It’s 2019 and there’s finally an electric pro drift car. This is Napoleon Motorsports’ Chevy Camaro EL1, and I have questions.
We’ve known that an EV has been coming to FD for a few months now, with even the series’ tech inspector confirming as much in an interview with Maximum Driftcast. We also had a pretty good idea that it was going to be this car in particular, given that Napoleon Motorsports down in Texas called it an “EL1" (a bit of a pun on the normal Camaro 1LE name) and that the shop called it “the example of what the future of racecars will be.”
But only now is everything official and out in the open, and we can see the huge stack of high-voltage gear filling up the space where a giant gas engine used to be.
I am extremely excited about this thing. EVs promise instant torque, perfect for spinning tires, and the short runs mean long-term range isn’t an issue. EVs and drifting seem, at least conceptually, made for each other.
But there are so many questions about how this car is going to work.
How is it going to work for clutch-kicking and other clutch modulation, a huge part of drifting technique?
How is the car designed to sustain crashes, another major part of the often contact sport of pro drifting?
Will the team be able to manage battery temperatures through the brief but repeated runs of drift competition, let alone keep enough juice in the batteries for more than one go around the track?
How much of this car lines up with Chevy’s own all-electric eCOPO Camaro drag car, and how much of this is unique to Napoleon Motorsports?
Jalopnik has reached out to Napoleon Motorsports, and we should have a fun feature on the how and why of this build in the future.
No matter what, this will be fascinating to watch Napoleon Motorsports pioneer this kind of car and work out all the kinks on the main stage of drifting in America.