Electrifying classic sports cars is swiftly becoming big business. Battery-powered 911s, E-Types, Triumphs, and more have been around for a while, but the humble MGB has thus far been overlooked… until now. UK-based MG specialists Frontline Developments has a rich history of restoring, modifying, and generally sprucing up MGBs, and has decided that now is the time to inject a cleaner, greener heart into what was once a British sportscar staple.
The MG BEE EV is a neat little thing. Currently in prototype form, it’s packing a 40 kWh battery attached to a 114 hp (85 kW) 162 lb ft (220 Nm) Hyper9 motor that sends power to the rear wheels via a five-speed Mazda Miata gearbox. Range is about 140 miles (225 km) if you drive sensibly, and charging takes about five hours. Frontline will build you one as a BEE GT (coupe), or Roadster should you wish to feel the wind in your beard as you roll along.
Frontline Developments is well known in the MG world. Founded in 1991 by Tim Fenna, it started with gearbox swaps, then widened its business with suspension, brake, and even engine upgrades for customers wanting a little more go. The company offers full restorations, as well as its own special editions from time to time. Its LE50 and Abingdon editions came with beautiful aesthetics, twinned with more modern (and powerful) internal combustion engines. It’s launching a V8-powered LE60 alongside the BEE for those who fancy old-school thrills.
The BEE’s current setup is a respectable combination of power and weight—it clocks in at 2,615 lbs (1,186 kg), which is 154 lbs (70 kg) less than the original—but Frontline reckons there’s much more power to be had from it in the fullness of time, as well as a fast charging setup.
When looking at it, you’ll be forgiven for thinking it’s a regular old MGB, albeit one in fantastic condition. There’s only one obvious hint that things are quite as they seem: There’s no tailpipe to speak of. Its charge port is hidden behind the OG car’s gas tank cap, and there are no obvious badges screaming about it running on electricity.
Being a car built by Frontline Developments, its paintwork is fantastic, and small enhancements litter the body—a set of neat wheels, a new grille, and the shiniest chrome work this side of a Floridian Donk. Its interior is beautifully upholstered, and there’s not a thing out of place. Thanks to the restoration process, none of the trim wobbles or creaks, and no levers sit limp. Frontline’s creation is far better put together than anything that rolled out of the British Midlands in the 60s, that’s for sure. Expect it to be commensurately expensive, though; EV restomodding rarely comes cheap.