Charge ’67 EV Review: Exclusive Style, Premium Price – WIRED
Cross-breeds are all the rage in the dog world right now. There’s the cockapoo, springador, puggle and labsky; the morkie, chiweenie and whoodle. The idea of these “designer dogs” is you get a kind of genetic Goldilocks breed, with the best characteristics from both parents: the loving loyalty of a retriever, for example , with the fluffy coat of the poodle.
And maybe what’s true in nature is also true in automotive engineering? It looks that way, judging by this car: This is the particular Charge ’67—and no, it’s not a restored classic with the V8 under the hood. It’s a brand-new ELECTRONIC VEHICLES, reimagined from the ground up as a purpose-built electric car.
Made in the UK, the ’67 is a mixture of two very different gene pools: It has the classic looks of the 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback, the particular car that Steve McQueen drove in his cult cop movie Bullitt ; but under the skin it uses the particular hardware plus software of EV start-up Arrival , which wants to revolutionize the world of commercial vehicles with its electric buses and delivery vans.
A Steve McQueen Mustang crossed with an electric van? This unlikely crossbreed dates back to 2015, when Arrival was founded in London by tech entrepreneur Denis Sverdlov. Sverdlov had a classic Ferrari Dino at the time, which was always leaking oil and breaking down. So he decided to create a new spinoff company that could apply his own, modular EV hardware to unreliable classics, like his Dino.
Charge Cars was founded in 2016, and Sverdlov then brought in Vadim Shagaleev—who’d previously run the video-on-demand business—to head up his new venture. Starting from scratch with a handful of Arrival engineers, Shagaleev’s first choice associated with prototype has been their own favourite classic, the Mustang. But after buying an original 1967 car plus considering an electric conversion (i. e., pulling out the existing drivetrain and installing a battery and motor), he realized this approach just wasn’t going to meet his and Sverdlov’s expectations. Old cars are, well … simply old, and his classic Mustang was heavy, clunky, plus full of rust.
So Shagaleev did some research and struck gold: He discovered a company inside the US making brand-new, officially licensed Ford Mustang body shells to supply America’s healthy restoration market. Suddenly, instead of converting old classics, Charge could design the new ELECTRONIC VEHICLES on a blank (albeit Mustang-shaped) sheet associated with paper.
And this is where a third genetic influence comes into play, because after producing a proof-of-concept prototype, Shagaleev then hired Mark Roberts, formerly head of design operations at McLaren, the particular British supercar manufacturer. Joining as chief creative officer in 2020, Roberts not only introduced with him huge experience, developing cars like the McLaren Senna and Speedtail , he also delivered in other former colleagues, who in turn brought a very McLaren-like approach to the Cost project. “It’s a kind of accuracy, a level of technical excellence, ” Roberts explains, when asked about this particular imported “McLaren-ness. ” “We applied the same approach in order to surfacing this car—cleaning up the style and making the lines flow better. Then we created brand new lightweight body panels in carbon fiber, blending them seamlessly into the steel body shell. ”
The design team also added contemporary touches like flush door handles plus bespoke, jewel-like LED headlights and tail lamps. The result is strikingly modern, minimalist and pure, while retaining almost all the aggression and muscularity of the particular original 1960s design. It’s a sensational-looking car when you see it on the road—surprisingly compact simply by modern standards, but along with an extremely big presence.
While it still looks like a Mustang, under the skin the car is transformed beyond all recognition. That metal body covering (basically the cockpit plus roof) has been stiffened and strengthened, and a gaping hole has been engineered into the floor. This is then filled with the particular Arrival-sourced 64-kWh battery, encased in a rigid, carbon-fiber tray and bolted in underneath to become the structural ground. Charge reckons the range is around 200 miles.
Front and rear subframes are then attached to the particular shell, containing four 100-kW electric motors, one at each wheel, giving the vehicle a total output of 400 kW (536 bhp) and four-wheel drive. The suspension is also brand-new, with MacPherson struts in the front and wishbones at the back, and the car is fitted with AP Racing brakes.
Open the door and you see that will the interior has also been completely reimagined. There’s the three-spoke steering wheel that evokes the original Mustang’s, yet otherwise it is ultramodern inside, with sports seats, a streamlined dashboard with clean, horizontal air vents plus two screens, one within the binnacle and a touchscreen in the middle.