MGB restomod specialist Frontline Cars has relaunched with a pair of bespoke sports cars based on the classic MGB GT, led by an electric conversion that pairs an electric motor with a fully functional manual gearbox.
Dubbed the Bee GT, the electric model is intended to be “engaging and a pleasure to drive without compromise”, in spite of the shift to a modern powertrain. Its Hyper 9 100V motor is said to provide torque delivery comparable with a conventional combustion engine's, revving to 9000rpm. It sends 114bhp and 162lb ft through the rear wheels, allowing the Bee GT to dispatch the 0-62mph sprint in 8.8sec.
The motor allows the Bee to start and stop in any of its five gears, according to Frontline, and it cannot stall as a conventional combustion engine would. Moreover, the Bee can be driven exclusively in second and third gear, if so desired.
A 40kWh battery provides a claimed range of 140 miles – the “range needed for enjoyable electric car ownership”, said Frontline. Recharging the Bee from empty to full takes around five hours using a 7kWh charge point.
Inside, the Bee replaces the MGB’s rev counter with a power delivery gauge, displaying how much of the motor’s potential – or energy recuperation – is being used. The remaining range is displayed on the fuel gauge.
The exterior styling tweaks are similarly subtle, with a set of period-correct Dunlop racing wheels and a more aggressive front chin spoiler. It is offered as both a coupé and a roadster, with the latter dropping the ‘GT’ moniker.
Deliveries are set to begin in 2024. Frontline will also offer electric conversions for existing customers.
Frontline LE60: Specs and release date
The Bee is joined in the firm’s renewed line-up by the LE60, a successor to the LE50, which it launched a decade ago.
The Frontline LE60 is more explicitly a restomod, wearing hot-rod-esque de-chromed bodywork and packing a modified 4.8-litre Rover V8. This sends 375bhp and 297lb ft to the rear wheels – almost four times the vigour of an original four-pot MGB – via a five-speed Tremec manual gearbox and limited-slip differential. The 0-60mph sprint takes an estimated 4.0sec.
The chassis has been overhauled to support the huge uplift in power, with a wider footprint, strengthened bodywork and 310mm vented brake discs. It also features a bespoke suspension set-up from Oxfordshire-based manufacturer Nitron.
Despite the reinforcements and larger powerplant, the LE60 remains slightly lighter than the Bee GT, at 1122kg. Like its electric stablemate, this is split 50:50 front to rear.
Frontline plans to produce 30 LE60s in total, with deliveries set to start next year.