Lunaz Design unveils 1961 Bentley S2 Continental – the world’s rarest upcycled electric vehicle (EV)

Lunaz Design has unveiled the rarest classic car ever to be transformed to fully electric power. Dating from 1961, this specific Bentley S2 Continental is one of only four examples built. In its original specification, it was powered by a 6.2-litre V8 petrol engine. 

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Today, now completely restored and reimagined, it’s equipped with Lunaz’s in-house designed proprietary modular electric vehicle (EV) powertrain which comprises high-grade Tier 1 OEM battery cells and motors. This is the latest in a series of luxury classic cars to undergo the company’s proven upcycling process at its facility in Silverstone, UK. Previous projects include models from famous names including Aston Martin, Jaguar, Range Rover and Rolls-Royce.

David Lorenz, Lunaz founder and CEO, said: “This magnificent Bentley S2 Continental was already an exceptional motor car, as one of just a few examples of its type that remain in the world. In its new guise, it’s the rarest vehicle ever to be converted to fully electric propulsion and the most exclusive project we’ve ever undertaken at Lunaz Design. It’s literally one of a kind.

“This car is also a further demonstration of our proven upcycling process and technologies, developed entirely in-house at our Silverstone facility, which are fast becoming the de facto gold standard for electrification projects involving the world’s most prestigious marques.”

The Lunaz Upcycling Process

Undergoing the same upcycling process proven on a number of rare, high-value luxury cars over the past four years. The result is a Concours-standard vehicle that meets Lunaz’s three key requirements for an upcycled electric vehicle; usability, reliability and sustainability.

The process starts with a detailed inspection and assessment to determine the chassis, powertrain, and suspension configurations. Lunaz Design’s engineers use 3D scanning to create detailed computer aided design (CAD) models as the basis for any renovation and reconstruction work required.

The car body is then stripped down to a bare metal shell and returned to as-new condition using traditional coach-building and restoration techniques. Any external and internal materials are repaired and recoated. Anything that can’t be reused, down to the nylon in the seatbelt cord, is recycled.

The internal combustion engine and its associated systems, lubricants and other fluids are carefully removed and reclaimed, then replaced with Lunaz’s proprietary fully-electric powertrain. The modular design, developed entirely in-house, allows engineers to adjust individual components to perfectly reflect the car’s innate character and the owner’s personal preferences. The battery cells, inverters and motors are all original equipment made to Lunaz’s specification by European Tier 1 suppliers, as used by OEM carmakers.

Other vital systems, including brakes, steering, suspension and electrics, are all given Lunaz Design’s full modernisation treatment. This brings them into line with the dynamic expectations of the customer as well as current safety standards.

As specified by the client, the fully electric Bentley S2 Continental is now equipped with a clean-air 400 bhp powertrain. It produces 530 lb-ft of torque and accelerates from 0-62 mph (0-100kph) in 6.9 seconds. 

To ensure handling capability in line with contemporary standards, suspension is uprated to a fully adjustable coil-spring suspension with a lever arm damper. This is configurable electronically from the cabin of the car. Likewise, its brakes, which also incorporate a battery regeneration system, have been upgraded to six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston variants in the rear.

Sustainable Luxury Interior

In its new incarnation, the Bentley retains its luxurious character but in keeping with its zero-emission powertrain and Lunaz Design’s culture of upcycling, the interior now incorporates a much higher proportion of sustainable materials than the original.

All seat leather is made from hides tanned using naturally-fallen olive leaves, the carpet in the front and rear cabins and boot is made from 100% regenerated nylon fibre and incorporates a backing made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Similarly, all the wood veneers used on the dashboard and other areas are from sustainable sources, certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC).

The end result is a beautiful restoration of a rare classic car that is delivered in a sustainable zero emissions package that will allow it to live on for generations to admire. This has to be the most beautiful electric car on the road. We didn’t dare as the price.

Alongside upcycling beautiful classic cars to electric power, the company has Lunaz Applied Technologies (LAT) which converts commercial vehicles to zero emissions. It has recently opened its new facility, the first of its kind in the world, which now occupies a total of 200,000 square feet. This is now fully operational following a major expansion.

This is nearly four times its original size when it opened in 2018. The business has also created 300 new jobs, making LAT comfortably the largest company within the Silverstone Technology Cluster by space and employees. The expansion means LAT can significantly increase the production of its upcycled electric vehicles (UEVs), with the capacity to produce 1,100 vehicles per year.  

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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