An electric Ferrari? CEO Sergio Marchionne, a reliable EV skeptic, says no – a Ferrari with no engine noise would be “almost an obscene concept,” he said at this year’s Geneva Auto Salon.
Eric Hutchison, of San Diego-based EV conversion company Electric GT, has other ideas. Hutchison rescued a burned-out 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS from the junkyard and gave it a second life as an EV.
Hutchison and his team stripped the fire-ravaged Ferrari down to the bare chassis. Every original part that wasn’t needed was returned to the Ferrari community, to be used in other 308 projects around the globe. “The Ferrari Chat community really contributed to this project” says Hutchison, “Several guys from the forum came to see the project and some even flew across the country.”
Hutchison worked with Michael Bream at EV West to engineer an electric powertrain that would be faithful to the Ferrari feel. “We have to be careful with iconic cars, as we want to preserve their history, but still make them impressive to drive,” said Bream.
The V8 was replaced with a triple electric HPEVS AC51 motor assembly that provides 330 ft-lbs of torque. A 30 kWh battery pack delivers a range of 100 miles. A Porsche G50 5-speed gearbox in a flipped mid-engine orientation handles the vehicle’s increased torque.
“With nearly double the torque of the original engine, the electric motors are no contest for even the finest tuned Weber carburetors,” said Hutchison.
“Technology changes, and we are now in a time when an electric SUV is faster than a Ferrari sports car,” Bream agreed.
Justin Herrmann of Strategic Racing Designs also assisted on the Electric Ferrari project. “The Ferrari tube frame chassis makes it the perfect candidate for an EV conversion,” he said. “The aerodynamics, race-inspired suspension and lightweight design are ideal.”
The e-Ferrari will be running in this year’s ReFuel Electric Car Races in Monterey on May 22.