Electric cars aren’t going to win any converts with parts per-million of CO2 and the prospect of gas-free commuting alone. We need to get the adrenaline pumping with electric-powered race cars like this 900 horsepower Bimmer.
A project that apparently began as a simple “why not” has become an all-out racing project with no prospects of slowing down. VST Conversions, headed by Croatian Mate Rimac, has gone from using off-the-shelf parts to creating their own lightweight, efficient AC motor. The current racing package is encased in a 1986 BMW 3-Series, which can do 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds, has a top speed of 174 mph, and a range of about 110 miles. The VST-designed DC motor makes over 900 horsepower and delivers torque instantaneously. This is a race car through and through, just watch the video if you need further proof.
The green movement needs more people like Mate, making something cool, fast, and green. And I know they are out there, working hard every day with limited resources but lots of optimism. There’s White Zombie of course (I’d love to see a race between these two cars) and plenty of other pioneers who have taken matters into their own hands, converting vehicles in their own back yard.
But while converting an old Mercedes to vegetable oil is cool in its own right, it is cool to a much slimmer part of the population. Who doesn’t appreciate a slick, fast 3-Series to a loud, slow diesel? It’s sort of like Volkswagen’s “fun theory.” It’s easier to make people do something right by making the right thing fun. So if electric cars are the “right” thing to do, the right thing needs to be fun, and not just practical. I think Mate gets that.
Am I right, or is the Nissan Leaf enough to convert the world to driving electric?
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.