Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne thinks an electric Ferrari would be “obscene,” despite the industry heading that way. The quietness bothers him, and he wants to keep Ferrari “pure,” whatever that means. But not everyone’s allergic to plugs, and a shop’s one-off electric Ferrari 308 GTS will go to auction soon.
(Apropos of nothing, but seriously. “Pure” Ferrari. Please. You can’t even get one with a manual anymore. Woof.)
But before you start chanting about car treason or something like that, it’s not like someone figured, Eh, this thing is four decades old, let’s rip out the engine and replace it with electric motors. A fuel leak in this 308 GTS burned up the engine and a lot of wiring, leaving the car a sad yet empty slate for a shop in California. Also, it’s a 308, the Unloved Ferrari.
The shop put three electric motors into the car, replacing its crispy V8 after the fire and calling it the “world’s first electric Ferrari” in a video of it shredding its tires. The car would have had about 220 horsepower before the swap and makes around 330 HP now, and the shop seems to have done a much simpler swap on the back of the car—trading the “S” in “GTS” for an “E.”
Other than being an electric Ferrari, which probably makes folks at Ferrari sigh and roll their eyes, perhaps the weirdest part about the car is its transmission. Our reviews editor Andrew Collins drove this 308 GTS last year, and its four-speed manual transmission and three pedals don’t work like most do.
The car doesn’t need gears because it’s electric, and it also doesn’t stall—a driver doesn’t have to put in the clutch at stops or to do much other than upshift, and upshifting isn’t really upshifting. The driver can just pick a gear to drive in, with first having the highest acceleration and fourth being more of a cruising gear with a slower reaction time.
At any rate, this 308 GTS is weird, most likely the only one out there like it, and almost guaranteed to make Ferrari’s boss mad. (Ferrari’s made enough people mad itself, so don’t feel to badly about it.) It’s also going to the auction block next month, ready to quietly shred tires in the hands of a new owner.
And, hey, maybe this one-off will sell for less because it’s a salvage title. But then again, that rule probably applies more on Craigslist than it does at a fancy auction with a bunch of people who actually intend to spend their money.