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Most complex electric Range Rover by Lunaz builds commence as demand surges

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Jan 7, 2023 #Lunaz, #Range Rover
  • Demand for electrified Range Rovers by Lunaz surges to 45% of total production
  • Lunaz grows workforce by 250 to fulfil demand for clean-air classic Range Rovers
  • Lunaz electric powertrain and chassis upgrades to exceed capability of original cars
  • Two of the most complex builds commence in Town and Country configuration
  • Long wheelbase and open Safari models created for individual clients 
  • Powertrain complimented by sustainable materials and contemporary infotainment
  • Global customer base extends from Scotland and USA to French Riviera

“The dramatic surge in demand for clean-air classic Range Rovers is significant proof of concept for Lunaz Design. The market has confirmed that re-engineering, electrifying and upcycling the most significant cars in the world will secure their relevance for generations to come. To satisfy this demand, we have recruited 250 experts to join us at Lunaz headquarters in Silvertsone, England – the largest upcycling campus in the world. With our Range Rovers by Lunaz, and through significant vehicles such as the extraordinary Town and Country commissions, we will continue to set a new benchmark of excellence in classic car design, engineering and craftsmanship as well as the discipline and culture of upcycling.”
David Lorenz, CEO, Lunaz

Following the 2021 announcement that Lunaz Design, the leading creator of electric classic cars, was taking orders for its first tranche of classic electric Range Rovers, demand for clean-air expressions of these off-road vehicles spiked and now accounts for 45% of the marque’s total production. Commissions of the two configurations offered – ‘Town’, which focuses on rear-seat and driver comfort, and ‘Country’, which incorporates engineering features that enable better-than-new off-roading capability – are balanced 70/30 respectively.

Range Rovers by Lunaz specified in ‘Town’ configuration have received significant bespoke treatments. Alongside more simple requests for personalised exterior and interior colourways, features requested by Lunaz’ customers include integrating vintage clothing into the vehicle’s fabric palette, Starlink WiFi connectivity and switchgear and seat fabrics made from upcycled ocean plastics. Following ‘the merge’ of the Ethereum blockchain, which will see energy consumption of the network fall by 99%, Lunaz is now also able to fulfil a client request for an NFT casting screen given that this Web3 proposition better aligns with the company’s culture of sustainability and upcycling.

Nearly all ‘Country’ vehicles have been commissioned based on their owners’ estates. From ranches in Wyoming, vineyards on the Cote d’Azur and shooting estates in Scotland, each Range Rover by Lunaz has been meticulously tailored to the specific climate, terrain and lifestyle demands of their owners. While upgrading the off-road capability of the car is often prioritised, customers have integrated field sports equipment stowage and even ski equipment racks with ‘warm boxes’ for hats and gloves in preparation for a day on the pistes.

The two most complex Range Rover builds ever undertaken by Lunaz Design have commenced, side by side. The first is a Long Wheelbase variant in ‘Town’ configuration and the second is a fully open Safari model – the same type that featured in the James Bond film, Octopussy – in ‘Country’ specification. Created for two different customers on each side of the Atlantic, the ‘Town’ Range Rover will be 80% chauffeur driven and kept in Monaco, while the ‘Country’ Safari model will be used as a sailing yacht tender in Southampton, New York.

After being stripped to bare metal, each base car is reinforced with box section steel in preparation for its significantly uprated all-wheel-drive powertrain. Following its installation – and subject to customer preference – this will deliver roughly 360bhp and 450lb ft, which is approximately 177% more power than the original V8 engine (estimated 368g/km CO2). Six and four-piston disc brakes will be fitted to the front and rear respectively. The brakes also feature a regenerative function, charging the car’s battery as it slows. The suspension on both cars will be subject to a complete overhaul. All bushings and linkages are replaced then adjustable, long-travel coil-over suspension will be fitted.

Range Rover by Lunaz: ‘Town’ configuration
In the cabin, the utility of the original interior design has been significantly elevated, balancing the integration of the latest technology, such as Apple CarPlay-enabled infotainment with a six-inch screen and modern audio upgrades powered by a 1300-watt amplifier, with the iconic Range Rover aesthetic.

The interior of the Long Wheelbase model uses a colour palette inspired by the customer’s second home in Scotland. Rugged greens, warm oranges and rich mineral tones are rendered in both leather and durable box-woven wool on the seats – each electrically operated, heated and cooled with massage functions.

The customer requested a specific wood species, walnut, for use in her Range Rover, which flows from the dashboard into the centre console. The console itself features wireless device charging facilities, warming and cooling drinks carriers, a separate water fridge and a watch winder for four timepieces. The exterior is finished in a bold coral colour, designed by the customer herself, with a contrasting jet-black roof.

On average, a clean-air electric Range Rover by Lunaz conversion requires 30,000 hours to complete. However, this remarkable commission will require experts across Lunaz’ design, engineering and craft functions to invest more than 50,000 collective hours.

