Images for this press release: Buick, Porsche, Chevy, Plymouth, Cobra, Bronco & S2000
Suggested caption: These seven EVs from the 2021 SEMA Show prove that more builders are embracing going electric than ever before.
Seven Wild EVs From The 2021 SEMA Show
DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (Nov. 8, 2021) -- Every year everything automotive makes the journey to Las Vegas for the annual SEMA Show. Exotic supercars mix with donks, hot rods, overland rigs, giant lifted trucks, lowriders, and any other form of modified vehicle known to man. Walking the many halls of the SEMA Show are over 100,000 business owners, celebrities, and influencers. It is the largest gathering of automotive professionals and car culture in the world.
While the thousands of vehicles and sea of people can be overwhelming, it is easy to spot trends. One of the biggest this year is the rise of EVs. These aren’t factory Teslas or Fords, but completely custom vehicles that use electric drivetrains. Never before have we seen so many battery packs and motors replacing gas engines in old-school rides, hot rods, slammed trucks, and sports cars. While the death of the V8 isn’t at hand, more builders are embracing going electric than ever before. Here are seven wild EVs at the 2021 SEMA Show.
James Marsden’s Electric Electra
A massive luxury car from the 1960s might seem like an odd choice for electrification, but for actor James Marsden, the choice was all about giving back. Marsden’s brother-in-law and longtime friend, Will, had recently been forced to sell his grandmother’s prized Buick Electra. Teaming up with Ant Anstead from Discovery’s new show, Celebrity IOU: Joyride, Marsden tracked down a 1963 Buick Electra to restore and give to Will.
Electrifying the Electra was a gigantic project. The closest electric vehicle in dimensions to the extremely full-size Electra was a Karma Revero. After a trip to the local Karma dealer, the team quickly went to work removing most of the structure of the brand-new Revero. If mating the body of the old Electra to the new Karma sounds complicated, that’s because it was. Once fitted, the Karma Electra headed into the paint booth for a beautiful application of Aston Martin Sage Green. A custom carbon fiber hood and trunk lid, one-off 21-inch HRE wheels, and a gorgeous interior completed the Electra. The build was an insane amount of work, but the result is one of the most unique electric vehicles out there.
Porsches Powered By Electric GT
On the opposite side of the size and performance spectrum from a bulbous Buick is this Porsche 911 built by Electric GT. Rather than being a custom one-off, Electric GT makes packages to convert any 911, 912, or 964 into a fully electric P-Car. The heart of the package is a Tesla motor paired with Electric GT’s own unique liquid-cooled batteries. A host of other Electric GT components create a plug-and-play installation that is non-destructive and relatively straightforward.
Ditching Porsche’s gas engine for electric might seem like a head-scratcher to some, but it nets 435 horsepower and 450 newton meters of near-instantaneous torque. Improving handling is a 60/40 weight distribution with minimal weight gain. One-hour fast charging is also part of the Electric GT package with a 160-mile range. Two different battery power levels are available, but either will produce an extremely fast and capable Porsche.
Salvage to Savage 1985 Chevy Truck
Easy to work on with tons of aftermarket parts availability, old Chevy trucks are a dream for any builder, but Salvage to Savage (YouTube Channel) decided to take a completely unique path with its 1985 Chevy C10. Instead of using the tried-and-true V8 engine, the team yanked the electric drivetrain out of two Teslas to create a twin-motor, all-wheel-drive beast.
If that wasn’t enough work, a fabricated frame houses the new drivetrain and utilizes an aftermarket C5 Corvette suspension. The interior is completely custom with a tablet that mimics the Tesla’s, but with an interface built specifically for the truck. A lever allows instant engagement of the regenerative braking system to help slide the truck around corners. Salvage to Savage made its own carbon fiber widebody kit for a wide-and-mean look and to fit larger tires. Extra-thick Toyo Proxes tires wrapped around Finspeed wheels attempt to put all that torque to the ground. The amount of detail and work that went into the Chevy is as mind-blowing as its acceleration.
