Converting classic cars to EVs is an increasingly larger slice of the aftermarket industry, and even some automakers are pondering an entry.
Recently, we’ve seen Opel unveil the Manta GSe ElektroMod, and now we hear of a similar undertaking from Nissan. Matthew Weaver, vice president of Nissan Design Europe, was asked to reimagine a car from Nissan’s history for an electric future, and he chose to remaster the iconic Silvia CSP311.
Launched at the 1964 Tokyo Motor Show, it’s such a rare model that even some of Nissan’s most experienced employees haven’t seen one. That is why Weaver’s project is restricted to the digital world. Why the Silvia CSP311, you ask?
“The Silvia was ahead of its time, in a very quiet, understated way. It has aged very well and would still have its place on the roads today. It's also a great example of what is expected of a global product: high quality and universally appealing.”
Matthew Weaver, vice president Nissan Design Europe
Redesigning this car for the future had to be done by paying homage to that heritage. Naturally, the team envisioned the Silvia restomod as an electric vehicle, and that helped them achieve a clean look.
"Being an electric vehicle, it gave us the opportunity to extend the clean surfacing around the front because an electric powertrain has far lower cooling requirements, so there is no need for a grille where radiators are traditionally located.”
To bring the car into the modern era, Matthew and his team refined the design, making it purer and the lines even cleaner. But the electrification of the vehicle allowed designers to envision the use of today's innovations alongside classic design facets.
Since the key components of an EV can be packaged more efficiently compared to an ICE car, the electrified Silvia would have a larger interior than its exterior dimensions would suggest.
Now, this Nissan Silvia electromod project will probably never leave the digital world, but the automaker says that this exercise is not in vain.
“Reinventing classic cars for the modern, electrified world, even if they only start out as sketches, proves that future possibilities are endless.”
Is that enough consolation for you?