EV-Swapped Honda CRX Runs 12-Second Passes Like Nobody’s Business

What else would you expect from a car with mega torque and the curb weight of a Pringle?

byJames Gilboy|
Electric Vehicles photo

With nearly no weight to lug around, Honda CRXs are just a performance upgrade or two away from being fiery little hatches that punch far above their weight. As such, when you slot a hot-rodded Nissan Leaf powertrain into a CRX like Canadian electrical engineer Arlin Sansome, you turn your Honda into a superb sleeper, one capable of silently slaying modified Subaru BRZs and Porsches alike.

According to posts on EV forum Endless Sphere, Sansome's CRX EV build started in late 2011 with the acquisition of a ragged 1988 CRX and a Nissan Leaf powertrain, complete minus its battery. While dropping this drivetrain in would've been the simple way to electrify the CRX, Sansome wanted his Honda to have Tesla-tier acceleration, meaning much of the Leaf's economy-car hardware wasn't up for the job. Just a few months in, the Canadian committed to developing a custom controller for his car, an undertaking which his YouTube comments describe as taking multiple years and "tens of thousands of [Canadian] dollars."

But Sansome's effort paid off and in January 2016, the electric CRX could move under its own power. Scarcely 18 months thereafter, Sansome's CRX was fine-tuned enough to go for a roll on a dynamometer, where it laid down as much as 302 wheel horsepower—enough to drag the front-drive Honda down a standing quarter mile in just 12.73 seconds at 115 mph. It may be a match for more than light-footed Porsche drivers and modified Subaru BRZs too; a suspiciously similar vehicle has been filmed trouncing a Mercedes-AMG C63 in a street race.

With the front axle evidently figured out, the next item on Sansome's agenda is to power the CRX's rear axle, which a video uploaded in late 2019 suggests he has done. Sansome has yet to upload a video of the newly all-wheel-drive CRX moving under its own power, though if regular dyno test and controller calibration videos are anything to go by, this car may be up and running again—if not racing—by year's end.

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h/t: Bryant Pocock