After a report 5,000 hours of development time, custom tuning house Lunaz has breathed new life into this classic Range Rover Safari cabriolet by ditching the old 3.9L V8 and replacing it with dual electric motors — but there’s a lot more to this build than an engine swap!
Lunaz says the project was originally inspired by the Range Rover convertible featured in the 1983 James Bond film “Octopussy” and driven by Roger Moore.
Starting with a 1983 two-door wagon model, the Lunaz crew did more than just chop the Ranger’s top. Indeed, it seems like they really took Q’s directive to heart, fitting the Safari with a total of 375 HP (up from the V8’s original 124 HP), they reinforced the convertible’s chassis for added stiffness, added an all-new suspension system with adjustable dampers and bespoke spring settings, and upgraded the brakes with larger discs six-piston calipers up front (four in the rear) to haul the much faster trucklet back down to more reasonable speeds.
Inside, Lunaz’ electric Range Rover Safari boasts a 2+2 seating configuration upholstered in light blue leather combined with a waterproof textile for the knitted stripes in the middle of each seat. The interior palette was carefully chosen to match the exterior’s Maya Blue finish, while the materials Lunaz selected will keep buyers from worrying too much about getting caught out in the rain on their next African safari.
That’s not to say that Lunaz’ customers won’t be able to afford to just have the seats reupholstered whenever they get wet. With 5,000 hours of R&D in the conversion and over 1,000 of those hours supposedly spent on the interior alone, these hand-made electric Range Rover Safari models won’t come cheap. But— hey, at least it has heated seats, a Mocca Walnut wood dash, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility standard!
No word yet on price, range, or charging times.
As I’ve mentioned on other “Current classics” posts, the trouble with classic cars like the original Range Rover has always been keeping them on the road. Their engines wear out, their clutches need replacing, vacuum lines and sparkplugs and oil filters all break down with age and become impossible to find as NOS inventory gets depleted. Then there’s the problem of emissions – a forty year old classic is never going to be as clean as a new car, even an ICE-powered new car.
That’s why these builds from shops like Lunaz continue to fascinate us (or, me, anyway). They take everything that was great about the old icons and bring them— maybe not all the way into the modern era, but close enough that you can enjoy them.