Ferrari Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said back in 2016 that the idea of an electric Ferrari was ‘obscene’ and what is the point to one without the sound. But in January this year, he was heard saying that “If there is an electric supercar to be built, then Ferrari will be the first”. He also said that Ferrari will be launching an SUV which will be the fastest in the world by late 2019 or 2020. And now, there is more exciting news on the matter. Californian Eric Hutchison and his team at Electric GT have accomplished the unthinkable creating the very first and the fastest electric 1978 Ferrari 308 GTE.
The fact that the Ferrari will not have its sweet sounding engine might make purists shudder what if they’re told that electric version completely destroyed the standard car. Hutchison had both the cars driven by a professional driver that results were interesting. The petrol powered Ferrari did the lap in a very good time of 1:26. But next up was Hutchison’s electric Ferrari.
The electric Ferrari 308 GTE did the lap 10 seconds faster. “Watching the professional driver off the line, the electric car left like a 25-foot burn out as he was just gripping for traction,” Hutchison told CNN Supercharged.
The creator of the electric Ferrari says that it was a great car to convert because when a car is converted to electric – the power and torque is doubled. He added that the Ferrari 308 GTE was built for speed, although not as much as the electric version but it handled it very well.
The 1978 Ferrari was destroyed in an engine fire and the engine and all electronics were beyond repair when Hutchison found it. He spent $10,000 for the Ferrari 308 shell. He then took on the mammoth task of restoring and rather improving a car that smelled, had all its rubber melted, glass broken – a complete mess.
In the time of about two years of restoration, Hutchison quit four times but after investing thousands of hours restoring the frame, stripping the car and removing the parts that were no longer needed, the job was done.
While Ferrari has officially promised electrification of its models by 2020, Hutchison didn’t want to wait that long. But it didn’t come without controversy. “I have been shamed, told, ‘what the heck have you been doing?’ or ‘why did you do that project?’,” he said.
The roar from the Ferrari 308 GTE has been replaced by an electric hum, all thanks to the electric motor with three batteries – one in the front and two where the fuel tank used to be.
Hutchison put up his electric 1978 Ferrari 308 GTE for auction at the Barrett Jackson classic car auction house. The new owner of the car Drew Gill didn’t know it was electric when he was bidding on it, and when he paid $77,000 for it he realised the uniqueness of the powertrain. And to say the least, he is pleased.
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