If you’re a fan of classic electric car conversions, you’ll want to see this electric Nissan Bluebird, or as Nissan calls it, the ‘Newbird’. Nissan has just unveiled the EV in conjunction with the 35th anniversary of production at its Sunderland, UK factory. In 1986, the Nissan Bluebird was the band’s first car in this factory.
Today, this Bluebird has been revived thanks to a Nissan Leaf powertrain and a brand new paint job. The original engine and transmission were removed and replaced with a Leaf engine, inverter and 40 kWh battery pack. The package itself was split into two parts to make it fit. Half of the battery modules are located under the hood and the other half in the trunk. Nissan says this arrangement gives the “Newbird” a pretty even weight distribution.
Nissan also came up with a custom suspension that could handle the extra weight of any electric powertrain equipment — that sounds like something any potential electric restomod project should consider. In addition to the suspension, Nissan updates all vital systems, including power steering, electric brakes and a modern heating system.
A number of thoughtful details in the car make us smile. The badge on the hood, for example, gets an LED backlight as a small hint of its electrical power hidden under the skin. Charging is done via the original fuel filler flap of the car. Flip it open to reveal the charging port. Even the original fuel gauge works, as it is connected to the car’s remaining charge.
When you plug it in, Nissan says the maximum charging speed is 6.6 kW. The range on a full battery is 130 miles and the 0-62mph time is a super slow 15 seconds. That said, being fast isn’t the point of a car like this.