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Electric ‘Crate Motor’ Turns Any Classic Car Into Hot EV

Electric Car / Comments

Is this the antithesis to the Hellcat crate motor?

Swindon Powertrain has a history in the tuning of combustion engines dating back to 1971, with work centering around Formula 1 engines in the 70s and 80s. This hasn't stopped the British company from looking to the electric future we're facing. Earlier this year, Swindon unveiled the Swind E Classic, an electrified version of the original Mini that combined a fully restored body with a custom-made electric powertrain developing 108 horsepower and enabling a 9.2-second 0-62 mph run - and arguably looking better than the new Mini Cooper Hardtop Electric. The limited run of 100 Swind E Classics carried an eye-watering price tag, but there's now a more affordable way to electrify a classic vehicle thanks to Swindon's new electric crate motor solution.

Swindon Powertrain
Swindon Powertrain
Swindon Powertrain

While electrifying classic cars might not be to everyone's tastes, Swindon Powertrain firmly believes in the notion. In partnership with electric motor manufacturer, iNetic, Swindon Powertrain has released details of the High Power Density (HPD) project, something they claim to be a fully turn-key electric 'crate' solution with a wide range of solutions. The system is made up of a motor, inverter, and single-speed transmission housed within a compact unit, with a power output of 107 hp.

The ultra-compact transverse EV powertrain measures 26.6 inches wide, 17.3 inches deep, and 11 inches tall, while weighing just 154 lbs. This makes it small enough that it can be installed into a wide range of applications, such as the Swind E Classic Mini, quad bikes, commercial vans, and even classic cars like the Lotus 7 - imagine an all-electric Caterham Seven 270.

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Swindon Powertrain
Swindon Powertrain
Swindon Powertrain

The HPD project can be had with a range of waterproofing solutions, too, making it suitable for off-road leisure and recreation vehicles. The main focus is on classic conversions, though, as Swindon is looking to provide a safe, reliable, reputable package rather than having owners risk electrical fire by sourcing electrical components from unknown sources.

Swindon believes the HPD EV system will ease the transition from combustion to electric powertrains, making it easier for specialist OEMs to electrify low-volume sports cars.

Swindon Powertrain
Swindon Powertrain
Swindon Powertrain

According to Raphael Callie, Swindon Powertrain's managing director, "To date, niche manufacturers have not had access to compact, high-power EV powertrains they could source in low-to-mid volume, leading to a vacuum of supply. When you factor in development costs, specialist OEMs haven't been able to electrify their vehicles as quickly as they would like. Our ready-to-install 'crate' powertrain will accelerate EV adoption in sectors poorly served by the larger tier-one manufacturers and integrators."

The HPD crate system doesn't include a battery, however, so those wishing to drop one in would need to invest in a separate battery solution, but as in the case of the Swind E Classic, a 24kWh lithium-ion battery that can fully charge within four hours on a 240-volt system could make an ideal power source with minimal weight penalty.

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