with some close ups. They don't give too much detail about the car, but we do know some interesting tidbits. Cadillac says that the car embodies their commitment to "reimagine what's possible in design and technology". The GM division will offer the Celestiq with a curated selection of hand-crafted materials and they've has hinted that there will be some customization options available for owners.

Chevrolet pickup

General Motors EV preview CES 2021

Photo courtesy of General Motors

We don't yet know if it will be called the Silverado, but a Chevrolet pickup truck that runs on all-electric power is on the way. It's been confirmed that the plan is for the truck to have a maximum 400-mile range (likely when it's not towing or hauling much weight). Originally slated for a 2025 debut date, indications are that GM is pushing to get the truck to market sooner.

Buick EVs

General Motors EV preview CES 2021

Photo courtesy of General Motors

In 2020, GM described the two new Buick models that are coming by 2023. They're both electric vehicles. The first, an SUV will be a model that offers "more conventional crossover proportion that maximizes interior space and cargo." The second is a Buick CUV that has "expressive proportions with a greater emphasis on form and athletic fashion." It looks like the SUV is on the right in the photo while the CUV is on the left.

"Mystery EV"

General Motors EV preview CES 2021

Photo courtesy of General Motors

What is this mystery EV? We know the Cadillac XT4 is getting an electrified brother so there's a chance that this could that. Brightening and zooming in on the picture appears to reveal an SUV-like body design. We'll just have to stay tuned.

... and now let's turn the lights on.

General Motors EV preview CES 2021

Photo courtesy of General Motors

Last year, General Motors divulged while models it plans to introduce by 2023, including a number of EVs. You can see that full list here.

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The vehicle is, for now, merely a concept.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

Cruising, the art of driving slowly through cities so you could see and be seen, was popular in the 90s. So popular in fact that jurisdictions nationwide passed ordinances banning the practice, which could create traffic woes. In a new video, General Motors and its Cadillac brand look to bring back cruising, this time in what appears to be a gussied up version of the Cruise Origin autonomous vehicle.

The structure of the Cadillac Halo portfolio concept vehicle looks like the shape of the Cruise Origin. This people mover, however, wears fancier clothes complete with exterior chrome design treatments and Cadillac badging. Its body is white while glass that appears clear from the inside is tinted black to eliminate some outsider peeping. The whole rig rides on large black wheels and is lighted by thin LED strips at the corners that follow vertical body lines.

General Motors Cadillac Halo concept car interior The vehicle's cabin has luxe accommodations.Photo courtesy of General Motors

There's a front window, rear window, and expansive glass roof. On one side, instead of side windows there are wall spaces with ambient lighting and wraparound hard plastic.

The video makes the Cadillac personal autonomous vehicle look like a living room on wheels. Occupants face each other on what looks more like a wraparound sofa than a traditional car seat and share legroom. There is also one recliner-like captains chair at the back that sits alongside a chaise lounge-like seat whose bottom fades into the rest of the bench seating.

The entire cabin is finely appointed with what looks like real wood and metal accents, sculpted seating, and flattering ambient lighting. The five-seater has seat belts for every passenger.

At the front of the vehicle is a long, horizontal screen that is raised, but can be lowered to near-flush showing what appears to be vehicle drive information. A larger screen that appears to be in the same location (which may just be a computer-generated error o GM's part) shows destination, time, occupant, weather, and climate zone control information.

General Motors Cadillac Halo concept car interior A large screen shows a picture of the occupants along with vital information.Photo courtesy of General Motors

When the screens are nested in the cabin, a hologram-like fire graphic can (apparently) be displayed.

There's an infotainment touch screen screen that illuminates on an embedded piece of plastic next to a seat that allows occupants to control navigation.

Voice control and gesture control are both included.

Though unseen, the video alludes to the fact that the vehicle is capable of "aromatherapy and light therapy". Many luxury cars allow buyers to add a fragrance to their vehicle so the aromatherapy aspect isn't too far out in left field. The vehicle's biometric sensors monitor vital signs to adjust humidity, temperature, lighting, aromatics, and ambient noise, according to a presentation by GM.

Though just a concept, it would be very GM-like for the company to be looking for ways to rebrand and reuse current platforms and mobility solutions.

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