Range Rover by Lunaz: ‘Country’ configuration
The open Safari model has been given a significantly different treatment in preparation for its use as a sailing yacht tender in Long Island, New York. This fully open car has been subject to significant body and chassis reinforcements using triangular steel section to brace the car in preparation for its uprated powertrain but also remain stable without a roof. The exterior has been given Maya Blue coachwork, acknowledging its oceanside use.

While its primary use is intended as a shuttle between the customer’s property and yacht, the interior has been a considerable focus point. Rendered in Mocca Walnut, each veneer leaf is individually bookmatched to create a chevron pattern. In a Lunaz first, Mocca Walnut flooring will be fitted to the rear passenger deck – which can seat six – and flow into a bespoke centre console, which will incorporate device charging facilities and a cool box. For a contemporary treatment, the wood will be applied in machined, linear strips before being given a hardwearing satin weatherproofing lacquer finish. This process alone will take more than 1,000 hours in total.

Prices for classic electric Range Rovers by Lunaz start at £245,000 ($281,427 as of 31 Oct) excluding local taxes. A new tranche of vehicles is currently being allocated with first customer deliveries anticipated during the second quarter of 2022.

JOB CREATION AND GROWTH
“We have drawn on the extraordinary talent pool that exists in Silverstone, Britain’s automotive and technology manufacturing heartland. We are proud to fly the flag for our nation’s leadership in cutting-edge zero emissions technologies and more traditional automotive engineering skills on the global stage.” 
David Lorenz, CEO, Lunaz 

Lunaz has enjoyed extraordinary growth in 2020 reflecting the shifting global attitudes towards consumption. Indeed, the firm has responded to a rebalancing of car collections for a clean air future. This has led to a doubling in the number of highly skilled jobs at the firm’s manufacturing base in Silverstone and anticipated future demand will lead to a further doubling of the number of skilled engineers, designers and technicians at an expanded manufacturing base adjacent to the current technical HQ. 

THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY
By 2030, when the UK ban on internal combustion engine car sales will come into effect there will be two billion Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles on the planet. Without conversion to electric, this will represent mass redundancy of finite resources that could otherwise be re-used. Our approach answers the urgent need to extend the life of these vehicles for future generations.” 
David Lorenz, CEO, Lunaz 

Lunaz’ approach is in line with the principles of the ‘circular economy’. Its mission is to deliver pinnacle cars whilst exhausting significantly fewer resources than what goes into the production and lifecycle of a new vehicle. With major market bans on the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles being brought forward, there is a pressing requirement for the industry to find viable alternatives to scrapping the estimated two billion ICE vehicles that will exist by 2030. Furthering the legacies of classic cars through electrification will preserve their life and make them a relevant and usable proposition for a new generation. 

RESTORATION AND ELECTRIFICATION PROCESS 
“We designed inherent flexibility within our approach to upcycling the world’s most celebrated cars. Our electric classic Range Rovers demonstrate the scope of vehicles that can be re-engineered and given an entirely new life through conversion to our proprietary electric powertrain.”
Jon Hilton, Managing Director and Technical Lead, Lunaz

From its inception in early 2018, the company has hired the very best engineering, design and manufacturing talent. The team has been handpicked to satisfy all of the identified requirements of Lunaz’ clientele and includes expertise from Aston Martin, Ferrari, Ford, Formula 1, Jaguar, Volkswagen, McLaren and Rolls-Royce.

The restoration and conversion process represents re-engineering from the ground up. It starts with an exhaustive inspection. Each corner is then weighed to understand the original weight distribution to the gram. This information informs decisions on chassis setup, powertrain packaging and suspension. The internal combustion engine and associated systems are then removed and the chassis is prepared for electrification. 

The car is then 3D scanned; this allows the engineers to create detailed CAD models to ensure technical perfection in every step of the process. The specifics of Lunaz electric propulsion technology is closely guarded, but each classic by Lunaz is designed, developed, engineered and tested in-house using the highest specification modules available for automotive applications. 

Traditional coachbuilding and restoration skills are then employed and the car is stripped down to a bare metal shell. Even imperceptible body defects are addressed by hand before the surface finish process begins.

The same approach extends to the interior. The in-house design team makes subtle adaptations to integrate modern conveniences such as satellite telecommunications, WiFi, audiovisual entertainment and navigation aids.

The accessories associated with electric powertrains including battery chargers and DC converters are sensitively integrated into the existing design of the car, utilising the fuel filler cap for charging and adapting dials to an appropriate read-out for the electrical powertrain. New air conditioning and electronic heating systems are installed and the accelerator is converted to a throttle-by-wire system. Following the uprating of braking, suspension, steering and electronics systems every circuit is tested before first start-up procedures begin.

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