January 26, 2022

This classic Nissan Bluebird is reborn as an all-electric restomod

Nissan UK’s Sunderland manufacturing facility celebrates 35 years of producing heritage this 12 months. Commemorating this momentous event is a one-off T12 Nissan Bluebird station wagon operating an all-electric powertrain from the Nissan Leaf. Affectionately referred to as the ‘Newbird’ by Nissan UK, this classic restomod brings again reminiscences of less complicated occasions.

“The Newbird represents all that’s nice about our plant, and our implausible crew is now main the best way as we drive in the direction of an thrilling electrified, carbon-neutral future,” stated Alan Johnson, Vice President of Manufacturing on the Sunderland Plant.

The Nissan Bluebird was the primary automotive to roll off the Sunderland meeting plant in 1986. In line with Nissan’s brochure, the Bluebird is “the primary of a brand new technology of vehicles engineered in Europe to be inbuilt Britain on the world’s most superior manufacturing facility.” It got here with both a 1.6-liter, 2.0-liter, or 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder fuel engine in three physique kinds: sedan, hatchback, and property or wagon.

After all, the method of changing a gasoline automotive to an electrical automobile is just not for the faint of coronary heart. Nissan sought assist from Durham-based EV conversion specialist Kinghorn Electrical Autos to create the Newbird utilizing second-life motors, batteries, and inverters. Kinghorn removed the oily bits (combustion engine, gearbox, and many others.) to make room for a Leaf electrical motor and inverter. As well as, the automotive has a 40 kWh battery pack cut up between the engine bay and the trunk to optimize weight distribution.

Newbird additionally has up to date energy steering, braking, and heating programs to run on electrical energy. It additionally received a brand new suspension to deal with the added weight of the battery packs. “Given our location so near the Sunderland plant (15 miles), engaged on this Bluebird conversion was a terrific undertaking to be a part of,” added George Kinghorn of Kinghorn Electrical Autos.

Just like the 2022 Nissan Leaf S geared up with a 40 kWh battery pack, the Newbird achieves 130 miles of driving vary in a single full cost. It goes from zero to 60 mph in underneath 15-seconds. It’s not the quickest EV restomod by any means, however Newbird is just not about blistering acceleration. “Changing older automobiles to electrical offers you on a regular basis use of those iconic classic fashions,” added Kinghorn.

Newbird has a 6.6 kW charging port conveniently situated within the inventory gasoline door when the batteries go flat. As well as, the physique has customized graphics impressed by the Eighties and the twenty first century, stated Nissan Design Europe. Different neat touches embrace an LED backlight on the unique Nissan hood badge that lights up when the automobile is just not transferring.

Nissan’s Ambition 2030 electrification plan contains releasing 15 fully-electric fashions and e-POWER hybrids by 2030, beginning with the Ariya crossover EV arriving subsequent fall. The automaker is spending $17-billion in investments over the following 5 years to make this occur. We gained’t be seeing the Newbird in Nissan’s future EV lineup, however the automaker did unveil three new EV ideas final November to present us an thought of what’s within the pipeline.

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