With a sharper move towards green fuel, we see a lot of iconic cars leaving active duty and being set out to pasture. The Dodge Challenger and Audi R8 are among some of the recent retirees.
But that’s not to say it’s an end to classic cars.
The advent of restomodding by aftermarket companies has pumped life back into many oldies — some changing the transmission to a more efficient modern one, to becoming wholly electrified. So don’t be surprised if you get passed by a Porche 911 with zero emissions.
That said, here are some “classics” that have been given an electric makeover of sorts by their original creators:
1. Jaguar E-Type Zero
Enzo Ferrari once described the Jaguar E-type as “the most beautiful car in the world.” You have to admit — this is one stylish, classy speedster that evokes 1960s James Bond swerving around the cliffside curves of an Italian coast.
The original E-type was produced from 1961 to 1975, but the electric reimagining isn’t an entirely new car. Jaguar Land Rover’s specialist department, Classic, based it on the 1968 Series 1.5 Jaguar E-type Roadster, keeping all the elegant aesthetics of that model. However, under the hood, it has a high-tech electric powertrain that can push 0-62mph in just 5.5 seconds.
We’re sure 60’s Bond would be impressed.
However, just smile if someone asks to hear it roar because this electric baby doesn’t have a growl.
2. Ford Mustang Mach-E
If you expect this electric Mustang to be loud and racy like the big bad boys of combustion engine fame, you’ll be disappointed. Well, maybe on the “loud” part. The Mach-E is still fast.
It may have traded off some of its wilder edges for a sporty, family-friendly SUV image, but the GT Performance Edition (for example) can zip 0-60mph in about 3.5 seconds, and can go 312 miles per charge.
But let’s be honest.
This Mustang isn’t quite the scion of Mustangs of old, especially as the gasoline-powered pony still exists, entering its 7th generation in 2024. It’s better served to be simply thought of as the “Mach-E.” A truer electrified reimagining would be something like the prototype Mustang Mach-E 1400 with seven electric motors pumping some 1400HP.
Will a racer like the Mach-E 1400 go into mass production?
3. Fiat 500e
Who makes cute city cars?
Fiat. And the Fiat 500e is as cute as they go, just like its very successful petrol-powered counterpart, the Fiat 500. But looks are pretty much where the similarities end.
The Fiat 500e is bigger, has a newer interior and body, and of course, is all-electric. You’d think that Fiat could’ve completely altered the 500e’s appearance since pretty much everything else is different, but they decided to stick to the familiarity of the 1957 shape.
After all, why reinvent something that works?
Let Fiat aficionados keep their favorite silhouette when they want to reduce their carbon footprint. And for some extra fun, the 500c cabriolet version offers a fabric sunroof that drops all the way back to expose the wind and open sky.
4. MINI Cooper SE
Here’s another recognizable silhouette.
Cute, somewhat cartoonish, with an endearing personality, the MINI Cooper S continues to please fans, even when electrified in its SE incarnation.
Cooper S history goes back to 1963 when it was initially designed for race tracks only — that’s where the ‘S’ comes from. It stands for “sport”.
Of course, we know how much that has changed.
Today’s MINI Cooper SE looks a lot slicker than its 1963 ancestor. However, it doesn’t appear much different from its modern-day gasoline-powered counterpart, the MINI Cooper S. It’s a tad heavier, though — some 145kg heavier. But don’t worry, it hasn’t lost its agility or balance even with the extra weight.
The Cooper SE averages 114 miles on a full charge, way less than what a Cooper S can do on a full tank (over 300 miles at 32 mpg). But the SE makes up for the shorter range with a fast charging time, needing about 36 mins to reach 80% battery capacity. Enough time for a quick coffee and croissant while it powers up.
If you’re eager for an electric MINI that can do a longer range, you won’t have to wait too long, as one with a bigger battery is slotted for release in 2024.