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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The iX M60 will hit dealers' lots in June 2022.

BMW

BMW's electric vehicle catalog is growing rapidly as the automaker rolls out new electrified cars and SUVs. The latest is the iX M60, a red-hot five-seat SUV with sleek styling and a spectacular list of standard features. BMW announced the new SUV this week, along with pricing and release date details.

The iX M60 is BMW's first performance-oriented electric SUV, though BMW calls it a sports activity vehicle, or SAV. Its powertrain has been massaged to produce up to 610 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque. Maximum power delivery is limited to times when the vehicle's launch control is activated, but even the "normal" numbers are impressive: In regular driving situations, the iX puts down 532 horsepower and 749 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration to 60 mph takes 3.6 seconds and the iX M60 can go on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.

2023 BMW iX M60 Though extremely sporty, BMW doesn't shy away from using loads of luxurious finishes and materials. BMW

The iX brings more than performance, as its charging capabilities are quite strong. Using AC power, the vehicle can charge from 0-100 percent in 10.25 hours on its fastest setting. Using its fastest DC power setting, the iX can charge from 10 to 80% in just 35 minutes.

Two electric motors power the SUV, which provide standard all-wheel drive. Dual-axle air suspension is standard, along with electronically-controlled shock absorbers. BMW says that the air suspension is controlled individually at each wheel, so the vehicle can adjust ride height in several ways to maintain stability and remain level in corners.

2023 BMW iX M60 The vehicle can run from 0-60 mph in under four seconds and features standard AWD.BMW

When it goes on sale in June, 2022, the 2023 BMW iX M60 will have a starting price of $106,095, which includes a $995 destination charge. That's a flagship price tag, but the SUV's got the performance and a flagship-level list of standard features. That six-figure dollar amount buys 21-inch wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, wireless phone charging, AC fast charging, a panoramic sunroof, LED headlights, a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System, four-zone automatic climate controls, and more.

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The EQXX Concept features a crazy driving range.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is putting its century-plus of automotive experience into building electric cars, and the results are impressive. The EQS is an electric flagship with great range, and the automaker has unveiled several concepts to show its future plans. The Vision EQXX concept debuted today as an ultra-efficient luxury EV with astonishing range numbers.

Mercedes-Benz EQXX Concept Mercedes focused on efficiency over power with the car. Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes' focus with the EQXX is efficiency over power, as it says the car is its most efficient it has ever made. The EQXX uses less than 10 kWh per 100 kilometers (around 62 miles), which equates to 620 miles on a single charge. The battery was designed with tech and knowledge from Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team, especially when it comes to size and weight. The EQXX's battery pack is 50 percent smaller by volume and 30 percent lighter than the pack in the EQS, which already featured astonishing efficiency.

The car's impressive range comes at the expense of horsepower, which in this case means just 201 ponies from the EQXX's electric drivetrain. Mercedes says that the system is capable of delivering up to 95 percent energy efficiency - an impressive figure for power delivery to the wheels. Extremely efficient gas powertrains only achieve around 30 percent efficiency and a human long-distance runner can hit around 50 percent.

Mercedes-Benz EQXX Concept The EQXX is impressively slippery, which improves its range.

The EQXX is a slippery car, too, and with a drag coefficient of just 0.17, the car cuts through the air with ease. The typical EV uses up to two-thirds of its battery capacity just to push through the air, so the EQXX's aerodynamics is a big part of its efficiency. The other big part is Mercedes' thermal management system, which uses shutters and cooling plates to maintain an ideal battery and electric drive unit temperature. The plates allow the EQXX to gain about 12 miles of range in its most aerodynamic mode.

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