Everatti, the British company that specializes in converting classic cars like Porsches, Land Rovers, and Mercedes to battery-electric power, has just introduced a battery-electric version of the iconic Ford GT-40, the car that won Le Mans in 1966 after an epic, multi-year battle with Ferrari. It came down to a personal grudge match between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari, with Ford spending whatever it took to finally defeat the mighty Ferraris. That contest became the subject of a movie in 2019 titled simply Ford Vs. Ferrari. Below is some recently discovered footage of that historic victory in 1966.
Converting old cars to electric power is a small but growing piece of the EV revolution. Not everyone is in favor of it. Purists — the kind who know the retaining nuts on the cam covers of a Jaguar XK-E were nickel plated and not chrome — get all weepy about how substituting an electric drivetrain for a good old fashioned internal combustion engine is blasphemy. If you are of that persuasion, please do not read any further, lest your memories of the good old days become severely corrupted.
The Everatti GT-40 is no junkyard gem cobbled together by some shade tree mechanic whose primary inspiration comes from drinking copious quantities of Bud Light. For the chassis itself, Everatti turned to Superformance, an American company that has been building continuation versions of iconic cars for decades.
What is a continuation car and how is it different from a restoration? Quite simply, a continuation is essentially a completely new car built with original materials and the tooling used to manufacture the original. They are manufactured with the full cooperation of the current legal owner of the original company. Superformance is best known for its Shelby Cobra models, which faithfully recreate the original cars but with updated suspensions and brakes along with improvements to the original chassis made with an eye toward enhanced safety and crash-worthiness. It owns the legal rights to the tooling used to produce the original GT-40.
Everatti says its all electric GT40 MK II, built in partnership with Superformance, is an authentic continuation model. “Furthering the legacy of one of the world’s most desirable cars, the meticulous attention includes the creation of Everrati’s own EV propulsion platform utilizing the latest state of the art electric motors and batteries. Everrati’s exacting engineering expertise, applied to every facet of the project’s development, guarantees that the performance and characteristics of the original car are maintained. As a result, the Everrati is so authentic that it is the world’s only GT40 EV listed in the official Shelby Registry, appearing in both the GT40 register and the World Shelby register and carries a GT40/P chassis number.”
The proprietary powertrain generates up to 800 bhp and 800 Nm of torque, resulting in a power to weight ratio of 577 hp per ton. A 62.5 kWh lithium-ion battery is integrated into a sector-leading 700 volt electrical system which benefits from advanced liquid cooling plus thermal and safety management systems to support high performance use on both road and track. The battery can be charged from 20% to 80% via a 150 kW CCS fast charger in as little as 20 minutes.
In an interview with Wired, Ryan Worthington, Everrati’s design engineer, explains, “The first step for us is to 3D scan the entire chassis, which allows us to create a CAD model to start a packaging, exercise, and feasibility study. That lets us see how much power we can fit in it, in terms of battery capacity, without going over any gross vehicle mass allowance or drastically changing the weight distribution — also without changing the chassis. We want it to handle the same as the original car, to have the same characteristics. If you change too much you lose that.”
Once the car had been scanned, measurements taken, and a powertrain selected, it was time for testing. Lots of it. Justin Lunny, Everrati’s founder and CEO, described for Wired how much work goes into each car. “We spend the money, invest everything in it, then get it 100 percent right before we build another one. When it comes to engineering, we do everything an OEM would do when launching a new vehicle, or powertrain — albeit in a shortened timeframe. That’s what sets us apart [from other EV conversion manufacturers], the whole ethos around truly developing the cars. Thousands of hours of development go into each one.”
The Everatti GT-40 is not much for touring. Its range is given as approximately 160 miles and that depends pretty much on how hard you press on the exhilarator. Wired says the acceleration is ferocious and, with no power steering or brakes, a good amount of effort is required to drive the car well. But the originals were no boulevard cruisers either. Save for some fancy leather trim on the seats and gauges that have been repurposed from showing oil pressure and coolant temperature to battery state of charge and discharge rate, the interior is pretty much as it was for the drivers who once piloted these machines around the fabled Le Mans race track.
This is a car for those who want to relive the experience of driving a Ford GT-40, whose name refers to its height overall. Getting in an out requires a limberness that many may find daunting, and the price tag — just north of a half million dollars — means only a select few will be able to afford one. Then again, prices for an original Gt-40 are approaching $10 million, which makes the Everatti a relative bargain.
Here’s a list of features from the Everatti website:
- A complete factory assembled rolling chassis
- Show quality paint finishes with many standard colours
- Fully independent front and rear suspension
- Bilstein® coil over progressive shocks with H&R Springs®
- Four-wheel vented disc brakes, Wilwood calipers
- High Performance Everrati Electric Powertrain
- Original style steel monocoque chassis
- Pressed steel roof
- Right and left-hand drive models available
- Included in latest Shelby World Registry
- Original style seats with silver rivets
- High capacity air-conditioner
- Active sound performance exhaust
- 700V EV powertrain system with Direct DC Fast charging as standard
- OEM proven Dual Motor drive unit derived from high performance hypercar applications
- Liquid cooled 60kWh battery supporting high performance use, with rapid discharge performance and superior power density
- Ohlins adjustable Shock Absorbers
Accessories include an adjustable suspension, rear snorkels like the ones that fed outside air to the original Ford engine, a Gurney bubble, a full racing internal roll bar, and the front winglets, called canards, that were added to the original to improve front down force.
Sure, there are other electric supercars you can buy, some of which cost four times as much, but there is nothing anywhere quite like the Everatti GT-40 — a time capsule of a machine that perfectly captures a moment in automotive history and traces its roots directly to the original. It’s hard to put a price tag on that sort of authenticity.
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.