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Can RBW’s new EV Roadster prove the future for classic motorists?

Can RBW’s new EV Roadster prove the future for classic motorists? - News

Now of course, whilst we’ve been talking a lot about the green/electric revolution as regards other vehicles here on Driving Experience in the last few months, there is one potentially thorny issue to navigate around. Particularly if the UK Government are genuinely showing commitment to imposing, say, a ‘Green Tax’ on petrol and diesel vehicles in order to meet net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Chiefly, one has to ask what the implications of this will be for classic car enthusiasts, many of whom are often found on the countryside roads at the weekends, still taking to the wheel of motors of the past, whether independently or as part of a club as a hobby? Recent developments this last week suggests that one man has the potential solution to that problem.

Peter Swain is the brains behind RBW, which combines his classic car restoration workshop with another passion of his - developing electronics and electric power in what have been colloquially termed as ‘restomods’, with their new EV MG Roadster now entering production following its premiere showcase last October.

On first glance of the promotional video (below), the more hardened cynics amongst you are probably thinking that this is just an MGB Roadster which has had the kit ripped out of a Toyota Yaris in a botched copy and paste job. But we can assure you that there’s much more to it than that.

Swain himself is an entrepreneur who comes from an established tech background, so suffice to say he’s no fool on that front. With an accredited British Motor Heritage shell and custom interiors, it has an engineered chassis and drivetrain that’s IVA compliant, so you are dealing with the Real McCoy here (or should that be E-al McCoy? We digress).

Ah yes, and then there’s the powering of the Roadster itself; it’s fitted out with a rear mounted motor and a HyperDrive/Nissan Lithium-Ion battery pack, that gives out 70kw and takes about 8 hours’ recharging time. With acceleration from 0 - 60 mph in 9 seconds and top speeds of 80 mph, you’re obviously not dealing with a Tesla P90D or a BMW i8 here - but that’s not the point.

What you’ve got instead is all the classic looks of an original MG Roadster, combined with the modernity and forward thinking vision of 21st century technology, perfect for more leisurely pursuits like a drive in the country or a local day trip - as soon as both the weather and current restrictions allow, of course.

Admittedly, there will be those purists who decry anyone so much as glancing at the EV MG Roadster as sacrilegious, and with a £90,000 price tag including taxes they’re not a cheap investment. But what RBW are crucially doing is providing - maybe not the dead set answer - but certainly a step towards finding it. And progress can only be good when viewed in that light.

16 February 2021

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