Beautiful MGB reborn as restomod with V8 or electric power

Published Sep 21, 2023


If there’s one British classic that perhaps garners a bit less attention than it deserves, surely it’s the MGB that was first introduced in the 1960s.

But now a UK engineering firm called Frontline is aiming to do it justice with a pair of limited edition restomods that are significantly more advanced than the original.

Customers can choose between the petrol-powered LE60 and electric BEE, and the latter will be available in both roadster and coupe (GT) versions.

Let’s start with the V8 shall we?

The LE60 is the most powerful and driver-focused car that Frontline has ever built, and also the first to utilise a V8 engine.

Built to mark 60 years of the MGB – hence the ‘60’ designation – and 30 years of Frontline, the LE60 is limited to just 30 cars for customers worldwide.

Recognisable from its widened track and body, the LE60 uses an all-new 4.8-litre Rover V8, producing 375bhp (280kW), which is almost triple the power of the original MGB.

The engine is paired with an uprated five-speed manual gearbox along with a host of engineering upgrades and despite the big lump of V8 loveliness, they’ve achieved a near-perfect 50/50 weight distribution and a kerb weight of just 1,122kg.

Upgrades include a strengthened chassis, wider body made in pressed steel by British Motor Heritage, upgraded brakes, limited-slip differential, and a brand-new suspension system created in partnership with Nitron.

Battery-powered alternative, with a manual

But if electric cars are your thing, and you can resist the allure of that V8, the company is also offering its first line of battery-powered MGBs.

But there’s something that sets this EV restomod apart from the rest as it has a manual gearbox and the ability to heel and toe!

According to Frontline, it works just like a traditional manual gearbox would, except for being able to start and stop in any gear, and not stall.

The “Hyper9” 100V electric motor revs to 9000rpm and despite producing just 86kW and 220Nm, it can run from 0-60mph (96km/h) in just 8.8 seconds, thanks to its instant torque delivery and low (for an EV) kerb weight of 1,186kg.

It’s fed by a 40 kWh battery that allows a claimed range of 224km between charges.

“The BEE models evoke all the sentiments of a traditional ICE car, from the incredible incorporation of gear changes that mimic the same traditional feel, a motor that can still be revved, and torque characteristics that closely resemble those of a conventional combustion car,” Frontline says.

What’s more, the BEE boasts a near-perfect 50/50 weight distribution.

Bespoke creations

Frontline likens its purchasing experience to the acquiring of a tailor-made suit as every customer receives an invitation to visit the Frontline clubhouse located in Oxfordshire in the UK. Here, they will engage in the initial specification discussions, followed by the personalised Aluminium Tub seat and interior installation, and the meticulous fine-tuning of suspension and steering to cater to the customer's preferences.

This comprehensive process ensures that each vehicle is perfectly tailored to its owner before the official handover, the company says.

Further to that, clients can select their preferred exterior and interior colours, as well as explore various customisation choices.

IOL Motoring