Having spared Poschephilles of having to see a Cayman turned into an EV (the complexity of the German engineering kept the team at bay), the crew went for a 2014 Lotus Evora.
Having upped the ante on the chassis front (the Tesla Roadster featured the smaller Elise platform), the builders turned to eBay to purchase a Model S motor from an example that had been totaled.
With the 85kWh heart of the non-P Model S, this... hybrid aims to deliver north of 400 hp at the wheels, which would be quite an improvement over the 250 whp delivered by the original Toyota motor of the Evora.
The aim here is to develop a car packing all the comfort creatures of a street car, but can outgun a 991 Porsche 911 GT3 when interviewed by the stopwatch.
The Tesla motor sips electron juice from a battery pack comprised of first-gen Chevy Volt hardware. The resulting 32kWh battery should offer a range of over 120 miles (200 km), with the builders sacrificing battery life by allowing the level of charge to drop further than in the case of the Nissan setup.
As with any EV project, the greatest challenge behind the project had to do with controlling the electric motor. This part of the job is handled by a mix between a Motec M150 electronic brain, which oversees all the other elements of the car, from the flashed Tesla motor controller to the array of sensors.
The team is still working on tweaking the regenerative breaking, which will be controlled via a dedicated paddle. As for the standard brakes of the car, the system has lost its assistance for the ultimate response on the track.
The resulting contraption won't be unworthy of the Lotus badge in terms of the scale footprint, as the crew estimates the electrification won't add more than 200 lbs (90 kg), for a total weight of under 2,700 lbs (1,225 kg).
Velocity thrills aside, the driver's efforts are repaid thanks to an Alcantara-trimmed dashboard housing a 12-inch digital instrument cluster offering all the info one could ever need.
In theory, the project, whose build is partially documented in the pair of videos below, sounds like an early adopter's dream. However, with Elon Musk having admitted the tons of issues of the Roadster turned the car into a bit of a headache, we'll have to wait and see how this custom machine performs before issuing a verdict.
At the same point with the gasoline drivetrain we were at 2430lbs. I estimated the car would be 200lbs heavier with the electric drive and it looks like we are right on track! The lightweight wheels and glassless hatch will balance out the battery cables and water piping that is still yet to be added. #neverstoptuning #lotus #evora #ev #tesla #motec