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 RoadsterThe 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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Updated EV

2023 Nissan Leaf pricing announced

The Leaf got a mild facelift for 2023.

Nissan

Nissan is nearing the release of the Ariya, its first new EV in several years. Even so, the brand hasn't forgotten about its first mass-market EV, the Leaf. It was an early entrant in the space, and has been an efficient, affordable, commuter car for over a decade. The car got a mild facelift for 2023, with updated wheels and exterior styling accents. Today, Nissan announced pricing for the Leaf, which starts at just under $29,000.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf feels lively, despite middling power numbers.Nissan

The base Leaf comes with a 40-kWh battery capable of delivering a 149-mile range. Its 110-kW electric motor produces 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The Leaf SV Plus features a 60-kWh battery for a range of 212 miles. It comes with a 160-kW motor that makes 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Nissan backs all Leaf models with an eight-year/100,000-mile battery warranty.

ProPilot Assist comes standard for the Leaf SV Plus, and brings a full suite of advanced driver aids that include adaptive cruise control, driver alertness features, and a surround-view monitor. All Leaf models get Nissan Safety Shield 360, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, automatic high beams, and rear automatic braking.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf SV Plus offers up to 212 miles of range.Nissan

The new Leaf starts at $28,895, which includes a $1,095 destination charge. The Leaf SV Plus starts at $36,895. The 2023 Nissan Leaf is on sale now, and may be eligible for federal tax credits of up to $7,500. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to receive a state tax credit or other incentives.

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The 2023 Crosstrek starts at $23,645.

Subaru

Subaru is one of the best at listening to its customers' needs, and the Crosstrek is a great example of that mindset. It's a useful vehicle with plenty of interior space and enough ground clearance to take its passengers well of the beaten path. Today, Subaru announced pricing for the 2023 Crosstrek and Crosstrek Hybrid. The duo will go on sale this summer.

Subaru CrosstrekThe Crosstrek's cabin is adventure-ready and packed with great tech. Subaru

The standard Crosstrek starts at $23,645 before destination and the Crosstrek Hybrid starts at $36,845. Five trims are available for the standard model, including Base, Premium, a new Special Edition, Sport, and Limited. The Hybrid comes in a single trim level. All Crosstrek variants get all-wheel drive with active torque vectoring and 8.7 inches of ground clearance.

The Base, Premium, and Special Edition trims come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 152 horsepower. The Sport and Limited trims get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 182 horsepower. Most models come with a continuously variable transmission, but the Base and Premium trims come standard with a six-speed manual gearbox. The Crosstrek Hybrid comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with two electric motors. The plug-in system can deliver 17 miles of electric range.

Subaru CrosstrekThe Crosstrek delivers 8.7 inches of ground clearance.Subaru

True to Subaru form, the Crosstrek comes with a full suite of advanced driver aids, including automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure alerts, adaptive cruise, and more. These features are only available for CVT-equipped models. The Limited trim and the Crosstrek Hybrid add automatic high beams, reverse automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

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