America might be the first nation to build an affordable EV sports car after all.
The E-Cite Motors Group is America's latest boutique EV manufacturer, but instead of targeting high-rollers as Rimac does with its Nevera, it wants to produce a new affordable EV sports car codenamed EV GT.
E-Cite first hit the news in July this year after announcing that its budget EV sports car would be powered by Ford's Eluminator crate motor. But this week E-Cite announced that it's ditching Ford in favor of Tesla.
"After thoroughly evaluating all known potential options, the proven Tesla platform provides us with the best possible solution available. Using modified Tesla motors and batteries further reduces our engineering requirements, dramatically increases our performance capabilities, and due to shear economies of scale, reduces the cost of manufacturing that we can pass on to our customers. We also believe that customer confidence will be increased over using less proven platforms," said E-Cite's COO Gene Langmesser.
E-Cite will purchase stock motors and batteries from Tesla, and it will enhance these to increase horsepower, improve cooling, and to better adapt to E-Cite's proprietary chassis.
The only worrying thing is that E-Cite's upgraded motors and batteries will only be covered by a 24-month/50,000-mile warranty. In contrast, all Teslas, including the base Model 3, are covered by a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and an eight-year/100,000-mile battery and drive unit warranty. Considering the cost of a replacement battery, this is something worth keeping in mind.
E-Cite also announced that its first production vehicles will be produced for the 2023 model year, which means these cars went from an idea to the dealer floor in less than 12 months. We're also not sure this is something worth bragging about, but we hope to be proven wrong.
Looking at the output figures, it's not hard to see why E-Cite chose Tesla in favor of Ford. While the Eliminator was popular enough to sell out during its first production run, it's hardly class-leading these days. Using the Ford-supplied parts, E-Cite only had 281 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque.
The Tesla parts allow E-Cite to sell the EV GT in several flavors, starting with the entry-level motor. The base car now has 450 hp and 332 lb-ft. The mid-range motor produces 540 hp and 443 lb-ft, while the top-spec boasts 640 hp and 480 lb-ft.
E-Cite Motors has submitted applications to the NHSTA to allow its vehicles to be used on public roads. The application was filed for three different cars. They include an all-wheel drive, an electric hypercar with a 222 + mph top speed, an affordable EV sports car, and a super SUV truck, all of which are currently being processed. You can see the first simulation of the super SUV truck below, which looks suspiciously like the famous Rambo Lambo.
We hope the permission is granted, if only because it would allow the California-based E-Cite to beat China in building the world's first affordable EV sports car.
The only images we've seen so far look like replicas, but E-Cite is adamant that it does not build kit cars, but brand-new cars from the ground up.