By C.C. Weiss March 30, 2020
A look at Totem’s work in modernizing the Alfa Romeo GT Junior Totem Automobili View 11 Images
Dropping an electric powertrain into an all-original classic car coated in patina and rust is one way to do an electric restomod. Italian shop Totem Automobili has another way. Not only is it bringing the 1970s Alfa Romeo GT Junior into the 21st century with a 518-hp electric drive, it’s also giving it a full carbon fiber makeover to strip weight, enhance performance and bring the look up to date. The result promises to be a smooth, gorgeous retro-modern masterpiece that adds serious flair to the EV space.
Totem explains that its objective is to bring forth the elegance and nostalgia of a legendary classic while simultaneously marching forward toward the future, so its restomod procedure is heavier handed than others. It starts off with GT Junior 1300/1600 models built between 1970 and 1975, unbolting and stripping each car down until only 10 percent of its chassis is left standing. The team then stiffens things up with a newly developed aluminum structure, complete with roll cage.
That fortified structure is designed to accommodate well more than double the original 192 hp, substituted in by way of the 518-hp (386-kW) rear-mounted electric motor that kicks out 692 lb-ft (938 Nm) of torque. That motor works under power from a 50.4-kWh lithium-ion battery weighing 770 lb (350 kg) and providing up to 199 miles (320 km) of range. A three-mode electronic power control system lets drivers adjust between motoring along efficiently enough to hit that max range and channeling energy into the all-out burst of power and torque needed to sprint from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.4 seconds. The MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspensions rely on two-way-adjustable Bilstein Clubsport shocks.
Totem doesn’t merely remake the original body in carbon fiber, but adjusts the pillars for a smoother, more modern look and applies a full facial makeover with simplified mesh grille design, more modern Alfa scudetto and repositioned quad-LED headlamp layout. The rear of the car has also been updated, and the interior gets a carbon fiber dashboard, digital instruments and modern audio system.
Totem was originally planning an official July reveal at the 2020 Goodwood Festival of Speed, but now that Goodwood has been pushed back by the COVID-19 pandemic to an undetermined date later in the year, it remains to be seen if Totem waits it out or opts for a digital reveal. Either way, we look forward to seeing the car in its shimmering carbon-bodied glory.
Source: Totem Automobili
C.C. Weiss Chris joined the New Atlas team in 2011 and now serves as the automotive and campers editor, traveling extensively to gather the latest news on cars, outdoor sports gear and other innovations designed to help people experience and enjoy the greater world around them.