Classic Jaguar gets a sustainable electric make over

19 June 2022

classic car

The worlds of classic cars and sustainability have merged via a 70-year-old Jaguar XK120. The vehicle has been electrified and fitted with an interior largely made up from reclaimed and recycled material.

UK-based company Lunaz, which specialises in converting classic cars to electric vehicles (EVs) has reimagined the XK120 in a ‘world first’ customer-commissioned project.

The rebuilt Jaguar features a bespoke obsidian blue, leather-free interior that uses ocean clean-up materials, including carpets that are woven from reclaimed nylon sea-fishing nets. Seat frames have been constructed using recyclable aluminium and, wherever possible, original material from the car has been restored to minimise the requirement to create new materials. This extends to the substrates which were then re-veneered in sustainably-sourced timber.

classic cars
Source: Lunaz

Prior to interior assembly, the 1952 Jaguar XK120 underwent a full bare-metal restoration at the company’s base in Silverstone, UK. The original 3.4-litre engine has been replaced with an all-electric powertrain, developed by a team headed by Jon Hilton, former technical director of Renault Formula One.

Founded in 2018, the Lunaz Group spans three companies, all of which re-manufactures and electrifies passenger, commercial, and industrial vehicles. Lunaz Design focuses on reviving, re-engineering and converting classic cars to electric powertrains, Lunaz Applied technologies electrifies industrial fleet vehicles, whilst Lunaz Powertrain provides modular powertrains as a turn-key, white-label product for OEMs.

‘Furthering the legacies of the most celebrated cars in the world is a labour of love derived from close collaboration with every Lunaz customer. In handing over this beautiful electrified and upcycled Jaguar XK120, we conclude a project that has empowered our designers to re-imagine the traditional classic-car material palette. We are proud to take materials and create processes that significantly reduce the global impact of enjoying these cars by unlocking the power of upcycling,’ commented Lunaz founder and CEO David Lorenz.

Re-imagining classic cars for an electric future

Source: Lunaz

At a cost of £350,000 (€409,000), this rarefied Jaguar XK120 is an expensive proposition for most consumers. This is perhaps underlined by the fact that ex-footballer David Beckham recently handed his son a 1954 Jaguar XK140, upcycled and electrified by Lunaz, as a wedding gift.

However, the upscaling and electrification of classic cars is becoming less of a niche sector within the automotive industry. Fully Charged Live 2022 featured a myriad of new and future technologies related to the entire EV experience, from mining to mapping and charging to vehicle subscription. As well as looking forward, many companies, like Lunaz, are looking to the past for inspiration.

Born out of a passion for classic cars and the desire to make them more reliable and ecological, Mid-Wales-based Electric Classic Cars is one firm doing just that. So far the company has worked on cars like a DeLorean DMC-12, converted to an EV with a Tesla power unit, and an electrified Isetta ‘bubble car’. Autovista24 caught up with ECC’s Tim Madeley at this year’s Fully Charged Live. He believes there will be an increase in demand for electrifying older cars.

He explained that non-classic cars might not see a lot of interest due to the cost of conversion. ‘But for classics, definitely. As we get congestion charges in cities and people are wanting an electric vehicle to miss out on the congestion charge, or they want an electric vehicle anyway. It makes a lot of sense to get a classic that you like the look of, that has got a lot of character,’ Madeley said. ‘By the electric conversion, not only does it give you all those benefits, being better drive, but you are also driving in a car that has got a lot of character, and it is more reliable, and you are helping the environment. It is a win-win really.’