Those who saw ‘Octopussy’, the 1983 James Bond (Roger Moore then) movie, may remember that there was a ‘topless’ Range Rover Series 1 which served Agent 007 well as he was being pursued over some rough terrain. It was custom-built for the movie since Land Rover never made Range Rover convertible bodystyles – with the exception of the Evoque Convertible in 2015.
Over the years, that ‘Octopussy Range Rover’ has inspired some people to get specialist custom builders to turn the premium SUV into a convertible. They have all been one-off models, some of which are now collectors items.
Joining the list of ‘Octopussy Range Rovers’ is the Range Rover Safari from Lunaz, which has gone further by also electrifying the classic model. Like the SUV in the movie, it was manufactured in 1983 and is also a short-wheelbase variant. The original was a brown/green colour but Lunaz’ model is finished in Maya Blue with a dark blue mohair convertible roof (specified by the customer).
Significantly different structural treatment
Lunaz has previous electrified Range Rovers but this latest one has undergone significantly different treatment to the other fixed-roof classic models. In particular, the body and chassis have been substantially reinforced to maintain its strength and stability without a roof, and to provide a robust platform for the uprated fully electric powertrain.
The 280 kW powertrain has been configured to the owner’s preference and produces the equivalent of 375 bhp. In addition to the significant increase in power, the electric powertrain produces zero emissions, a major improvement on the original V8 engine which was also thirsty.
To manage the additional torque, the Range Rover Safari by Lunaz has been upgraded with adjustable dampers and bespoke springs, 6-piston and 4-piston disc brakes fitted to the front and rear respectively, as well as regenerative braking. It retains the original vehicle’s segment-defining wading depth of 500 mm and all original approach, breakover and departure angles.
The interior design and appointment of the car were a focal point for the customer. To that end, this car represents the most extensive interior development of any car elevated by Lunaz: it is now unrecognisable from the original. It includes significant ergonomic and technological improvements – a valuable learning for Lunaz as a further 50 build slots of electric Range Rover Classics are now available, and all will benefit from these innovations.
The original spartan dashboard and interior (remember, it’s a 1980s model) have been replaced with a new and extended 3D printed console, which was designed, developed and manufactured in-house over a 2-year period. This design will feature in all future electric Range Rovers from Lunaz.
The expansive piece is finished in rich Mocca Walnut wood, which has been contemporised with a weatherproof satin lacquer. The composite centre console integrates an Apple CarPlay and Android Auto-enabled infotainment screen. It also serves as the display for the reversing camera, as well as digital controls for the modern air-conditioning and heating system, and USB-C ports for device charging.
Seating has also been completely redesigned to improve aesthetics, comfort and ergonomics. Both front seats are heated and use proprietary padding materials developed for Lunaz’ upcycled Rolls-Royce and Bentley models.
All seating has been retrimmed in soft but hardwearing leather and incorporates the brand’s signature fluting, wherein a second material type is introduced. For the Range Rover Safari, an innovative waterproof and chlorine-resistant textile was selected. It is reminiscent of the knitted composition recalls the hardwearing jackets used on sporting estates. The interior alone was the product of more than 1,000 collective hours of development and production.
Something different from Lunaz
“Lunaz has become known for elevating the most beautiful and elegant classic cars in history. With this Range Rover, we’re doing something different. We’re showing that our incredibly detailed and exacting approach can be applied to more playful icons, so they can be enjoyed for their own sake,” said David Lorenz, the company’s Founder.