Drag Racing plasma

Published on April 21st, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro

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Video: Electric Light Show Underneath An 8-Second EV Drag Racer

Racing enthusiasts may lament the lack of deafening noise from electric race cars, but sparks still fly when big electric motors are pushed to their limit. Lonestar EV Performance gave us this video from their “motor cam” focused on one of two 500 horsepower Netgain motors throwing literal lightning in a single-digit drag race.

While the video doesn’t specify, this is almost certainly footage of the drivetrain powering “Assault & Battery“, John Metric’s 1,000 horsepower Mazda Miata. The light show this monster motor puts on is one of the hidden treasures of electric racing, and makes reference to Metric’s other electric drag car, a Pontiac Fiero called DC Plasma.

electric-miata

It’s not that EVs screaming past at full pace don’t have a distinguishable sound, as Formula E proved otherwise. But compared to the mighty roar of a small-displacement, high-revving V8 or flat-six, it can seem kind of weaksauce. I was driving behind a Porsche 911 GT2, and let me tell you, that car sounds magical from the back end. I would have followed it for longer, but my little Chevy Sonic had no hope of keeping up.

I’m no fan of artificial sounds in EVs, but if electric dragsters could figure out a way to showcase these massive engines as they shoot fire…that could give the fans something to get excited about. Mount the motor in the trunk, under a plexiglass shield, where the world can watch lightning-powered cars throat-stomp traditional dragsters. It could be done. It should be done.

For science!




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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or esle, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • Turbofroggy

    The linked video isn’t working, just a white big space where the video should be.

  • http://facebook.com/FalconFour Matt Falcon

    All those sparks are why DC brush motors lived a very short life in the EV scene. The sparks are caused by arcing between the motor phases, and the flashes of light represent lost power to heat. Brushless motors, where the brushes are replaced by ultra-fast solid-state electronic control, are far more reliable and deliver much more power to the wheels. I can’t understand why anyone would build an EV with a brush motor today! But hey, as long as it’s turning heads and pissing off petrol-heads, I’m all for it. :D

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