With Tesla revealing its new Model S Plaid today with over 1,100 horsepower and 520 miles of range, it’s got me thinking about the future of the motor vehicle. Look outside and you’ll see at least a few electric cars in a line of vehicles. Look online and you’ll see videos of electric cars dominating on drag strips. It doesn’t really matter what us gearheads think – the electric car is taking over.
Normal people control the automotive market, and there’s no doubt that they’re steering away from liquified dinosaurs when you look at the numbers. 2010 saw only 17,000 EVs on the road. By 2019, this number had bloated to 7.2 million – 47% of those sales alone came from China.
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“Yeah, great, but what has that got to do with me?” you must be asking.
Well, slowly our world of classic and interesting performance cars is changing, too. There are companies that are taking old clapped out classics, implanting an electric motor or two, and churning them out to those who love a beautiful car but prefer the instant torque and ease of electrification.
Take this EV swapped ’70s Porsche 911 by the Dutch company Voitures Extravert. They break the original car down bit by bit and rebuild it with an electric powertrain. Named the ‘Quintessenza’, each of these cars undergo a full restoration before the process even begins, but before long bespoke parts are being thrown at it left, right and centre. A single electric motor then gives it 222hp and 664lb ft of torque for a 0-60 time of under 6 seconds all while staying under 1,400kg light. Not bad.
The thing is, at the moment these conversions are very expensive. The Porsche above starts at around $330,000, but conversion kits can be bought for as little as £8,000 from companies such as Zero EV in the UK.
This makes an EV conversion is very tempting, especially with prices slowly dropping and the promise of not only higher reliability, but a much higher level of performance. But would you remove an engine from a beloved classic car and replace it with a whirring motor? That’s an open-ended question that’s too difficult to answer simply. But if you were to ask me to convert my daily driver Audi wagon? I’d do it tomorrow. For the right price. Would you?