Back in the day, hot rodding was hugely popular. The idea was simple: take an ordinary car, stuff a monster engine up front and strip out as much weight as possible. Now, there’s a new style of hot rodding that’s starting to get popular — EV hot rodding. Basically, you take an ordinary car, replace its engine with an electric powertrain and strip out weight. In this new video from Fully Charged, we get to see an E36 BMW M3 given the EV hot rod treatment.
The people behind this EV E36 BMW M3 are EV West, the California-based electric tuning company, headed by Michael Bream. What Bream and his team did was take an E36 M3, strip it out, fit it with a proper roll cage and stuff an 800 hp electric powertrain from a wrecked Tesla into it. EV West actually used this electric M3 to take on Pikes Peak, which is impressive and kind of scary sounding.
It’s scary once you see just how violent its power can be. Admittedly, it’s as docile as a Prius around town and, aside from its completely stripped-out cabin, easy enough to drive everyday. However, just flex your right foot and the rear tires will break loose in a huge cloud of tire smoke. It’s hilarious and also sort of scary. Imagine driving something that powerful on Pikes Peak? No thanks.
It is awesome, though. With around 800 hp and only around 2,700 lbs (with perfect 50/50 weight distribution), it has a pretty incredible power-to-weight ratio. So even the very fat rear tires stand no chance at harnessing all of that power and putting it to the road. Which is why EV West fitted it with a super-fast steering rack, so that when the rear end does break lose, the driver has quick enough steering to catch it.
While most car enthusiasts might prefer stuffing a massive engine under the hood of an E36 BMW M3, such as the famed LS-swap, electric motors can be just as exciting, if not more so.