Would you go EV if the motor looked like this?
The switchover to fully electric mobility has been relatively slow, but it is picking up momentum. President Biden is on a mission to achieve 50% EV sales by 2030, but EV adoption goes far beyond new car sales. The classic car community is also involved in a big way.
There is a new trend to power restomods with EV powertrains. Our favorite recent EV restomods include a first-generation Ford Bronco and the sensational Totem Automobili Giulia GT EV. One of our associate editors is kept up at night thinking of ideas to make a quick buck to convert his classic Mini into an EV.
But all of these restomods have one problem in common. You can't lift the hood and blow people away with a beautifully detailed engine. A battery box isn't sexy, nor is an electric motor. But now, you can get an electric motor hidden neatly within an iconic internal combustion engine's casing.
Enter a company called Webb Motorworks. It's taking a surprisingly simple yet highly effective approach to convincing the old guard that EV is the way forward.
The owner of Webb Motorworks, Chris Webb, was not a fan of EVs but his daughter, Emily, convinced him that there was a way to put an electric motor into a hot rod without committing blasphemy.
The secret is in the packaging. What may look like an old big-block V8 engine is actually a hollow shell hiding a widely used Borg Warner electric motor. How epic is that? You don't get the noise, but you won't care once you leave hot rods with traditional V8s in your dust.
Webb Motorworks claims a 0-60-mph time of 3-5 seconds, depending on the car's weight. The range is between 135-250 miles depending on the size of the battery pack and it can be charged back up within 5-8 hours at home, which is acceptable considering most hot rods are hobby cars. You'll definitely still need a Tesla Model S for the daily grind.
The cost is between $50,000 to $70,000, and four shells are currently available. You can get a small block in V8 or V12 configuration, a Hemi, a big block, or a flathead, also available in V8 and V12. You can also add some color to the engine. The options are red, blue, purple, orange, teal, or black.
Webb Motorworks took its products to SEMA this week, where it alreadreceived three awards.