In the latest episode of Fully Charged, Jonny Smith visited Icon in Los Angeles to see the amazing EV conversion project of a vintage 1949 Mercury.
It took already two years since inception to completion of the project (a few tweaks are still needed) but the outcome is fascinating as Icon not only replaced the engine with an electric drivetrain, but designed from the ground up the new chassis.
On the EV side, the Icon Derelict 1949 Mercury is equipped with Tesla battery modules (from 85 kWh pack), which are expected to give it 150-200 miles (240-320 km) of range. There is also a fully functional CHAdeMO charging port for DC fast charging! Not bad for a second-life project.
Video Description via Fully Charged on YouTube:
Icon Derelict 1949 Mercury - EV Resto Modding | Fully Charged
Resto modding is a term derived from when a classic car is restored and tweaked for a more comfortable life in the 21st century. In other words, retain the old school aesthetics but update the drive train, technology and drivability to better suit modern roads and daily commuting.
Icon is a company born to build resto mod classic Ford Bronco and Toyota Land Cruiser trucks to better-than-new. Their Derelict series of builds explores taking patinated weather beaten classic cars like this 1949 Mercury and instead of fitting the expected fuel injected V8, dive head first into the world of EV hot rodding.
Not just that, but when the bonnet is lifted there is a visual spectacle greeting you - and one that at a flash tricks you into thinking it still has a piston power-plant.
Besides the beautifully solid UV damaged paint lies a detailed new chassis, modern new suspension, wiring and cabin creature comforts to satisfy a hot day’s commute is So Cal. Is this the start of making EV drivetrains look sexy as well as provide blistering performance? Jonny Smith thinks so.
The pioneering EV project was started by Icon, as there is an exponential growth of interest for all-electric vintage cars that combine the style and soul with smooth and silent modern drive.
Here is how Icon describes the project at its website (here):
"Why can’t you have the best of both worlds: the style and quality of a vintage vehicle with modern performance and functionality?" Well, we say you can have your cake and eat it too! The powertrain is all-modern and was a co-engineering exercise between ICON and Stealth EV. The dual electric motor, transmission-less design provides 470 lb-ft of freight-train torque and the equivalent of 400 horsepower, with no shifts all the way up to the Merc’s 120 MPH top speed. A full Tesla Performance 85kWh battery array is strategically fit throughout the vehicle for exceptional weight balance. It is capable of an estimated 150- to 200-mile range and has 1.5-hour full recharge capability "