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Even the world’s fastest muscle cars can’t beat their electric counterparts on the drag strip.
Electric vehicles’ superior torque is leading power hungry gearheads to supercharge their classic cars with electric drivetrains.
The UK-based startup Charge is building 499 custom electric Mustangs for £200,000 each ($255,000). The company is packing a 300-kilowatt electric motor and a 64-kilowatt-hour battery pack into classic 1960s-style Mustang body shells licensed from Ford. Charge claims its creation will accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.09 seconds. By comparison, Tesla claims its Model S will hit it in 2.5 seconds, and its upcoming Roadster model will achieve 1.9 seconds.
The electric conversion business for classic cars is booming. Jaguar Land Rover announced this year it will offer conversions for its classic Jaguar E-type line to electric drive, and Chevrolet has launched an electrified version of its modern Camaro. In garages, auto enthusiasts are installing their own Tesla motors into everything from Audis and Hondas to a 1957 Ford Fairlane, Electrek reports. If you’re not a car mechanic, electric conversion shops are popping up to do it for you.
Then there’s the Los Angeles-based shop Icon that takes clunkers (or “timeless classic vehicles,” as it likes to say) and reimagines them with modern electric technology. The “resto-mod” movement couples classic cars with the latest technology while trying to avoid disturb even the rust on a weathered exterior. One of its recent creations was a 1949 Mercury Coupe outfitted with two electric motors and battery pack from a Tesla Model S.