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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

My name is Rich, and I am looking to do an EV conversion project sometime in the future.

I'm a longtime DIYer for everything automotive; I got my start with a major rebuild of 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo I did in an enclosed storage space when I was in college, over 6 months in 2002. Ever since then I've modified and rebuilt a whole bunch of cars, including a AW11 MR2, FC RX-7, ST185 Celica All-Trac, NA Miata, GD (hawkeye) Subaru STi, and most recently (and most extensively) a 2005 Lotus Elise, to which I added a giant charge-cooled supercharger, long-geared transmission w/ Helical LSD, Ohlins racing suspension, and a ton of other small details.

The last time I did a significant automotive project was the Elise about 5 years ago; and since then I haven't had much time for projects (or racing) since I started a family and my interests have diversified into other areas like electronics, robotics, home projects for the wife, and programming for fun, not just to make money.

I picked up a Tesla Model 3 a little over 2 years ago, and I am hooked on the EV experience. The mountain of torque from a standstill is amazing, and the Tesla, which is just a RWD long range model, is faster to 30 MPH than my Lotus. However - the Tesla feels bland to me, like Solent or plain instant oatmeal, especially because of the lifeless traction and stability control programming. It's still under warranty and is a great family car, so I don't see myself modifying it.

Anyhow, to why I'm here - I'm itching to start a new project, and don't really have interest in doing another gas car after owning the Tesla. The Lotus is just about where I want it for my skill level at the occasional track day or autocross, and if I wanted an electric Elise, I would just buy a Tesla Roadster.

The type of project I would be interested in would be something that uses a Tesla drive unit - likely the large Model S unit - that I could run around an autocross course a bunch of times or get a few hot laps in on a track before overheating the inverter. I would want something that could cruise at least 100 miles on a charge and isn't too expensive to power with batteries, so my options are pretty limited battery-wise; thus far I am leaning to 2 chevy volt battery systems.

Because of packaging considerations for the Tesla drive unit as well as a need for lots of space for batteries, I am leaning towards something rear or mid engine to convert that can be obtained for low to mid 5 figures and would be on the fun and classic side of motoring. Some things that come to mind are a Lotus Esprit with a blown engine; a pre-964 Porsche 911, again with a blown engine; and some kit/component cars from manufacturers like RCR or Factory Five Racing. I am still working out budget and logistics with the wife so I don't have a path forward yet, but for starters I am going to put in a 4 post lift into my garage so I can have some space to work.

Anyhow, hello! And does anyone know how to get a thread published that is marked "Awaiting approval before being displayed publicly."? I posted a thread about a week ago and it's still in purgatory. Thank you,

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