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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Driving AEM's Tesla-powered Mustang

Electric motor swaps are gaining mainstream popularity, and that's only going to increase with both Ford's Eluminator and GM's eCrate offerings to come. We even got the chance to drive Ford's Mustang Mach-E-powered F-100 pickup, and our story piqued some interest over at AEM Performance Electronics.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-profiles/driving-aems-tesla-powered-mustang/
144 REPLIES 144
DavidHolzman
Advanced Driver

I get that we're almost certainly going to have to put an end carbon emissions. And I get that schemes for pulling carbon out of the air may never be financially practical. Heck, I learned about global warming back in '75, in a class at UC Berkeley given by John Holdren, a terrific professor who later became Pres O's Science Advisor.

I've driven a Model S, and while it certainly is a tour de force in terms of the acceleration and cornering, but it had no soul, and I think that's probably true of all hyper-powerful EVs. Mechanical things have soul; electronic things don't.

You HAD to give the Tesla-swapped S197 Mustang a go. That's part of your job. I'll pass. After I drove the Model S, I was quite happy to get back into my Civic (stick). It's light and agile, and the engine may not sound like Mozart, but it IS Salieri to a Boxster's Mozart. I'm not young anymore, but I hope to be able to drive ICE until I check out.
Mechanic39
Pit Crew

You will so long as there are 60s, 70s & well-made 80s vehicles around to buy. Check out Vice Grip Garage on You Tube. Derek - the Minnesotan Mechanic now in Tenn. Restores old carbureted trucks and cars to drivability and does it on the cheap. He is really entertaining...almost as much as Scotty Kilmer on You Tube.
Reinhold_Weege
Instructor

He's way better than Scotty who was full of $#/+ half the time. 

limoguy
Detailer

I suspect if you were hearing about climate in 1975, it was global winter, not global warming.
autowriter
Detailer

Drive? Yes. Own? No.
autowriter
Detailer

I feel the same way about a real one.
autowriter
Detailer

I might rather enjoy having a 1966 Corvair Corsa convertible converted to an EV for just running around town. It's a lovely thing, and quite enjoykable. But I wouldn't get rid of my real one -- now a 95+ point concourse rebuild.
hyperv6
Racer

Like I posted else where this is a very emotional topic for us enthusiasts. 

Between the web and the emotional thinking many people really do not have a real idea what is going on and why anymore. 

Yes this started due to the government emissions and mileage regulations. But along the way automakers are seeing the economic to this where they will be able to keep cost down and cars more profitable vs chasing ICE to keep it viable. 

As any automotive engineer and they will tell you that the costs of continued ICE development is off the charts. Just look at the price we pay for cars today and how much technology is required just to get a 3 cylinder to pass muster, 

 

With electronics they are seeing cost drop dramatically and they can see the goals of lower cost and faster charging with good range will be possible in the near future. 

To the  automakers this is about survival not saving the planet. 

We are also past the time where we could vote in someone to change the regulations. Automakers have to plan 10-20 years out today not 4-8 years between elections. 

 

This is not a fad anymore and this is not going to go away. This is not going to happen over night but it will be changing and things like recycled batteries and grid issues will be resolved over this transition time.

 

I suspect in the end the EV models will be much cheaper and people will choose by their wallets. Today to most people under 50 cars are just transportation not a status symbols as they once were. 

We do need to get serious about protecting our hobby before the things we need to support it are gone. 

limoguy
Detailer

The desirability of EVs will determine whether they sell, and how they do the job compared to IC. If people decide they do not want to buy them, nothing anyone does can stop them.
Goluscombe
Pit Crew

EVs are here and will grow in popularity is almopst a certainty. I'm with those who love an engine's song. It's parts of the driving we all know. However, witjh polluition and global warning, dependence on oil controlled by less-than-desirable governmements and Europe going to full electrivc in a few short years, many international sales will be curtailed. The batteries will likely be made o more common materials, engery stations and car will need higher voltage recharging to shorten the recharge time and yes, the will be borne byt powerplants and solar.

