Why Jay Leno Envisions the 1949 Mercury Coupe as the Electric Vehicle Restomod for the Future

CEO Jonathan Ward and Jay Leno discuss the 1949 Mercury EV by ICON

Leno points out that the highly-stylized components under the hood give the car an interesting look that often doesn’t happen with ICE-to-EV conversions. Ward remarks that these efforts help support this Mercury’s “SoCal hot rod vibe.” Meanwhile, dual-motor placement where the transmission usually would be and additional battery storage in the trunk help provide weight balance.

The EV system uses a Tesla Performance 85kWh battery array to deliver 150 to 200 miles of range and a 1.5-hour full recharging capability. Combined output specs for the system are 400 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, according to ICON data. It’s a transmission-less arrangement that promises a 120-mph top speed.

Cleverly, a CHAdeMO charging port stays hidden under the front license plate, while a Tesla Supercharger plug gets placed beneath the original rear fender fuel door.

Driving Into The Future

The 1949 Mercury EV by ICON

With Leno behind the wheel and Ward as co-pilot, this Mercury EV silently leaves the garage for a gasless journey on the streets of the San Fernando Valley. However, the two skip the typical conversation about performance and mechanical specifications in favor of a broader discussion of how electric technology is changing vehicle restorations.

While Ward’s ICON company got started modifying gas-powered classics, he expects that most of his work will shift to EV-related undertakings over the coming decade. Ward mentions that the Mercury conversion is one of his first such projects. Still, he has others waiting, including a 1946 Hudson “big boy” pickup and a 1963 Volvo P1800

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