The future of performance hot rodding is bright, and EV powered. With a relatively compact electric motor and a rack of batteries, something with a classic shape, like a 356 Speedster, can receive a huge injection of power and torque. Driving an old car with maybe only 60 horsepower can be a lot of fun, but it can be quite demanding in current-day traffic to keep up with the flow. The folks at EV West have been converting cars to EV power for quite a few years now, and this Speedster is a shining example of the quality builds they can manage.
The car itself is actually a fiberglass kit car 356, which is good because they aren’t cutting up a vintage Porsche for this project. The suspension, steering, and brakes are about as primitive as it would have been back in the 1950s, but the motivation has been swapped out for something firmly stuck in the modern era.
While there are a number of folks concerned about the environment who will drive something like this, it’s such a boon for enthusiasts to experience the instant torque and mega acceleration provided, not to mention the modernity of the power delivery and regenerative braking now available. Not only is the car faster, but it produces zero emissions and drives so much quieter. As someone who drives an old aircooled Porsche with straight pipes, I must say it would be nice to have a quiet car on occasion.
While this video does include some of that manufactured reality-TV drama, it’s a pretty good representation of what it takes to get a car from rolling shell to electric propulsion in a handful of shop days. With a pretty standard layout, EV West has a lot of experience in building these swaps. Not only that, but building this modernized faster 356 Speedster replica cost a fraction of what it would cost to buy a real 356 Speedster these days. That’s an awesome benefit.