In the muscular tradition of the rubber-burning dragsters of the 1960s, a start-up company plans to put a new twist on the decades-old concept of the performance car. Bloodshed Motors, a company whose very name drips of drag strip macho, will install high-voltage electric powertrains in vintage 1960s muscle cars, ranging from Mustangs and Camaros to Corvettes and Barracudas. Drawing on the engineering prowess of one of the country’s premier electric drag racers, the new company says its cars will turn quarter-mile times of 10 seconds, while offering all-electric ranges of 125 miles.
”Anybody can take a vintage muscle car and make it faster by packing in bigger engines with superchargers,” Mitch Medford, CEO of Bloodshed Motors, tells Design News. “But we’re doing something radically different. We’re taking the performance car up a notch, to a level that I’m not sure you could reach, even with a gasoline engine.”
Click on the 1968 Mustang Fastback below to start the slideshow.
The 1968 Mustang Fastback is one of many vintage performance cars that Bloodshed hopes to convert. Others include Chevy Camaros and Corvettes, Plymouth Barracudas, Pontiac GTOs, and Dodge Chargers.
(Source: Bloodshed Motors)
Indeed, Bloodshed’s performance specs border on the fantastic. The company’s first prototype Mustang, which uses its Zombie 222 package, goes 0-60 mph in less than three seconds, hits a max of 750 HP, and produces 1,800 lb-ft of torque. It also generates more than a megawatt of energy.
To be sure, such performance isn’t cheap. Bloodshed’s prices will start at around $200,000 and climb as high as $250,000, making it appeal to the high-end of the automotive collectors’ space. “We’re thinking of people who have six or seven cars, all worth six figures and up,” Medford tells us. “I wouldn’t be shocked if we found some of our customers already owned Teslas.”
His idea to build electric dragsters was at least partially inspired by Tesla’s success. “When I saw what Tesla was doing in the luxury car space, I knew I needed to find out what was happening in the high-performance drag world,” he says.
To learn more, he did a Google search, then ended up contacting electric drag racing legend John Wayland. “When I found out that John had made a 1972 Datsun outrun a Bugatti, I knew I needed to talk to him,” he says.
He subsequently told Wayland of his plans, outlining his performance goals and range numbers, based on what he thought collectors would want. “I knew the collectors would need about 125 miles of range, so they could take the cars to shows and drive them around on the weekend,” he says. “And I knew they would need something shocking. That’s why they buy Ferraris and Bugattis in the first place.”
Wayland immediately saw the wisdom in Medford’s plan. Using the right batteries, he said, he could deliver the 125-mile range and the sub-three-second 0-60 mph times. “I knew we didn’t need the range and cross-country capabilities of a Tesla,” Wayland tells Design News. “But I also knew we needed more range than a Nissan Leaf.”
Specifics on battery design are still scarce, but Wayland has said that the Zombie 222 packages will use lithium polymer cells with pack capacities between 41 and 45 kWh. In the past, his White Zombie drag strip vehicles achieved eye-popping numbers using a military-grade lithium polymer chemistry from (Dow) Kokum, but he is not yet saying whether Kokum will be the vendor for Bloodshed Motors’ cars.
What is known is that the battery packs will be expensive. Medford has acknowledged that the cells alone will cost more than $50,000 and possibly run as much as $65,000. When cooling systems, battery management, and enclosures are added, pack costs could hit $70,000 or more.
The reason for the high cost is simple: Bloodshed doesn’t just need a high-energy battery, à la Tesla. It needs raw power. Plans are for the Zombie 222 to operate at a nominal voltage of 355V. Currents could run in excess of 3,200A. Theoretically, a car could produce 1.136 MW. ”We’re focusing on street cars that will do well at the track,” Wayland tells us. “To do that, we have to have a good marriage between energy and power.”
A good suspension system will also be needed, Medford says. Because the cars’ rear ends need to handle 1,800 lb-ft of torque and a 600-lb battery load over the axle, the company’s engineers chose a high-performance rear suspension system sometimes employed in auto-cross racing. Known as the Rear Bilstein Three-Link System, the suspension is produced by Street or Track LLC.
