You know Jonathon Ward. His Icon Restomods (although that word may not be specific enough to cover the artistry of his creations) are legendary, as are his Toyota Land Cruiser FJs. And his Derelict series has been around for a while. He did a Chevy Business Coupe from Chevrolet in 2011. We have known this creation, a Merc Coupe, for a few months. At SEMA, at the very cute Fiat Giardinetta EV, the wraps are out and we can look at it in its fully patinated glory.
The Merc combines an electric powertrain with an unaffected-looking exterior, preserves the lowering and a few hard-to-recognize details that point to its highly modified character. Look underneath and you will see a complete Art Morrison custom frame. The patina, sometimes exaggerated, looks beautiful here above the gray-green paint. An abandoned badge and one of Ward's distinctive lizard sculptures are clear on closer inspection. Under the original gas cap is a cleverly placed Tesla compressor connector and behind the license plate is a CHAdeMO holder.
Inside, beautiful fabrics that fit in time and learn the more involved details. Electrically operated windows operate via the original manual control levers. Digital meters from Andromeda have a vintage design. A / C vents now perforate the dashboard, but look like they can be original. The same with the new switches, bezels and so on, which serve modern components.
The coolest part is under the hood. The battery controllers and some of the Tesla batteries (there is a full set of 85 kWh Tesla batteries spread over the car) are placed subconsciously and resemble a V8 engine. The electric motors, which make about 470 lb-ft of torque and the equivalent of about 400 hp, live where the traditional transmission would be. Even the underhood wiring gets a vintage-style woven loom. The EV conversion was "co-designed" by Icon and Stealth EV.
The best thing about the Derelict Merc is that it indicates a future in which EV conversions may be more about style and function than just a case full of non-sexy batteries. Thanks to the Tesla bits, it is also usable, with a range of 150 to 200 miles and a full charging capacity of 90 minutes. The careful build and custom touches were clearly an extra-no-cost type of work, and Ward does not say in advance what such a construction might cost. But – spoiler alert – it is not cheap. Survive the beautiful photo 's above and if you' re at SEMA, take a look at the Optima Battery booth.