The First Electric Ferrari is Definitely Unofficial

All it took was a burned-out 1978 308 GTS hulk and a couple hundred pounds of batteries.

byBen Keeshin|
Electric Vehicles photo


Before the purists wail, listen here: this all-electric Ferrari 308 "GTE" was slated for a total parting-out. When Eric Hutchinson of California-based firm Electric GT came across this 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS, it had just suffered a catastrophic engine fire, leaving the motor and all electronics past the points of repair. The cost? Just $10,000. So, in "The Six Million Dollar Man fashion," the folks at Electric GT sought to replace the car's old-fashioned innards with the latest technology. Ciao, V8; salve, HPEVS AC51 electric motor and nearly fifty 3.3-volt lithium-ion batteries. Though the electric version carries 150 pounds more weight than the original, the motor compensates with a wild 465 horsepower a 330 pound-feet of torque; the original 308, for all of its aggressive, wedgy looks, came factory equipped with just 200 horses.

Interestingly, though most electric motors provide enough torque that a multi-speed transmission is unnecessary, this car has been equipped with a Porsche transaxle. According to the builders, the combination of a manual transmission and typical, instantaneous EV torque make for a "clutch-dropping, gear-pounding Ferrari experience." We don't know about the life of that clutch, but best of luck with those electron-infused burnouts.

In terms of range, the Ferrari 308 GTE's 100 miles are a little off the latest from the big OEMs: Tesla announced a 300-mile range for the Model S, while GM is promising 200 miles on the inexpensive Chevy Bolt. But, hey, neither of those cars will give you the panache of a modern-day Magnum.

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