MANUAL Electric Porsche 356 Review: An EV For Petrolheads! 4K
Electrogenic is working hard to bring these ancient beasts into a new age, replacing their archaic powertrains. With something a little more up to date, this is one of their latest efforts. The electrogenic 356 is based on the 1965 original, the grandfather of the 911. It once used a 1.6 liter boxer, 4 internal combustion engine, but thats now been replaced with an electric motor. However, this is no ordinary engine swap this 356 stands proud as being one of only a handful of electric cars to use a manual gearbox Music. Look at this im changing gear in an electric car that just completely fries my egg four down to third into the corner, send it round – oh my god, hit the brakes into second, that is so weird im used to one continuous surge of power in electric cars, But in this im rowing up and down the box at will by myself and thats, because this car uses the same four speed transmission that youve got in the original porsche 356. Honestly, whoever said electric cars couldnt be engaging im. Sorry youre gon na have to think again talk about driver involvement. Knob gang stand up Music if youre wondering how this is even possible. Well, if you ask electrogenic its all very simple, they start with the body of a classic, in this case an authentic 356c. The last of its kind, next, they strip out the fuel tank and 1.6 litre 95 horsepower push rod boxer at the rear, replacing it all with electric components at the heart of it.
A hyper 9 motor making 80 kilowatts or 120 horsepower and 235 newton meters of torque. This is whats connected to the original four speed gearbox the motor has been fitted with a top hat that marries it to the flywheel. This is connected to friction and pressure plates in the clutch, followed by a custom designed adapter that allows it all to be fitted to the original gearbox. Its very much a case of old school meets new school. This car obviously doesnt make the same sort of noise that the original 356 made. So you dont get that raw from the engine you dont get that sound as the car splatters into life. When you turn the ignition key, however, i wouldnt say its silent, not by any stretch of the imagination. Firstly, you hear a few squeaks and a few rattles because lets face it its an old car, but secondly, electrogenic have chosen to use an electric motor that doesnt have a ridiculously high rpm. I believe im shifting gears it only revs to around seven eight thousand rpm, which means that, as you reach the red line im talking about red lines in an ev, it does start to make more noise up to a crescendo. And that means that every time you change gear, you feel and hear this car making more and more sound, and that encourages you to roll up and down the box. That gives you a better sense of involvement. Music.
It might seem like quite a strange meeting of two very different worlds, but i think it happens to work. I love the fact that its still rear wheel drive just like the 356, its still rear engined, just like the 356 and its also air cooled. Just like the 356., i havent always been a fan of this generation of porsche. It does look like a beetle from a lot of angles, particularly in the bonnet and the headlights and the front bumper, but theres a lot to like about this car. For example, the gold porsche lettering beautiful – you might also notice its got twin exhausts, which are left over from the original car, which they couldnt remove because its part of the rear bumper assembly, not even mercedes, can top that level of fakery. Regarding batteries, the 356 wasnt designed to accommodate any but electrogenic has managed to squeeze them in every spare nook and cranny they could find, including under the floor, at the rear, behind the rear seats and in the bonnet at the front. In total, the battery has a 36 kilowatt hour capacity, thats, apparently good for miles. A 15 kilowatt on board charger should give you a full recharge in around two and a half hours. The interior is very special as well. It looks pretty much spotless looks like it. Just rolled off the production line, its so clean, i particularly love this red on the dashboard, the red leather, on the seats and the matching red on the carpets and on the door cards.
Something else i find really interesting is that, even though its an electric car, its still got the original manual wind down windows, which is a bit odd, its also got this little quarter panel here for letting a bit of breeze into the car, which is um. Quite a sweet little touch, i think its also got all the original gauges which have been modified to work with the new electrical systems. So your fuel tank is related to the amount of battery power you have left. The rev counter is wired up to the motor. So that tells you how fast the motor is spinning and obviously youve also got your speedo on the right hand, side its also got the original bla punk stereo system, the original clock, and if i pull this, that operates the windscreen wipers very cute. Look at that. You know that is children never learn but ill. Give you a clue. It goes with that little ashtray thing in the center very nice. Obviously, its also got the piester resistance, a four speed manual, gearbox, three pedals, which is very weird and also, if you notice its got this little lever at the front. If you push that forward the cars ready to go forward, if you pull it backwards, it goes backwards or if you leave it in the middle, then it goes into neutral. And, interestingly, when you rev it, listen it spins the motor. It works. Just like an internal combustion engine, if i hit the brake, it slows it down too its all very quirky and interesting.
