This is not a 1967 Ford Mustang
This is not a 1967 Ford Mustang. Heck, it’s not even American; this sleek electric fastback is hand-built in a clean, modern London workshop by a team of engineers hailing from around 15 different nationalities. If you pop the front hood—hewn from carbon fiber, not Detroit steel—a pair of sharp looking electric inverters hums in place of the roar you’d expect from a 289 HiPo or 390.
Original in the technical sense that it is from scratch, Roberts means. There isn’t a single ounce of 1967 Mustang to be found under the glossy paint. Still, passersby are bound to recognize the unmistakable profile of Dearborn’s darling.
That’s one of the biggest reason’s this all-electric not-a-Mustang is called simply “the 67,” and not something Singer-esque, like “The 1967 Mustang as Reimagined by Charge Cars.” Over the course of around six years, the team at Charge created a quad-motor 500-hp £350,000 ($400,000) facsimile of a 1967 Mustang Fastback, wearing bespoke carbon-fiber bodywork and a proprietary skateboard-style electric drivetrain yoinked from technical partner Arrival.
Ford, by the way, is a-ok with all this, according to Roberts. “We have a good relationship with Ford. We’re talking to them!” he says with a laugh. “Their CEO came to Goodwood, had a good look at our car. We know them, they know us.” The idea allegedly came from Charge Cars CEO’s love for Gone in 60 Seconds, with the nascent automaker going so far as to electrify a ratty old Eleanor Mustang. “It was a great proof-of-concept, but it wasn’t the right car to be honest,” muses Roberts. “I convinced the CEO that the ’67 Fastback was just that much cleaner than the Eleanor, and he agreed.”
Roberts isn’t new to the boutique car game. After a stint with Lotus, a well-placed letter to Gordon Murray minted him as McLaren Automotive’s ninth employee. He went straight to work on the inimitable McLaren F1. Roberts remained with the British supercar firm as Head of Design Operations from 1990 through 2020, when he left for what he calls an automotive startup.
“McLaren is a small company—[Charge Cars is] a tiny company,” he says. We’re chatting at the 67’s debut, taking place at the venerable Petersen Museum in Los Angeles. A few feet away, a smoky silver McLaren Elva sits silent; a floor above us, a Koenigsegg rests on a display plinth formerly occupied by an orange McLaren F1. “This is most challenging project I’ve ever worked on. It’s far more difficult to reverse-engineer EV tech into a package that exists than it is to design a blank-sheet supercar.”
The 67’s proportions are mostly unchanged from the 56-year-old Ford original, but Charge took liberties in ironing out a few areas for the sake of aesthetics. Roberts is particularly proud of how Charge eliminated the closing panel on the front headlamps, which now presents as a smooth, unbroken line. Like the real deal, it’s a spectacularly attractive car.
Purists will lament that there are no rumbly, grumbly bits under this carbon bodywork, but the 67’s raw performance might make up for that. Seventeen lithium-ion battery modules offer a peak output of 400 kW, feeding quad motors that route a combined 536 hp and 1121 lb-ft to all four wheels. The 0-60 mph scramble cracks off in under four seconds, sending the 67 on its way to a limited top speed of 150 mph. When you’re not matting the accelerator, a 200-mile range is possible. Charge has not said what the whole package weighs.
Managing ride and handling is a bespoke independent suspension from R53—curiously, the same supplier for Gordon Murray’s new hypercar venture—and big brakes from AP Racing. Trick four-wheel independent torque vectoring comes from Arrival, the commercial EV company and technical partner, as does the majority of the car’s drivetrain and software.
This appearance at the Petersen was simply the 67’s official Stateside debut, so we’ve yet to get some seat time. But judging from both the spec sheet and Roberts’ insistence, this promises to be a phenomenal drive. “You’ve got to recalibrate your brain when you get in—it looks like an old-school car, but it turns in sharp, and is tremendously quick and smooth.”
Well, we got some seat time, just not with the car moving. The 67’s minimalist cockpit suggests the next decade of automotive design will mirror Tesla’s style of sparseness—note the huge Model S-like center tablet—the fit and finish of the 67’s interior is genuinely stunning. Between the ultra-tight stitching, extensive use of anodized and brushed aluminum trim in unexpected places, and rigorous attention to detail, we can see where some of that hefty price tag goes.
“There are a lot of great products out there—really robust, fantastic EVs—but they don’t make my hair stand on end like this does,” Roberts explains.
Don’t expect some plastic-fantastic faux-V-8 chop from the car’s sound system . Or any artificial sound, really. “It’s an honest sound. I hate fake! People who are buying new EVs, they have some crazy spaceship sound mode. You might think it’s entertaining for a day, but after that, most people switch it off.”
Drive modes, kinetic energy regen, and one-pedal driving capability are all features still in development, but the first of the planned 499 units will land at their new homes sometime in the middle of next year. Roberts doesn’t say how many deposits Charge has so far accepted—the numbers are great so far, we’re assured—but he believes the biggest age demographic snapping up build slots are 30-somethings. Interesting.
What’s next for Charge Cars is also under wraps, but there are quite a few potential projects on the table. Maybe an electrified vintage 911? A hotter variant of the 67? Some other flavor or reinterpreted American muscle? It’s all theoretically on the table if the 67 proves a hit.
Check out the Hagerty Media homepage so you don’t miss a single story, or better yet, bookmark it.