The RBW EV Roadster is a £90k plug-in MGB

By topgear, 10 October 2020

You’re looking at a ninety grand MGB. But before you despair about classic car auction prices spiralling into the stratosphere, this is a brand new MGB. And one powered entirely by electricity.

Yep, meet the latest EV-in-classic-clothing to join an increasingly diverse market. If an all-electric Roll-Royce isn’t quite something you can stretch to, perhaps this 80 per cent cheaper RBW EV Roadster might be.

There’s some proper names involved too, including Continental and Zytek. The combination of a lithium-ion battery under the bonnet and an electric motor on the rear axle give this reinvigorated B the same weight distribution as before. Even if, as we expect, weight itself is up.

But then the chances of you hammering your breakdown cover will be down. The whole ‘classic shell on modern mechanicals’ thing is all the rage now, and we’re fully on board. Total output is 70kW – or 95hp – with 0-95km/h taking nine seconds. You’ll get 250+km on a full charge, which takes eight hours via DC. Not earth-shattering figures, but all more than adequate for the kind of use an MGB would typically get.

Especially as its lack of tailpipe emissions means you’ll be able to get past tolls like London’s ULEZ in something with Sixties styling. RBW’s work isn’t just MGs, either.

“What is exciting for us is that the RBW System and architecture can be installed into other body shells such as Austin Healey, Jaguar E-Type, Mini, and many more,” says RBW boss Peter Swain. “Each car can be built to the clients’ personal specification and requirements. The opportunities are endless and therefore safeguards the future of classic motoring.”

Simple question then: which classic sportscar would you like to roll around silently in?

STORY Stephen Dobie

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