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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

new to forum and looking For ideas on a future conversion project. I’m looking at small roadsters Saturn Sky (Opel GT) or similar (Solstice, Elise, not Miata) with high mileage/non runner to pull engine and build a 0-60 3.5sec car with 100mi range. Have very limited experience but am looking to learn as I go.
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I’m looking at small roadsters Saturn Sky (Opel GT) or similar (Solstice, Elise, not Miata) with high mileage/non runner...
That's an interesting model choice and exclusion. Why not Miata - too common? The Solstice/Sky was always rare compared to the Miata, so finding one inexpensively might be difficult. I understand the 'cheap non-runner' idea, but some people like to swap V8's into these, so you'll be competing with them to buy those cars. The Honda S2000 was similar, but there won't be many that are cheap because they are run down and very few that managed to kill their engine. It does

With any of these cars, packing in the battery will be a serious challenge. The Solstice has such limited interior space, it doesn't even have a trunk. One approach is to fit the motor in the transmission tunnel, leaving the engine space for a (still too small) battery pack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great question. I had a Miata before and worked on it for years having never finished it I’ve a love hate relationship with them so wanted to try something new. And yes a bit more expensive but a bit newer look and feel.

Im going to try and follow the guides on the other forums to calculate the right battery and motor combination but would appreciate any help.

0-60 target: 3.5 secs
Mileage: 100 mi
Mostly driving 60% of full throttle
Curb weight: 3000lbs
-engine & trans: TBClbs
Car budget:$10k
Build Budget: $15k (mostly DIY with some fabrication parts being outsourced)
 

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I know how you feel with the Miata haha! Solstice platform is notoriously low on space, especially cargo space. They are super cool though, possibly a tesla setup could be shoehorned in the rear end. Of course the Elise was the base for the Tesla Roadster but it would be challenging to do that DIY I would think.
 

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0-60 target: 3.5 secs
Mileage: 100 mi
Mostly driving 60% of full throttle
Curb weight: 3000lbs
...
It's good to have clear goals, but this combination is not likely reachable. You're expecting the weight to be only slightly greater than a stock Solstice, with a range that will require a battery which will be too heavy for that. The range expectation is moderate (good), but for comparison consider that you are looking for double the range of the best plug-in hybrids, so you'll need double their battery capacity (perhaps 24 kWh); among battery-electric cars, you're looking for more range than an early Nissan Leaf, which had 24 kWh battery capacity.

Another challenge is that for the targeted high rate of acceleration you need a lot of power, and thus either a large battery (even if it isn't needed for range) or a battery designed for high power density (as used in hybrids) which will have poor energy density.

A reasonable next step would be to make a list of components (not final decisions, just a possibility for planning) with their weights, as well as the weights of the components to be removed, and add them up. A Leaf with a 24 kWh battery is substantially heavier than other related and similarly sized Nissan models with engines, and that's typical of EVs - the EV is heavier unless the electric version has a very small battery or the gas engine version has an abnormally heavy engine (cast iron inline-6, for instance).
 
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