Electric vehicles have entered the mainstream, but while some manufacturers are developing futuristic concepts, others are looking to the past for their designs. Here is a roundup of eight electric cars with a retro design.
Following the news that Volkswagen is launching an electric update to its T1 camper van, we look at other car brands, including Jaguar and Hyundai, that have drawn on classic car designs for their electric vehicles.
German automotive company Volkswagen recently launched the ID Buzz van as an electrified update to its iconic T1 Transporter camper van that became associated with the hippie movement in the 1960s and '70s.
Like its forebearer, the ID Buzz has a flat front with almost no overhang and a V-shaped face adorned with an oversized VW logo, with an option for two-tone paintwork.
"The T1 was an icon of the 1950s," said Volkswagen head of design Jozef Kabaň. "With the ID Buzz, we're transferring its DNA into the age of electromobility. It's conveying the icon's genes and design elements into the digital age."
Designers at Korean automaker Hyundai have built the Heritage Series Grandeur, a modernised, all-electric concept version of its 1980s saloon car.
It kept the first generation Grandeur's original boxy shape while adding features such as pixel-style LED headlights and taillights.
Inside, burgundy velvet seats and a single-spoke steering wheel are reminiscent of the car's original interiors, but the dashboard's buttons and dials were replaced with an ultra-wide touch screen display.
Called the Suite No.4, Lehanneur's model has the same lines and exterior dimensions as the classic 4L, but the rear panelling is replaced with panoramic windows that cover the sides and roof of the car.
As well as being retrofitted to be 100 per cent electric, it features transparent solar panels on the roof that help to charge the car's battery while in sunlight.
Swiss company Micro launched the Microlino 2.0 electric car, released in 2020, to combine modern aesthetics and mechanics with "retro charm".
It closely resembles the Italian-designed Isetta Microcar from the 1950s, and at only 2.4 metres long is small enough that it only takes up a third of a standard parking space.
For instance, the MINI Cooper SE has a closed grille because of its reduced need for ventilation, and wheels and mirror caps have been updated to be more aerodynamic.
In 2018, BMW also built a one-off all-electric version of the classic MINI first produced in 1959, to promote its stated switch to zero-emissions production.
Instead of basing a new electric car on one of its classics, Jaguar unveiled a fully electrified prototype of the E-Type convertible that entirely retains the original's aesthetic.
The E-Type, which was produced from 1961 to 1975, was described by Italian automotive legend Enzo Ferrari as "the most beautiful car in the world".
Its electric remake was engineered by Jaguar Land Rover's specialist Classic department to have a powertrain of a similar weight and size to a petrol engine, meaning that the car's design – including its breaks and suspension – did not have to be changed.
Japanese luxury car manufacturer Infiniti designed the electric Prototype 10 concept car to be a forward-looking version of early Californian speedster cars.
"This idea of 'looking back to go forward', and combining the inspiration of an earlier aesthetic with future technology, lets us show how excited we are about the era of electrification," said executive design director Karim Habib.
"Prototype 10 draws on some of the most iconic and evocative car designs of all time to illustrate this excitement."
Ford F-100 Eluminator
In November 2021, Ford produced an electric version of its 1978 F-100 pickup truck to promote a new electric crate motor that can be installed as part of the process of electrifying combustion-engine vehicles.
The F-100 Eluminator concept uses two motors that are the same as those used in the GT performance edition of the all-electric Mustang Mach-E released to market in 2019, which itself departed in style from its predecessors.
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