But do noit despair, there's a small existing base of gas and diesel-poered cars still here. The transistion will be slow and it will nvere be entirely complete. I wish I wish in my twenties because there's opportunity coming to preserve ICE cars.

There will never be a subistitute for manty. many cubic inches of glory.
bctexas
New Driver

Driving skill. Hmmm. Wanna go? Stomp on the pedal and the computer will manage acceleration with no sliding or wheelspin. Threshold braking? Stomp on the pedal and the computer will manage braking for you. Enjoy a smooth, skillfully executed heel/toe downshift while braking for a corner? Nope, flick a paddle and the computer will do it for you. Now, we don't even get to enjoy the glorious sound of a furious V-8?
It's all about as exciting as Capt Picard saying "Make it so". I know a computer can do all that stuff for me - where's the joy in that?
espo70
Advanced Driver

Honestly, I'm a Mustang guy and I don't mind it. Will it ever take the place of proper ICE in a classic car? No. Is it a cool project that with further development could lead to some possible alternatives? Yes. Whether we like it or not, fossil fuel is finite. For now EV's are one solution. In the future, who knows? Dilithium crystals perhaps.
2013GSVETTE
Intermediate Driver

SCREW THAT. ENOUGH SAID.
dd1
Detailer

Very interesting article but I guess I'm too old school. I prefer it as a Mustang, not a Testang. It's a bit overly mutated for my likes and preferences. Even if an artificial fake V8 sound is programmed in the vehicle, it's still fake. It's not the real thing. The character and charm are gone. It's like taking someone--friend, family member, relative--and transplanting a different brain into the body. It looks like the same person you loved but it's somebody totally different--a stranger. I wish I could be more positive but I'm really not enthusiastic about any of this electric stuff! Sorry! But compliments to Hagerty on a very interesting article!
majorbob
Intermediate Driver

I prefer a car, especially a performance car, to have an engine not a motor. I am sick of the fake climate change science being pushed by idiots to enrich themselves and destroy what they shouldn’t mess with.
Fortunately I am 74 years young and on the down hill side of life. Maybe we can hold the idiots off a few more years. I have an engineering degree and I know what is coming. I feel sorry for my grandkids who will never know the pleasure of a new big block 455 CID 4 barrel under WOT. They will have to endure the electrics. But I never intend to purchase one.
limoguy
Detailer

Amen, brother.
Sneaky-Pete
New Driver

Just another way to wreck a nice car.
bblhed
Instructor

I love my gas powered car, it takes me where I want to go and it is really easy to put more of the stuff it runs on into it when it runs low. The reality is that I am not going to cry and make excuses as to why the shift to another power source can't happen. The reality is that it is coming a lot faster than anyone wants to believe.

I presently do not own an EV but I wouldn't mind having one, in fact a charging outlet is on my list for home improvements that I want to get done in the next three years. I also love car shows and looking at the things people have done, there are some really talented people out there. I like drag racing cars that get 8 gallons per mile, 6 MPG street cars are really great as well but I wouldn't own one either. The only time I ever came close to criticizing a hot rod at a car show was when I came across a really nice GTO with dual quads and a blower that had a 10 gallon fuel cell that only gave an 80 mile range. I simply said "that has got to be annoying when you drive to further away shows" and the owner agreed but said it was the only fuel cell he could get when he was doing the build.

