THE SHOP

November '20

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NOVEMBER 2020 THE SHOP 85 All that mumbo jumbo translates to a record 9.86-second quarter-mile time with a best terminal speed of 121 mph. Check it out on YouTube—it even sounds good. CATCHING THE BUZZ I popped that little golden nugget of a car into the back of my mind, thinking "cute and clever, but so what?" Meanwhile, my brother-in-law bought a couple of Teslas that I was invited to drive—including in their semi-autonomous mode—and I have to say I was quickly hooked. The power delivery of the Model S is nothing short of phenomenal, and one day we had a little street race with his neigh- bor's Lambo and it left the Italian stallion standing. The next jolt, if you will, came while trudging the aisles of the 2018 SEMA Show. There, like a rough diamond in a shining sea, was a ratty, patinated '49 Merc with a big, shiny V-8-looking motor under the hood. It's OK to call it a motor in this instance because a closer look revealed that power was actually provided by dual AM Racing permanent magnet motors producing 320NM each—that's 235 pound-feet of torque. The motors are rated at 150kW, translating into 200 hp each, for a total of 400 hp. This unicorn sits on a custom four-wheel independent Art Morrison chassis that also houses the Tesla performance 85kWh bat- tery pack with its 96 cells in series. The Merc was built by ICON 4x4, and I stopped to chat with ICON's Jonathan Ward. ICON is well-known for its Toyota Land Cruiser and Ford Bronco restomods, but, as Ward says, "ICON continues expanding and exploring innovative designs on a wide variety of vehicles including what we call Derelict projects that, in the Merc's case, are electric-powered. We have been blessed to find an audience that has not only appreci- ated our work, but demanded more." PLUGGING IN As noted, what caught my attention was the Merc's motor that looked pleasingly V-8-ish. Doing some digging, I learned Electric GT produces an electric motor, the GTe, that for all intents and purposes looks like a V-8, and you can buy it as a crate motor. Electric GT describes it as a "Plug & Play EV Conversion System, think EV Eco System-Swap designed for easy installation without special high-voltage knowledge." The shock (pun intended) comes with the GTe's $33,949 price tag. Incidentally, Chevrolet displayed its own electric 1962 C10 pickup concept—the E-10—at last year's SEMA Show. It was touted as a prototype for a plug-and-play— or, in GM-speak, a Connect & Cruise— eCrate engine-to-motor program that was The Pac-Man on wheels reaches a max of 5,500 rpm and ran a record-setting 9.86-second quarter-mile time with a best terminal speed of 121 mph. This all-electric ICON 4x4 "Derelict" pairs a patinated 1949 Merc with a modern electric power plant. The dual motors are rated at 150kW, translating into 200 hp each, for a total of 400 hp.

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