Matt Prior: restomods work best with their original styling

Matt Prior: restomods work best with their original styling

Anyway, I really like restomods. Even electric ones. It’s just that this one looks odd to me. I feel a similar way about Cyan Racing’s Volvo P1800. The wide stance, the big wheels: it’s not quite right.

To my eyes, the best restomods are ones like the Alfaholics GTA-R, which get all the new mechanical bits and performance parts but make them look like they were meant to have been there all along.

And so to the sensible electromod. Last week, I visited a company called Electrogenic to the north of Oxford to drive a Porsche 356 you will be able to read about in January. It still just looks like a 356, so that’s something.

Also in the workshop, though, were a couple of Land Rover Defenders, for which Electrogenic got an Innovate UK grant to develop conversion tech. It puts a motor where the bottom of the diesel engine was and connects it to the standard gearbox, so the car retains low-ratio and behaves like a cross between a manual and an EV. Two 25kWh battery packs are fitted around the rest of the engine bay.

The conversion costs £25,000 or so, but farmers and landowners who generate solar or wind energy on site can save thousands a year in diesel costs, won’t generally trouble the car’s range and can charge it overnight on high-voltage power.