Video: “Shock and Awe” Electric Firebird Blasts Into Low 8s

 

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Electric vehicles have been getting a lot of attention the past couple of years thanks in no small part to Elon Musk and his nearly 700 horsepower sedans. The performance potential of EVs has led to a surge of interest, particularly in the drag racing circuit, where shadetree mechanics and racing legends alike are making quiet-yet-quick inroads in the world of EV racing.

You can add the Shock and Awe racing team to the growing list of electric racing pioneers, having recently zapped its way into the low eights with their fiberglass-bodied Pontiac Firebird. The real shocker? This 8-second electric dragster was built by a high school automotive teacher and his students.

The man behind this madness is Pat McCue of Kent, Washington, who began this electric racing journey when looking for ways to integrate alternative fuels into his teaching curriculum, reports the Seattle Times. His class first converted a 1999 BMW 3309 into an EV, which caught the attention of the Foundry10 education foundation, leading to a grant allowing his class to pursue their next project, Shock and Awe.

The students put more than 900 hours into building the electric car and its drivetrain, which consists of two AMRacing A/C motors paired with two Rinehart PM250 controllers that send a maximum of 900 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of instantaneous torque to the rear wheels.The chassis is a 2003 Jerry Bickel Pro Stock-style car topped by the fiberglass body of a Pontiac Firebird. A 2-speed BTE Powerglide transmission and 800-volt power pack round out the drivetrain, with the total price tag coming in at over $100,000 — similar to what a conventional piston-powered car might cost.

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Their performance is also similar to a conventional door car, with a best-yet run of 8.328-seconds at 166.29 mph last month, as you can see in the video above. We’re still not used to the idea that fast cars can also be quiet, but the way the world is heading, electric drag cars are going to become a little more common in the coming years.

About the author

Chris Demorro

Christopher DeMorro is a freelance writer and journalist from Connecticut with two passions in life; writing and anything with an engine.
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