My point is this, "Back off old man" maybe it isn't what you like but no one is forcing you to trash talk it either. I'm sure there are people that don't like the things you like doing to cars but most are polite enough to not give you a hard time about it either.
Will
Intermediate Driver

For one, Ford built 175,017 of the Mustang GT. It is not a rare car. Second, this is an experiment, so YES, I would drive it. I wouldn't want it, but I think it would be fun to play with for a day. I'm not a greenie. Leave the "being green" to Kermit. I have all sorts of vehicles with a variety of engines. I have a V12, two V8, two V6, an inline 6, an inline 4 and my daily driver, a Chevy Volt, which has a 1.4L inline 4, spinning a generator to supply electricity to the electric motor that propels the car. Again, I did not buy it to try to be green, I don't even like green, it is just fun to play with. It handles well and the zero to 60 time is the same as the V12 in the XJS. And the XJS V12 is so quiet, the main thing you hear is the radiator fan spinning. The V12 is so not green, but it is my keeper for life.
As far as converting stuff, I think it would be a fun project. take anything from the 80's and convert it and it will be faster than it was when it was new and gasoline powered. Yeah, so you can't drive it across the country, with quick fuel stops, but It would be fun to take to shows or the track.
Has anyone seen the Datsun 510 Zombie videos on YouTube? That may change your mind. EVs can be really fun toys if you give them a chance. Go for a ride with someone that has one. Enjoy both gasoline and electric stuff. You just might have some fun.
Oh, and as more people convert to electric, that will leave more gasoline for us to play with our gasoline cars. So that is another reason I'm good with this.
elldorado2000
Detailer

Modify a Mustang for 100 miles? uhh...yea...no.
77GL
Detailer

Lots of stale 'information ' in most of the comments.
jaysalserVW
Advanced Driver

EVs ARE wonderful vehicles! No question there! But the reason for them is a not-so-subtle attempt to make the car-consuming public to think that they are contributing to "saving the Planet" by going electric. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The manipulators are not even being subtle when they tout "Zero Emission Vehicles". I challenge anyone to prove that he is driving a Zero Emissions vehicle! And, that by so doing, he is helping the Environment! The question is not about whether the car with the combustion engine is better or more desirable or furthers our nostalgia for vintage vehicles. Such articles and purveyors of EVs are purposely evading The Question--hoping that The Public won't notice the serious discrepancy in their argument.
MG54
Pit Crew

Until they go 400 miles between "refueling" and it can be done in less than 5 minutes, the not no but HELL no.
Abox5
Pit Crew

That’s like putting a dress on a statue on John Wayne.
TG
Technician

less than 100 miles of range. I'm sure that number drops even lower if you actually drive it like a Mustang
eighthtry
Advanced Driver

Nope.
Gary6
Intermediate Driver

I don’t get the recent “burn out “ thing. I watch a lot of car shows on Velocity TV, etc. and almost every car builder, custom shop or resto mod show has the cars smoking tires .
The purpose of performance tires and great cars was in some situations to go fast, and to do it with the least amount of loss to poor traction or power sapping components.
Doing spirals of donuts with smoke pouring off of the tires is plain stupid.
hyperv6
Racer

Folks we here are enthusiast. We will resist this but the trouble is we are a very small group when it comes to being car buyers anymore. 

The average buyers are looking for affordable, safe and utility in their cars and they don’t care what powers it. That is why most vehicles today are 4 cylinders after decades of v8 engines. 

In the next 1o to 20 years the EV models will become cheaper, faster charging and more what they are looking for. 

And like boiling frogs they will slowly turn up the heat and people will buy the, with out any thought. The younger the buyer the more likely they will be attracted to it. 

bblhed
Instructor

Thank you for the reminder that time marches on. Something I think a lot of people miss is that those "Little 4 bangers" are putting out over 120+ naturally asperated horses from the factory from less than 100 cubic inches.  A 300+ cubic inch V8 from the 80's is a 140 horsepower joke, a bad one played on customers, compared to a 2 Liter four cylinder of today.

