Electrogenic via Facebook
This isn’t your typical Porsche 356 – it’s an EV. But it’s not even your typical EV – it has a manual transmission.
Manual transmissions are dying, and electric vehicles are becoming the next big thing in transport. It seems enthusiast cars are more niche than ever before – well, traditional enthusiast cars, at least.
By that I mean a manual transmission connected to a powerful combustion engine driving the rear wheels. We all know that EVs can be insanely quick in a straight line, and we’re getting to the point where they can keep up through the corners too, despite the extra weight from the batteries, but they still seem to lack some of the emotion and soul of a manually shifted ICE car.
Enter Electrogenic, an Oxford, England based company specialising in electric-swapping older cars. It has put electric motors in a Volkswagen Beetle, a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and even a Porsche 356.
That last one is what we’re most interested in, as like a number of other EV conversions, Electrogenic has managed to retain the four-speed manual transmission.. The motor is in the correct place, over the rear axle, the windows are wind-down and the battery is air-cooled.
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This is still a Porsche, just without the need for oil.
So how does it work?
The motor is connected to a top hat linked to the flywheel. Throttle and power inputs are routed through the factory pressure plate and clutch thanks to electrical black magic, while a specially built adaptor plate makes everything play nice together.
Power is rated at 80kW/235Nm, which is roughly the same power as the 356 C 2000 GS Carrera with more torque to boot. Expect a range of around 225km.
Because the powertrain still has a flywheel, pressure plate and clutch, you can actually ‘rev’ the motor in neutral, making a whirring noise.
You still need to use the clutch to set off, but it doesn’t stall. You can also simply leave it in third gear if you want and drive around using the torque.
And, by the looks of the video above, it drives just as well as any other 356. Sure, it might not have the same sound as a naturally aspirated flat-four, but it’s still pretty damn awesome.
Possibly the only downside is the cost, unsurprisingly enough.
Before factoring in the cost of a donor car, Electrogenic will ask between 30,000 and 50,000 pounds, or around NZ$57,000 to $95,000, depending on things like buyer-specified power level and battery capacity. Then consider shipping the whole thing to New Zealand…
It’s a lot for something offering the power of an economy hatchback, but it shows that EVs can still power enthusiast cars, if done right.