Porsche 912 With A Tesla Heart Is Blasphemous

Aug 5, 2019 2 min read
Porsche 912 With A Tesla Heart Is Blasphemous

But some believe this powertrain swap is also glorious.

Engine swaps are sometimes celebrated, but this might not be one of those times. Hardcore Porsche enthusiasts are known for being purist, still rejecting the 996 because it doesn’t use an air-cooled engine. So seeing this 1968 Porsche 912 with an electric motor donated from a Tesla Model S P85 is understandably upsetting. Still, is this the future of classic cars?


Of course, this electric Porsche 912 was created in Southern California, bastion of vehicle electrification. Two shops did the work: Zelectric Motors and EV West. They have a growing clientele who buy classic VWs and Porsches outfitted with electric powertrains.

Understandably, some people are really excited to buy these modernized classics. In fact, the companies have a waitlist that’s about 4 years long, versus almost no interest only 9 years ago. It’s not really clear just how many cars these shops are putting in the hands of consumers each year, but it sounds like business is booming.

Not only do customers feel like they’re helping with air pollution, they get to enjoy other benefits electric motors. There’s that instant peak torque output from a standstill, so you can burn rubber without really trying. The car is also pretty much silent, so you could actually have a conversation inside or listen to music, which isn’t always easy to do in some classics.

This sort of idea has been spreading for the last few years. For example, last year Jaguar unveiled the E-Type Zero. It uses the restored classic, but guts that polluting internal combustion engine and replaces it with an electric motor. Some would argue the feel of the classic car has been changed, which is part of the point of preserving it, and they’re not entirely wrong. These certainly aren’t restored cars, but instead are far different from their original design.

So what’s your take on this? Is converting a classic car to run on an electric motor brilliant, necessary, ridiculous, or horrible?

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