That’s an electric Restomod Series IIA Land Rover from Everrati. The noisy old engine has been carefully ripped out and replaced with a great 150hp/221lb-ft electric motor and a 60 kWh battery that has a range of 125 miles in the real world.
Projects like this may upset the classic purists, but in Land Rover’s case, new life is being breathed into a car that may be mouldering away somewhere and probably has goats living in it. Whether or not you agree with the new owner’s use of the vehicle, it’s great to see some B-listed classics being restored for everyday use and enjoyment.
It would be easy to assume all that, but it’s a bit lazy. The company is careful about the cars it takes on and quickly points out that its 964 Porsche update uses the most irritating Tiptronic model as a donor. It’s also turned down a few more controversial suggestions from potential customers, and that’s fair.
The company has big plans – it says it is currently looking into selling some 993-generation (or even newer) 911s and that a convertible version of its current 964 offerings is in the pipeline. Its next project – a Ford GT40 – could be the most controversial yet.
Given the hard work that goes into these models (each donor car is taken apart and reassembled piece by piece. The Land Rover even has its donkey hanging around the office to road-test new parts), Everrati has predictably harsh words for the chop shops that install accident-damaged Tesla powertrains in nondescript classics. The Everrati upgrade is as seamless as finding out that this person’s song is a cover.
How Does It Drive? Probably Like an Electric Corsa
It does not – the temptation must be strong to Photoshop out some of the troubling idiosyncrasies of the Land Rover experience, but Everrati has resisted admirably. The Series IIA is a terrible car – it’s noisy, unrefined, wanders the road and bounces over even the slightest bump like a lamb in springtime. The drum brakes are a disaster – you have to plan how to come to a stop and step on the brake pedal for many hundreds of metres before you would consider doing that in any other car. The model we drove had no power steering – although you can have it fitted if you wish – which makes any low-speed manoeuvre a sweaty disaster. You would never take your amenities for granted again…
But this Land Rover is glorious for that very reason, and I congratulate Everrati for preserving its character. However, disc brakes and a more powerful power-assisted braking system are also available. When you drive the Series IIA with an electric motor, you think about where the character and soul of a car lies. Instead of being an effete classic with obsolete parts, this Land Rover can go back to doing what it does best, which is everything.
The interior has also been brought up to date – the redesigned leather seats are heated front and rear, and you have the option of leaving everything as it is or getting a modern upgrade. For example, do you fancy air conditioning, or would you rather stick with the tried and tested “flap under the windscreen” solution?
Is It Still Suitable for the Off-Road Use?
Everrati has left the original transfer case, and four-wheel drive in the car, and only the engine has been replaced. Apart from the road-going tyres on the car we drove, everything is as nature intended – apparently, the fatter off-road tyres were too noisy for the quiet electric motor, which is impressive because the replacement tyres are barely whispered. So you still have the original stick switches in the cabin to choose between high and low gearing and switch between two- and four-wheel drive.
What Will It Cost?
The Series IIA is by no means cheap, but if you get a sense of Everrati’s attention to detail, it’s probably good value for money. It will cost at least £150,000, and that’s before you start looking at the list of bespoke options. Everrati says one customer in the queue quoted almost a five-figure amount of audio equipment for his order. The company takes apart each piece of the original engine by piece and repairs, restores and replaces them as they go. The chassis is also galvanised to protect it from rust.
Is It Worth It?
You’ll have to ask the car’s new owners shortly – this is the kind of car you buy with your heart, even if your head is relieved by the zero-emission operation and lower fuel bills. Whether you are jetting across the roof on a sunny day, driving through muddy ditches or just speeding around town, there’s something about an old classic like this that enhances any journey.
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