Plymouth Satellite by Kevin Erickson
Want to create controversy and possibly make a few enemies in the Mopar community? Build a Plymouth Satellite and put a modified Tesla powertrain in it. That is exactly what Kevin Erickson did with this beautiful 1972 model. Some may call it blasphemy, but gobs of torque, 600 horsepower, and lightning-quick acceleration might change a few minds.
Making the big Plymouth move quickly is a modified Tesla Large Sport Drive Unit paired to a Tesla 102 kWh battery. The Tesla motor is liquid-cooled while air-conditioning keeps the battery’s temperature in check. Even without the aerodynamics and skinny tires of a Tesla, the Satellite has a 250-mile range and can accelerate to 60 mph in under four seconds. Not bad for an almost 50-year-old car.
Shelby Cobras are known for waking up whole city blocks, and Superformance is known for building high-performance continuation Cobras under license from Carroll Shelby. The new MKIII-E is a very different snake. Gone are the signature side-pipes, rowdy V8 engines, and blown eardrums usually associated with Cobras. Instead, a Tesla motor resides in the trunk with a custom battery unit under the hood.
An electric version of one of the most iconic V8 muscle machines ever made might seem like a stretch, but Superformance says it made the car in response to customer demand. With 1,500 lb-ft of torque on tap, it is easier to understand that demand. Acceleration is staggering, and Superformance is even evaluating a twin-motor setup to offer more performance and all-wheel drive. The dimensions of the electric Cobra are the same as Superformance’s other Cobra offerings with the same suspension and handling characteristics, just in a much faster and quieter package.
This year the new Ford Bronco was all the rage at the SEMA Show, but old school has always been cool. Proving that point is this early Bronco from Gateway Bronco that skillfully blends old with new. Known for its custom and ground-up builds, Gateway Bronco decided to take the Luxe-GT even further and electrify it.
To create an EB EV, Gateway enlisted the help of Legacy EV using their 108 kWh battery pack and a Danfoss electric motor. The combination produces the horsepower equivalent of a high-performance V8 with a 0-to-60 mph time of 4 seconds. Low-end torque is perfect for off-road, and the electric setup makes loads of it along with a 300-mile range. Modern touches like heated and cooled seats, Apple CarPlay, and Gateway’s ride control bring the Early Bronco into the modern era. The Luxe-GT even comes with a seven-year bumper-to-bumper warranty and 24/7 next-day Field Service Concierge, making it a hassle-free vintage EV.
The Honda S2000 has achieved cult-like status among car enthusiasts for its legendary handling and lack of weight. Converting one to an electric vehicle without upsetting that delicate balance is a challenge. Ryan Basseri knew it would be even more of a challenge since he had never built an electric car. As the owner of motorsports electronic company Rywire, Basseri is no stranger to wiring and electronics, but decided it was time to push himself with an EV build.
Basseri started with a Honda S2000 and replaced its drivetrain with a Tesla Large Performance Drive Unit powered by battery packs from a Chevy Volt. Packaging everything into the tight confines of the S2000 was one of the biggest challenges. Basseri extended the frame eight inches to help make room but kept the wheelbase stock. Instead of using a Tesla subframe, Basseri made custom A-arms to keep the width of the S2000 stock. Once completed, only an additional 200 lbs. were added to the Honda for a sleeper S2000 that is surprisingly fast.
About SEMA and the SEMA Show
The SEMA Show is a trade show produced by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), a nonprofit trade association founded in 1963. Since the first SEMA Show debuted in 1967, the annual event has served as the leading venue bringing together manufacturers and buyers within the automotive specialty equipment industry. Products featured at the SEMA Show include those that enhance the styling, functionality, comfort, convenience and safety of cars and trucks. Additional details are available at www.SEMAShow.com or www.sema.org, 909/396-0289.