Our friends at the Drive recently received a tip about a strange electric vehicle sitting at a salvage yard in Illinois. What they didn’t know at the time was that underneath that tip was a whole iceberg of a mysterious vehicle built via a partnership between Chevrolet and Motorola.
Writer Kevin Williams went over to Gurnee, Illinois, and found a machine lost to time just as the world slipped into the digital realm. Along with plenty of access to the car itself, the owner handed Williams a mountain of documents on its development and design. From the story:
In an era where EVs were mostly homemade kit cars cobbled out of cheap hatchbacks, Motorola built itself a proto Tesla Roadster that, from what I’ve been able to learn, matched the performance of its contemporary gas-powered sports cars. Even more surprising was that as I dug around, I realized basically no information about this car exists online. No rumors, no reports, no chronicles on hobbyist EV sites and forums from the mid-2000s. It’s an amazing project that apparently lived and died at the tail end of the analog age, slipping out of sight just before the internet could hoover up its story and immortalize it for everyone.
Despite nearly a phone book’s worth of schematics and calculations—some done in pencil—very little is known about this unique vehicle besides what Williams could find. Neither GM nor Continental—which bought Motorola’s automotive buisness in 2006— has any information to provide and though Williams found a few folks on LinkedIn who worked for Motorola Automotive back in the day, none have contacted him back. Not surprising, as this project seems to be at least 30 years old. But someone out there must know the past of this weird ‘Vette. If you have any information, the Drive would like to hear from you. Be sure to check out the full, fascinating report right here.