Classic Exotic Sports Cars That Could Benefit From an Electric Conversion

The jig is up. Petrol-powered cars’ days are numbered on this Earth, and there doesn’t seem to be anything anyone can do about it. It sounds sad, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to look past the Tesla Model 3 to know that electric cars can be quick. Plus, electric vehicles don’t need to pass any emissions tests, and you’ll save a fortune on gas. Major auto manufacturers are encouraging electric conversions, like Ford with its Eluminator crate motor. Is there a downside? Will you have to give up on that classic V12 Ferrari once all the petrol runs out? Not hardly. Here are some of the best classic exotic sports car candidates for an electric conversion. 

Ferrari Mondial was a heavy and slow exotic

1987 Ferrari Mondial 3.2 cabriolet parked outside of a house
1987 Ferrari Mondial 3.2 cabriolet | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The Mondial was a V8 sports car that Ferrari built from 1980-1993. Originally it came with several V8s ranging from 214 to 300 horsepower, the latter reaching 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. That didn’t stop it from becoming one of the most underpowered cars ever made, especially with its 3,600 pound curb weight. You can find Mondials online selling for around $30,000. It’s a prime exotic sports car for an electric conversion because it’s a rear mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive car. You can find a Tesla Model 3 powertrain for around $4,000 and drop it in the back, no doubt with some severe fabrication.

Lamborghini Jalpa is a cheap classic exotic

Lamborghini Jalpa on display in the Netherlands
Lamborghini Jalpa on display in the Netherlands | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

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The only Lamborghini selling for less than $50,000 is a Jalpa. It was a sports car that used a 3.5-liter V8 that produced 250 horsepower, which was supposed to move a 3,329-pound car. The Jalpa is a perfect classic exotic sports car for an electric conversion because of its engine placement, its horrific reliability, and the fact it needs more power. The Tesla Model S powertrain is a good option for making lots of reliable horsepower.

1962-1975 Lotus Elan was almost too light

Lotus Elan racing in Switzerland
Lotus Elan racing in Switzerland | PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA/AFP via Getty Images

Lotus is famous for building lightweight cars, which makes them perfect for electric conversions. The Elan was lighter than an F1 car, had superb steering and independent suspension. It’s perfect for Ford’s Eluminator crate motor, which provides 281 horsepower. The Elan is light enough to bear the weight of an electric powertrain. 

Honda Beat is a modern classic exotic deserving of more power

If 1990s cars are becoming classics, then look no further than the Honda Beat. It was a little roadster that barely lasted five years before ending up on Honda’s chopping block, but it weighed less than 1,700 pounds. Its engine was mid-rear, sending 63 horsepower to the rear wheels. The engine bay is a little small, but so is an electric motor. An eluminator may be your best bet for this car as well, but don’t discount the Tesla powertrain without consulting the forums.

There are plenty of cars to choose from, but the ones that benefit the most are British sports cars. They don’t have the best reliability track record but were extremely lightweight, especially the Lotuses. You could benefit from an electric conversion if you can find a classic Lotus from the 1960s and 1970s.

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