These electric hot rods point the way for future restomods

This week, Las Vegas is playing host to SEMA, an annual trade show and celebration of the custom car. And although multiple reports claim that the show is nothing but wall-to-wall Toyota Supras, each different to the last, a pair of customs from Ford and Chevrolet caught my eye. (The fact that Ford and Chevrolet both have PR machines that let me know they have pictures to share is entirely not coincidental.) One is a Mustang with even more power than the Shelby GT500 we tested recently. The other is a restored Chevy farm truck. The thing they have in common? Both have been converted to electric power.

Restomodding electric motors and batteries into cars is not a new thing. San Diego’s Zelectric has been converting air-cooled German classics over to the way of the electron for some time now. Jaguar developed a drop-in electric powertrain for the E-Type which it will sell from next year for an unspecified (but I’m guessing six-digit) price. Chevy even did the “converted electric muscle car to SEMA” thing 12 months ago, with the eCOPO Camaro, which used an 800V architecture and a pair of motors to send 550kW (737hp) and 813Nm (600lb-ft) to the rear wheels.

Talk about a mood stabilizer

Ford worked with Webasto on its SEMA special, called Mustang Lithium. It’s similar in concept to last year’s eCOPO from Ford’s deadliest rival but with everything turned up just that little bit more. The Lithium is based on a current Mustang fastback, minus the internal combustion stuff. It also uses an 800V architecture, with batteries supplied by Webasto. A single electric motor from Phi-Power sends “more than” 671kW (900hp) and 1,356Nm (1,000lb-ft) to the rear wheels, which should generate plenty of heat, which is good because the Mustang Lithium is destined to be a testbed for things like battery-management strategies.

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Source: Ars Technica

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