The Charger 67 EV Mustang is a rare beast
All mixed breeds Rage in the dog world right now. There’s cockapoo, springador, puggle and labsky; And a morkie, and a chiweenie, and a whooodle. The idea of these “designer dogs” is that you get a sort of Goldilocks genetic bloodline, with the best characteristics from both parents: the loving loyalty of a retriever, say, with the fluffy coat of a poodle.
And maybe what is true in nature is also true in automotive engineering? It looks that way, judging by this car: This is the ’67 Charge—and no, it’s not a restored classic with a V8 under the hood. It’s an all-new electric vehicle, reimagined from the ground up as a purpose-built electric vehicle.
Made in 1967 in the UK, it’s the combination of two very different sets of genes: It has the classic look of a 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback, the car that Steve McQueen drove in the cult cop movie. bulit; But under the skin is the hardware and software of the EV start-up Access, which wants to revolutionize the world of commercial vehicles with its electric buses and delivery vans.
Steve McQueen’s Mustang crossed with an electric truck? This unlikely crossbreed dates back to 2015, when Access was founded in London by tech entrepreneur Dennis Sverdlov. Sverdlov owned a classic Ferrari Dino at the time, which was always leaking oil and breaking down. So he decided to create a new subsidiary that could apply his modular electric rigs to unreliable classics, like his Dino.
Charge Cars was founded in 2016, and then Sverdlov brought in Vadim Chagalev—who previously ran a video-on-demand company—to head up his new venture. Starting from scratch with a handful of Access engineers, Shagaleev’s first choice to prototype was his favorite classic Mustang. But after buying the original 1967 car and considering an electric conversion (i.e. pulling out the existing driveline and installing a battery and motor), he realized that this approach would not meet his and Sverdlov’s expectations. Old cars are, well…just old, and the classic Mustang was heavy, slick, and rust-ridden.
So Chagalev did some research and hit the gold: He discovered a company in the US that makes brand new, officially licensed Ford Mustang body covers to supply America’s health restoration market. Suddenly, instead of converting the old classics, the Charge managed to design the new EV on a blank (albeit Mustang-shaped) sheet of paper.
That’s where the third genetic effect comes in, because after producing a proof-of-concept prototype, Chagalev hired Mark Roberts, former head of design operations at British supercar manufacturer McLaren. Roberts joined as Chief Creative Officer in 2020, and brought not only significant experience developing cars such as the McLaren Senna and Speedtail, but also other former colleagues, who in turn brought a very similar approach to McLaren to Project Charge. “It’s a kind of precision, a level of technical excellence,” explains Roberts, when asked about the McLaren import. “We applied the same technique to the surface of this car – cleaning up the design and making the lines flow better. Then we created new lightweight carbon fiber body panels, integrating them seamlessly into the steel body structure.”
The design team also added contemporary touches such as flush door handles and bespoke, jewel-like LED headlights and taillights. The result is strikingly modern, simple and pure, while retaining all the strength and muscle of the original ’60s design. It’s an interesting-looking car when you see it on the road – surprisingly compact by modern standards, but with a very large presence.
Deep conditioning of the skin
while still look Like the Mustang, under the skin the car is transformed beyond recognition. The steel hull structure (mainly cockpit and roof) has been strengthened and strengthened, and a gap hole is designed in the floor. This is then filled with a 64 kWh battery from the access source, encased in a rigid carbon fiber tray and bolted to the bottom to become the structural floor. The charge estimates the range is about 200 miles.
The front and rear subframes are then attached to the chassis, which contains four 100 kW electric motors, one at each wheel, giving the car a combined output of 400 kW (536 hp) and all-wheel drive. The suspension is all-new, with MacPherson struts up front and wishbones in the rear, and the car has AP Racing brakes.
Open the door and you will see that the interior has also been completely reimagined. There’s a three-spoke steering wheel that evokes the original Mustang, but otherwise it’s very modern inside, with sport seats, a streamlined dashboard with clean horizontal air vents and two screens, one in the trunk and a touchscreen in the middle.
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