Nissan Newbird, the one-off electromod built to celebrate 35 years at Sunderland
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Nissan has been producing cars at the Sunderland plant in the UK for 35 years, and to celebrate, a one-off electromod has been created out of the UK-built Bluebird.
More than 10.5 million Nissan vehicles have been produced at the Sunderland plant since 1986. And today, the factory employs 6,000 people.
The electromod is dubbed the 'Newbird', which, from the outside at least, looks just like one of the 187,178 Bluebird units that came out of the Sunderland factory between 1986 and 1990.
In fact, the only real differences in the exterior are the lack of exhaust pipes, the Newbird badge, the flashy stripes on the bodywork, and the illuminated Nissan emblem on the grille.
But despite the visual differences to the Bluebird, there are some pretty big changes under the bonnet: The engine and gearbox have been replaced by a fully electric powertrain borrowed from the second-generation Nissan Leaf.
Durham-based Kinghorn Electric Vehicles is responsible for the conversion, which includes a second-life e-motor, inverter, and a 40kWh battery pack split between the engine bay and the boot for better weight distribution.
So now, the Newbird is capable of reaching 100km in less than 15 seconds, and the driving range is estimated to be around 209 km between charges.
The car was fitted with custom suspension to support the added weight of the battery pack, and features upgraded power steering, braking, and heating systems that are compatible with the electric powertrain.
A cool detail, the battery charge status is showcased through the fuel gauge on the original instrument panel.
This one-off was built solely to be showcased, and isn't fit for the road.