Will
Intermediate Driver

Think again. It's no longer 120hp. From the Ford website. "The 2.0L EcoBoost® engine was made for spirited driving and exploring new trails with 249 horsepower and 277 lb. -ft. of torque." That's over 2 HP from each cubic inch.
Oldroad1
Technician

100 miles worth of range I'm certain is generous. Hard accelerations most likely cuts that number in half in just a few seconds. No thanks. I'm thankful these hacks didn't destroy any of the classics, 65-70s and especially the fastback.
MarveH
Detailer

No manual transmission no sale. I can get a silent, soulless, shiftless experience from any cross over on any dealers lot.
Very nice workmanship and cool technology but pass.
milo2021
Intermediate Driver

There is no reason to mandate the switch to EV vehicles since who really wants no choice in what you drive. Having govt as your nanny puts a bad taste in my mouth. Will they come for your ICE and be like Canada freezing your money if you disagree with the edict of the supreme leader? Democracy and control are mutually exclusive. Free choice and free expression are being eroded by those think they know what you should have while their private jets are their choice of transportation.
hyperv6
Racer

As we can see with the previous post. Like I said this is an emotional issue. 

 

Just reading down this on both sides are some truths, and some well will call it miss information.  

 

No matter where you stand on this the fact is if you are under 70 years odds are good you will be faces with dealing with this change over in some way. 

 

I recommend for both sides to really read up and use care on what you read as there is a lot of false information out there. Keep up with the laws and the regulations to best understand what is coming. 

 

It is already too late to change the new car market unless something catastrophic comes about. But it is not too late to protect the collector and classic car segments.  It will get tougher for us as it already has. Just trying to get good oil for flat tappet cams is not easy.  But we need to protect the hobby. 

 

But please be civil and be honest with what is going on as parroting lies and miss information only makes things tougher moving forward. 

 

This is only one of a number of challenges the hobby will see. 

SilentBoy741
Instructor

I wonder if they've got the cajones to do an article on test driving a Mustang-swapped Tesla.
Brandan
Hagerty Employee

A Coyote would be a tough swap, but there's an LS-powered Tesla that we'd love to drive.
DAY
Detailer

Hardly a ''drop in'' swap!! May be ok to drive around the retirement community or local shopping runs along with the other electric Golf Carts, but I wouldn't waste my money.
twa2471
Intermediate Driver

With all the engine and transmission failures with these modern Mustangs you'll likely see many more electric swaps IMO.
I've never been a Ford fan and all the ones I've ever owned in the past have nickle & dime me to death and only getting worse in many respects. Now the major components seem to be the common failure points.
My last Mustang (a 69) I dropped in a 454BB with a built turbo 400 & a Offy quick change rear end 5 link. Funny I never had any running gear issues after that ?
Until electric vehicles come with a Big Block sound track you guys can have my share of them,,,,,,Thank You Very Much ! LOL
Javman
Intermediate Driver

EV's undoubtedly have a place in urban situations as public transit, commuters, grocery getters etc. One commenter noted that battery efficiency could drop by 40% when the temperature goes below 40 Fahrenheit. I live in northern Canada and right now it's -28 Celsius. 🥶 When you add together the drop in efficiency and the amount of interior heat needed to keep my butt from freezing I probably wouldn't be able to get out of my driveway. My good weather Sunday show and shine cruizer is a 72 Javelin SST that sounds and looks great, goes like a rocket and is a head turner which is what any vintage muscle car owner wants. My daily driver is a 2010 Challenger with a V6 that is quick enough gets lots of thumbs up and gives me 35mpg cdn. Thats close to 40mpg for you folks south of the 49th. Best of both worlds.
corv3tte
Intermediate Driver

Electric cars have their place in life....just not in my driveway.
Chevymanj
Pit Crew

Any car that is supposed to be equipped with an I.C.E. that has been converted to an electric motor is an atrocity! No!!! I would be a leather tramp before I would own an EV! Boooo on the governments around the world!!!
bblhed
Instructor
Roadster
New Driver

No I would not test drive ANY electric piece of JUNK! We have enough oil to fuel our country for thousands of years! It also takes coal to produce electricity for these charging stations! Vote every DEMOCRAP out of office. They hate this country and are not working for you and your freedoms!
bruold1
Intermediate Driver

The 100 mile range seems a bit lame, I would not spend the money for the constant charging that would be needed.
Billthecat707
Instructor

I'll take the hemi-swapped Tesla instead.