Electrified restomods are, it appears, quite polarising. So prepare to be entirely polarised by Totem Automobili’s first product. As you can see, it is a restoration of the delightful Alfa Romeo Giulia GT, rendered here using the medium of electricity.
Lots of electricity, because this car – dubbed the GT electric – features 525hp. That’s quite a bit more than the original Alfa Giulia GT’s 195hp, and a fair bit more than the new Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio. Heck, it’s only a smidge off the power of that mad new Alfa GTA.
Totem begins by performing a potentially sacrilegious act (depending on how you view these things of course) – stripping and disassembling a 1970s GT Junior 1300/1600, and then stiffening and tuning the frame by hand so that aforementioned 525hp doesn’t cause the entire structure to collapse.
We’re told just 10 per cent of the original chassis remains, while up front is a new MacPherson suspension setup filled with manually adjustable Bilstein dampers, and an aluminium multilink setup at the rear (again, with Bilsteins), connected to a new rear subframe.
There’s a 50.4kWh battery pack on board in place of the original Giulia’s petrol unit and a mid-rear-mounted motor. Totem explains that you can overlay a traditional petrol engine noise to this electricity, there’s launch control and a drift mode, and a myriad of personalisation options.
Shall we deploy some interesting numbers? Totem claims 0-100km/h takes just 3.4secs – putting it firmly into the realm of ‘goodness-me-that’s-really-fast-enough’, while the top speed is pegged at 245km/h. The thing weighs 1,410kg and will go 360km on a single charge… as long as you’re not testing that acceleration figure constantly.
There’s no denying that the entirely excellent/blasphemous (delete as applicable) electric package is wrapped up in a very pretty carbonfibre body. The front of the GT electric pays homage to the Giulia GTAm and is 180mm wider, while the rear was also redesigned to provide “a curvy shape”. LED lights are fitted at the front and back, and – in our eyes at least – it looks… lovely. Really rather lovely.
There are dandy carbonfibre seats inside, lots of leather and wood, a Momo steering wheel, an actual mechanical handbrake (yay!) and a dash that “recalls” the Giulia GT’s layout. There’s even air-con and electric windows and keyless ignition and… you’ve probably already made up your mind about it.
So – with prices yet to be confirmed – reckon it’s a way of safeguarding gorgeous classics or just entirely incorrect?
STORY Vijay Pattni