Behind the wheel
We haven’t yet driven the RBW EV Roadster on public roads, but a short test around a closed facility gave us an initial impression of the car. It has the same layout as a classic MGB inside, so it’ll be a snug fit for many, but once you’re installed, you get the familiar wheel-in-your-lap driving position.
You release the mechanical handbrake, then select ‘D’ on a rotary dial and lift off the brakes to get going. Initial acceleration is as smooth and swift as any electric car, but RBW hasn’t tried to turn the MGB into a sharp and stiffly sprung sports car; the Roadster retains the soft-edged grand-tourer feel of the original. The electric motor remains near-silent at all times, in contrast to some other electrified classic cars, which can emit a notable whine.
There’s some body roll in corners, however it’s not excessive and this isn’t a car meant for throwing around: its natural calling is a relaxing Sunday drive down country lanes, stopping off for a pub lunch somewhere along the way. The one glaring omission for now is rapid-charging capability, which puts paid to the long-distance touring and road-tripping favoured by many classic-car enthusiasts. The Roadster’s six-figure price tag could also give some pause for thought, but unless there’s a major breakthrough in the cost of battery cells, every small-volume electrified classic-car maker is in the same boat for the time being.
|Power / torque||94bhp / 240Nm|
|0-60mph / top speed||9.0s / 80mph|
|Driving range||160 miles|
|Recharge time||8hrs (10-100% @ 3.5kW)|
|Price with VAT||£108,000|