A 1949 Mercury Coupe EV that made its debut at the SEMA show in Las Vegas proves all that is gold does not glitter – at least on the outside anyway.
The amazing conversion was carried out by ICON, who decided to embrace the ‘modern performance married to classic styling’ by taking a 1949 Mercury Coupe and fitting a pair of electric motors that deliver around 470 pound-feet of torque, which in old money stacks up to the equivalent of 400 horses galloping along the highway.
California-based custom car maker ICON is part of its “Derelict” conversion series, which focuses on maintaining the vehicles’ original exterior appearance while equipping them with modern electric powertrains.
An innovative powertrain also includes a ‘James Bond’ style nifty CHAdeMO 125A fast-charge plug cleverly hidden behind the front number plate which provides the juice behind a range of approximately 150 to 200 miles, with a full recharge capacity of 1.5 hours and a top speed of 120mph.
Not too shabby for something that weighs in at 3,500–4,000 lb (1,600–1,800 kg).
Whilst the 1949 Mercury Coupe EV has few moving parts, the ICON team gave the classic some bling in the form of a ‘traditional V8’ pseudo-line-up that sits under the bonnet where the battery modules and controllers reside.
The complete engineering exercise was completed in synergy with Stealth EV and runs on all-season high-performance Goodyear Eagle RS-A tyres.
ICON lead designer Jonathan Ward explained:
“The car isn’t as spritely as other modern aggressive EV vehicles but does drive incredibly well and responds magnificently.”
The classic EV nostalgia has rapidly gathered momentum in recent times with projects such as this amazing Volkswagen e-BULLI but still divides the purist, who constantly shout at the top of their voices “Its got no sound” or “Never a classic without an engine” brigade.
Time will tell if the classic electrification converts the ‘petrol purist’ into accepting things are changing. Whether the concept is embraced by them or not is a different matter.
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