The E30 3 Series is one of the most commonly engine-swapped cars in the tuning scene. Mostly, the E30 gets its engine swapped with a bigger BMW engine or a Chevy LS V8. That’s because big power in its tiny rear-wheel drive chassis makes it a hilarious drift machine. However, swapping its powertrain with an electric powertrain from a Tesla makes it even crazier.
For instance, this E30 3 Series Convertible has a single electric drive unit from a Tesla Model S P85, which makes about 416 hp to just the rear wheels. Sending juice to that drive unit are two 400-volt DC lithium-ion battery packs from a Chevy Volt. According to the man that built it, John Volk, this Tesla-swapped E30 3 Series Convertible can get about 100 miles to a charge. Not bad, considering it was built in a garage.
What’s interesting is that the electric motor sends its power through a Quaife limited-slip differential to its rear wheels. It also gets Koni Yellow shocks, new camber plates and Ireland Engineering coilovers. All of that combines to make a tire-smoking burnout machine that looks like hilarious good fun. Its instant torque also means that it’s incredible quick to shoot gaps in traffic or lunch other cars on the road. As Volk says, “To best describe it, you’ll never miss a yellow light again.”
Some BMW enthusiasts might find it heretical to use a Tesla powertrain in an E30 3 Series, and maybe it is, but that doesn’t make this car any less awesome. It also proves that electric hot-rodding is going to open up an entirely new world of fun as the years go on. Forget stuffing LS motors into cars, just go electric. Electric motors supply more torque, instantly, while operating almost silently. So not only are electric hot-rods like this 3 Series awesome fun but they’re also ultimate sleeper cars.
[Source: The Drive]