I recently received a disturbing press release announcing the production of an all-electric Superformance GT40 replica built by British electric car builder Everrati Automotive. Right off the bat here, I must admit my bias against electric cars. I suppose they have their place as commuter vehicles, but I have a tough time being excited about them as performance cars.
Yes, the electric Cobra Jet Mustang is quick, Don Garlits’ electric dragster set a record a couple years ago, and Tesla’s new Model S Plaid something-or-other out-accelerated all of the supercars MotorTrend routinely tests, but to me, they have all the engagement of a golf cart.
That’s just my opinion, of course, and I’m well aware that I may find myself drowning in the looming tidal wave of electrification that seems poised to inundate us in the next several years, but for a car to be special, it needs personality; it needs to have a soul, and I haven’t seen that yet in an electric car. Quick and fast is impressive, sure, but it doesn’t necessarily mean fun, engaging, or soul-stirring, and a lack of those qualities is boring. I’d rather drive a slow car fast than a fast car that has the interface and tactile feel of a video game.
Everrati Automotive Joins the Fray
Everrati is a company I hadn’t heard of prior to receiving the press release. A quick perusal of its website impresses me, though. It features a clean design with high-quality pictures and videos of their line of electric conversions. Unsurprisingly, they offer three variants of the 964-generation Porsche 911s, as well as a Land Rover Model IIA and a Mercedes Benz 280 SL convertible. Then there’s the GT40.
Given the popularity of the air-cooled 911 these days, I wasn’t surprised to see a company offering an electric version. I’m sure the Land Rover will be a big hit among the tweed jacket and sport-shooting crowd, too, but a GT40? The specs listed are impressive: 800 hp from a 46-kWh battery and dual 700-volt motors. Everrati Automotive claims 060-mph acceleration in less than 4.0 seconds, and the car will have a projected range of 125 miles. These are built-to-order vehicles, so a number of custom options are available, including the iconic Gulf livery. Gulp! The specs are impressive, the product brochure is gorgeous, and Everrati’s website is stellar, full of breathtaking photography and aspirational prose, but one thing is missing—there’s no picture looking down on the car. What’s under the glass hatch where the engine should be?
Ford GT40 and Other Iconic Cars
When the GT40s swept the podium at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, a 427-inch FE engine topped by a Holley carburetor and framed by upswept headers was under the plexi hatch. Shouldn’t there always be a Ford V-8 visible in the engine bay of any GT40, even if it is a replica? Shouldn’t some things be sacred, or am I being pedantic?
The marketplace will decide, of course; I’m not proposing the establishment of a Commission for the Preservation of Automotive Heritage, though that has a lovely bureaucratic ring, doesn’t it? But consider my line of reasoning further: Will people accept an electric GT40? How about other icons: Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, Porsche 930 or 959? What about an electrified version of a General Lee Dodge Charger, or Parnelli Jones’ Boss 302 Mustang, or Smokey Yunick’s ’66 Chevelle?
Maybe I’m as old-minded as the fossilized dinosaur remains that are the basis of the fuel I dispense into my gas tank, but some things need the sounds, smells, and feels of a gasoline engine and manual transmission. Time will be the ultimate arbiter of this debate, though. In the meantime, please check out Everrati Automotive’s website and let us know what you think. Everatti seems to go to great lengths to preserve the original look of their cars, and hiding 46 kW of batteries in such a tiny package is no small feat. If we’re all forced to drive golf carts in the future, at least there are people who want them to look good.
Photos by Everrati Automotive.