What i want to know, though, is how electrogenics decision to electrify this car have affected the way that it drives. You can drive this car in a couple of ways. You can either leave it in third gear, as i am now, and let the car do its thing. You get a decent amount of acceleration and it will keep going up to motorway speeds essentially or you can choose to take matters into your own hands and using the gearbox essentially allows you to choose exactly how much torque is sent to the rear wheels. So, for example, ill slow right down for you right now and ill put it into first gear, and if i pull away, what youll notice is that i get a really good surge of acceleration before i hit the red line. Alternatively, i just realized theres no head rest, so your head does get smashed back towards the back of the car. But alternatively, if i put it into lets, say fourth gear for arguments sake, and then i accelerate nothing. It bogs down thats flat to the floor, so theres a big difference back to third between fourth third, second and first, its like driving a proper internal combustion engine car. This makes all the difference, theres, actually a fair amount of skill involved in changing gear as well, because, even though you dont have to feather the clutch, you can just basically lift off. If you have too many engine revs on too many motor revs, then the car complains it shudders.
Equally, if you downshift, when youve got too many revs on car doesnt like that either it wont explode, for example, but there is an art to getting your gear changes right. Theres driver involvement. In this thing, trust me, you might have noticed that this car doesnt have the same ridiculous headline power figures as the likes of a tesla or a porsche tycan, for example, but electrogenic say that it doesnt matter whats, really important in a car like this is torque And theres bags of it when you accelerate, you really do feel it shift and trust me im, not sure youd want more power in this particular chassis Music. The steering is very interesting, its not power assisted, which means that its a lot of weight in this, even when youre up to speed, and that means that youre constantly having to wrestle the car around corners and believe me its a bit of a workout. Also, you might have noticed these seats. Eight dont have any head restraints, but b dont have any side supports. This track is predominantly right handed. So that means that im constantly being shoved up against this window here praying begging and hoping that this door doesnt fly open because theres only a lap belt. The chassis is really nicely balanced. Theyve managed to lay the batteries out in such a way that this car has a 60 40 weight distribution which is pretty similar to the original 356.. It might be a bit heavier than the original, but im certainly certainly having a lot of fun in this car.
More way more than i thought i would in the beginning, the tires are a little bit sketchy. I must say its using the original rubber that the 356 first came on, and that means that its i mean its a little bit more unpredictable through the corners. It moves a bit more, although i actually prefer that i wouldnt want this thing to have top twos, for example, where theres way more grip than you have the power and torque to overcome the 356 uses disc brakes. So they stop the car nicely. The first two inches or so of travel essentially do nothing, i would say, and then they firm up quite dramatically, but they do stop the car. But there is no region, i lift off the brakes and it rolls it coasts like you, would expect an internal combustion engine car to do, and i actually prefer that, especially in a sports car, because one pedal driving is okay around town but out on a race Track for example, or when youre driving enthusiastically its not what you want believe me its not what i want so should you buy one of these i mean, if youre in the market, for an electric car that is fun to drive, really really engaging. The answers got to be absolutely its not going to come cheap, though first you have to find a donor car and 356s arent exactly inexpensive, and then the cost of swapping the ice engine out for electrical components is going to run you somewhere in the region of 30 to 50 000 pounds, depending on how much power, what speed of recharging you want and a load of other factors.
So not the cheapest thing in the world, but my god is hilarious. You could argue that this conversion is slightly sacrilegious unnecessary, even but i can see the advantages. Classics such as this, in their original form, are notoriously unreliable. They break down, they need lots of tlc and are simply not ideal for day to day use with an electric powertrain. You go some way to making a machine thats usable year round on any trip food for thought. This car shows, without a shadow of a doubt, that electric vehicles dont have to be boring, thats number one, but the second thing is they: dont have to rely on outrageous power and torque and straight line speed in order to be interesting, theres a whole world out There, in which you can have fun in an electric car where its enjoyable and engaging and fun to drive – and i wish more manufacturers – would just take risks like this companies. Please whack a manual transmission on your electric car people will love it.