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Four seater convertible cars suitable for large tesla drive conversion

1288 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  266917
Hello Everyone

currently I am trying to create a list for myself for suiteable cars for electic conversion using a large tesla drive.
Ideally those would be four (or 2+2) seaters with an open roof. I guess this comes down to rear/mid-rear engine, rear drive cars.

There are obvious choices like:
Porsche 911
Porsche 912
Porsche 914
Ferrari Mondial
Volkswagen Beatle

Do you know any more than those?

Kind Regards
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An interesting list. A 911 (or 912) is barely a 2+2; if that's big enough, then just about any 2+2 would work.

If you include the Beetle, 911, and 914, then you can include almost every air-cooled VW and Porsche. Yes, the Beetle is the most common, but there are the the later Beetle replacements, and even the vans.

There have been many small rear-engine (and obviously rear-drive) European cars, but they are all obscure compared to the VWs, although they would be more available in Europe than they are here. There was one rear-engine North American car: the Chevrolet Corvair.

Maybe if you could describe the desired characteristics (size? style? performance?) more, it would be easier to think of suitable candidates.

I understand looking at only rear-drive cars because the rear wheels need to be driven, but all wheel drive cars would also work, mechanically. I understand looking at rear-engine and mid-engine cars because they have the mass of the engine behind the driver and the Tesla drive unit would be behind the driver, but the battery will weigh more than the drive unit so it is a bigger factor in mass distribution. I think a broader range of alternatives could be considered... essentially any rear-drive or AWD 2+2 or 4-seater.
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Nice project!
Porsche 914 is two seater, not 2+2.
Convertible criterium narrows the options down.
There is e.g. the wonderfully odd Matra 530 (but wouldn't want to add a large tesla unit in it, also not in a Beetle IMHO).

But a front ICE-engined RWD convertible could also be an option as a starting point, making a subframe in the rear for the drive unit. Then a lot more cars are an option, Jaguar, Mercedes, BMW 4 seat convertibles etcetc. If you really want a large drive unit and use all its power, I would choose a car that can handle that power and torque in the first place as a prime criterium. And in Germany an older car makes TUV easier. Good luck and keep us posted!
Obviously you are correct about the 914 being a two seater.

I am going for rear/rear-mid engine setup due to fact that (as you mentioned the tüv), there is no way that they will allow your car on the street as soon as you touch the floorpan or create more than just a subframe for the motor.

The rear seats were not meant for being used as a taxi all day, but just to put your groceries and ever blue moon to drive your friends somewhere. So its okay if they are uncomfortable.

For me personally, the w124 convertible would be the absolute ideal car, but in the space of the rear differential there is no way for a (small or large) tesla drive unit.

So thats why I am going for this list first.

The Matra is a great addition!

I dont think my prefered style would help much, as those limitations (4 seats, rear engine, convertible), already narrow it down a lot.

Eventually i will also have to think about 4 seater, rear/rear-mid engine cars, as I dont expect this to be a large list.

Cars on that list include for example the Renault Alpine (A110, A310, V6 GT etc), or the much more current Lotus Evora.

I would like to have a speedy/sports car which would be able to endure the tesla drive. So a beetle wouldnt really work.
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Good thinking, best to consider your options and wish list (with priorities) upfront. Two other thoughts: an SDU will already put out a great punch, and will have less impact on the battery choice (with an LDU, you have to add probably around 400-500 kg of batteries, and do you want that in a 4 seater mid engined sports car? And the second thing, have you considered the new Revolt (V8 shaped) "crate motor" LDU? That opens up the possibility again to go front engined RWD. But anyway, keep the TUV in the loop from an early stage on to avoid disappointments/problems later on. Good luck! O yes,and you can find more info on an Evora with LDU on the internet.
Triumph Stag? It's front-engined, RWD. Or you could do something TRULY epic and go for an old Cadillac convertible or something. I have a Packard Caribbean that I'd love to get rolling again under electric power, but it's like trying to drive a building.

If you want late model, there are a lot fewer actual 4 seater convertibles that'll fit 4 actual human beings. Most of them are what I call "4 seats for insurance purposes" like the Ford Mustang convertible, or Camaro convertible, or 350z etc. I WILL say, one great thing about Mustangs (and Camaros, to a lesser extent) is the parts availability and price is phenomenal. I can replace a whole rear axle 3 times in a Mustang for the same price as a new MAF sensor for my Porsche 928.

If you want something bigger, you might take a look at the Chrysler LeBaron or the Chrysler Sebring Convertibles. Any of these should be quite sprightly with the Tesla drive unit, which is something like 350hp equivalent, IIRC. None of the cars listed were close to that from the factory, with even the Cobra version of the Mustang in 1994 being in the 240hp neighborhood. More recent tuned versions of the Mustangs and Camaros may peak around there, but not with the kind of torque the Tesla unit will put out.
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Hello from germany
The porsche 924, 944 and the 928 Are good Cars.
Greetings Boxsterwarp
Hello from germany
The porsche 924, 944 and the 928 Are good Cars.
Greetings Boxsterwarp
Absolutely! The only negative thing I could say about the 928/944 as a basis for an EV swap is that the engines are almost never the thing that fails on them, so it's hard to want to take out such a neat motor when it's still working.

Although the flipside of that argument is, if you have AC problems, it's probably about the same cost to convert it to an electric air conditioner system as it is to fix the stupid vacuum diaphragms.
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