Goodwood – Ethan Jupp – Rolls-Royce

Thought to be ‘the most complex classic car EV conversion yet completed’, this Phantom II now has in the place of its 7.7-litre pushrod straight-six a 93kWh battery delivering 150 miles of range. 

Original article published September 2023

1929 Rolls‑Royce Phantom II gets sympathetic EV conversion

Some cars were just born for all-electric power, even if they’re a century old. Take this 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom II, for instance. A car so elegant and celebrated for its refinement and luxury, can only get quieter, more powerful and more effortless with the switch. That’s why it’s the basis of Electrogenic’s latest EV conversion.

Thought to be ‘the most complex classic car EV conversion yet completed’, this Phantom II now has in the place of its 7.7-litre pushrod straight-six a 93kWh battery delivering 150 miles of range. 

The electric powertrain has been carefully and sympathetically integrated into the car’s existing structure, to ensure that the conversion is entirely reversible should someone desire in the future. The original form is entirely preserved, with no drilling or cutting used in the process.

Happily, the Phantom’s cavernous under-bonnet area, where that huge engine and transmission used to reside, is the perfect spot for a battery bank. In a bid to not entirely lose that under-hood form factor, Electrogenic has created a hand-formed and riveted aluminium cowling that should be in keeping with the rest of the car.

It wasn’t getting the electric bits into the Rolls that presented the challenge. It was integrating them with the car’s existing systems. No, we’re not talking about infotainment in a century-old Rolls. We’re talking about its famous centralised ‘through-flow’ chassis lubrication system, which connects the car’s phosphor-bronze bushes in its suspension system that informs the famous silky-smooth ride and drive. The same is the case with the classic cable braking system which has been adapted to integrate with the battery install. They now also work in tandem with the motor’s in-built regeneration function.

The batteries power an electric motor mounted between the chassis rails via a custom single-speed direct-drive transmission. The power is fairly spectacular, with the Rolls getting four-times that of its original petrol engine – 203PS (150kW), while the prop gets 1,000Nm (738lb ft) of torque.

On the inside, it’s been sympathetically modified, with gauges that now speak more accurately to readings around an EV powertrain, as well as a new HiFi system

“We’re delighted to reveal this fabulous EV converted Phantom II to the world,” said Electrogenic Director Steve Drummond. “It has been an immensely complicated and rewarding project, carried out over the course of 18 months by our team of sector-leading engineers, programmers and fabricators.

“This is undoubtedly the most complex classic car EV conversion yet attempted, the stunning results really are a testament to the world-leading talents of our team.”

So what do you think of this EV-converted Rolls-Royce Phantom II? We reckon the best car in the world can only get better.

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