Zero Labs' re-engineered 1965 4x4 offers a 500% power increase and a five-speed manual gearbox
Felix Page Autocar writer
26 April 2019

California-based EV start-up Zero Labs Automotive has unveiled a re-engineered classic Ford Bronco with an electric powertrain. 

The electric version of the iconic 1965 4x4 features a brushless permanent magnet AC motor producing 277lb ft of torque and 434bhp – a 500% increase over the original straight-six petrol engine. 

Power is sent to either the rear axle or all four wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox, marking a break from convention for EVs, which typically make use of a single-speed transmission.

Zero Labs' first production vehicle stores its power in a 70kWh lithium ion battery pack, making it good for a claimed 190 miles of range.

The model's renowned off-road capability has been preserved with the installation of a two-speed transfer case, high-performance front and rear differentials, adjustable coilover suspension and Brembo six-piston disc brakes, while the styling has been recreated with newly fabricated carbonfibre body panels, which are claimed to be fitted with 4mm of tolerance. 

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Buyers can specify bespoke interior material options, with a range of sustainable and vegan-friendly finishes available. A digital instrument display features, but it has been designed to mirror the shape of the original analogue display. 

Those interested can now place a reservation through the company’s website. The initial production run is limited to 150 units. 

Zero Labs says the electric Bronco was designed over the course of three years to be low-maintenance and environmentally friendly, with the ability “to be enjoyed now and well into the future”. 

Zero Labs founder Adam Roe said: “A clean energy future doesn't have to come at the expense of our past.

“We have committed ourselves to providing car lovers with both the spirit of our past and a clean energy future but at today’s standards.” 

The electrification of classic cars is a growing trend; Aston Martin now offers reversible electric powertrain conversions for classic models, Jaguar sells the E-Type Zero and an electric classic Mini has been put into limited production by Swindon Powertrain.

Read more:

Ford's baby Bronco SUV leaked in dealer presentation​

Aston Martin offers 'reversible' electric conversion for classic cars​

Swind E electric classic Mini on sale from £79,000​

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Comments
5

26 April 2019

I like the idea of electrifying classic cars, a shame its so costly, with regards the jag and the mini mentioned and I doubt this carbon panelled ford will be cheap either but still, its great.

26 April 2019

I too love the idea and this looks well done, just a shame they choose a base vehicle that can only be described as a crude pile of shite.

26 April 2019

The bronco was as American as apple pie and Mum to the yanks, as was the cortina to the Brits. The 1st year base cortina was rough and unpolished... but a diamond nonetheless. And from that side of the pond, the yanks were completely chuffed with the brawny-go-anywhere motor. 

 

What's crude to Us, is sometimes satisfyingly practical to the Americans... look at the corvette and mustang; they utilised 18th century leaf spring tech in their sports cars til the late 20th century. 

26 April 2019

Hi Felix - Zerolabs here. Thanks for the post. Some clarifications to your article 

original chassisthe vehicle uses a new precision made TIG welded chassis, Custom Engineered 4-Link Suspension, Brembo 6 piston caliper brakes, Currie front and rear differentials and Adjustable FOX coil over suspension. What is original is the specs for the dimensions and mount points.  

"the electric Bronco is said to retain 1000 original parts"We can see now how this could be confusing. We actually designed and engineered 1,000 new parts not kept them from the 50 year old original. We changed our language - thanks for pointing that out. 

Cost We get it, and it's not for everyone. Since we can only make so many of them, we were inspired to make the best the world has ever seen. If we are to bring credibility to the category of classic electric, it has to be on the level of premium cars today. 

 

thanks again 

Zero Labs Team, Los Angeles California 

27 April 2019

Claiming a 4mm tolerance for body panels is not really a claim is it?  More something to hide.

 

It is a shame it doesn't actually look more like a Bronco.

 

And what is the cost that is referred to several times in the comments?

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