Medford says his company will put the Zombie 222 package in a variety of vintage muscle cars, including Ford Mustangs, Chevy Camaros and Corvettes, Plymouth Barracudas, Pontiac GTOs, Dodge Chargers, and other high-performance classics. The company will help find the cars, put titles in the names of buyers, and then do the conversions. The unspoken goal is to make heads turn -- at car shows, drag strips, or traffic lights. “We’d love to get a hold of a Corvette built between 1963 and ’67,” he tells us. “And my personal dream is to do a Charger.”
As the company launches, it’s seeking crowdfunding through Indiegogo, and offering memberships to a “virtual design team.” For prescribed levels of funding (unknown as yet), Bloodshed will give members access to conference calls and design meetings. It will even allow access to its Austin, Texas facility, where “virtual designers” can participate in vehicle builds.
The one thing the company won’t do is compete with conventional EVs. Its electric muscle cars must be deemed classics. “If someone said, Hey John, would you do an electric Toyota Corolla? I’d laugh,” Wayland says. “This is about using the best components to make a very high-end car.”
- Would You Pay $30K for an Electric Car?
- Lithium Chemistries Head List of Next-Gen EV Batteries
- Can Tesla's $5 Billion Bet Pay Off?
- Tiny Sensor Monitors Batteries on Start-Stop Cars
- Don't Hold Your Breath for Volkswagen's Lithium-Air Battery
- Tesla's Gigafactory Would Bring Us Closer to Reality
- Slideshow: Considering the History of Electric Cars...
- Could Tesla 'Gigafactory' Bring EVs to the Masses?
- Slideshow: Volkswagen Plugs in the New Golf
- Slideshow: Why California Matters to the EV Market
- The Tesla Fires Are Fixable
- Kia Bares Its Soul EV in Chicago
- Will Parking Problems Slow the Rise of Electric Vehicles?
- Slideshow: Toyota Moves Closer to Fuel Cell Production Car
- Slideshow: Honda Plans Fuel Cell Vehicle for 2015
- Slideshow: Hydrogen-Powered Hyundai to Hit Showrooms in February
- New EV Battery Chemistry Boosts Range, Life
- Tesla to NHTSA: Investigate Our Model S Fires
- Slideshow: Urbee Developer Shooting for 290 MPG
- Is Wireless EV Charging the Better Way?
- EV Battery Maker A123 to Focus on Micro-Hybrids
- Slideshow: 'Bizarre' Incident Led to Tesla Battery Fire
- Video: Impact Caused Tesla Battery Fire
- Toyota Is Sticking With Hybrids
- Long-Range Affordable EV Won't Be Easy
- Slideshow: EVs & Plug-Ins for 2014
- Slideshow: Smart EV Has No Doors or Windows
- Slideshow: Volkswagen Takes a Deep Dive Into Electrics
- Slideshow: Safety Ratings for EVs & Plug-In Hybrids
- Why Electric Cars Are Safer
- Slideshow: BMW Unveils Premium Electric Car
- GM Chops $5,000 From Chevy Volt Price
- Is Range Anxiety Real?
- Slideshow: High-Voltage Hybrids & EVs
- Loss of Subsidies Could Burst EV Bubble
- How Much Would You Pay for an EV?
- Tesla Aims to Win Over Skeptics With Battery Swap Stations
- DOE Tool Compares Gasoline to Electricity Costs
- Slideshow: Automakers Look to a Hydrogen Car Future
- Slideshow: Detroit Electric Unveils 'World's Fastest' Electric Sports Car
- Slideshow: Porsche Plans Plug-In Hybrid
- Lithium-Ion Batteries Overheated in Mitsubishi Vehicles
- Slideshow: Volkswagen to Build World's Most Fuel-Efficient Car
- Slideshow: Fisker Says 'Plug-In Hybrids Make More Sense Than Pure Electrics'
- Auto Execs: Plug-In Hybrids Will Soar, Pure EVs Decline
- Slideshow: Cadillac ELR Trades Efficiency for Power
- Slideshow: Tesla's Model X Blends Electricity & Function
- 'EV Triumph' Needs More Perspective, Less Hype
- Slideshow: BMW's All-Electric Concept Coupe
- Old EV Batteries May Power Homes One Day
- Slideshow: Why Automakers Are Rolling Out Electric Cars
- Slideshow: Chrysler Rolls Out All-Electric Fiat
- Slideshow: GM Debuts Pure-Electric Spark
- Could Pure Electrics Emit More Than Hybrids?
- New Standard Will Cut EV Charging Time
- Future Batteries, by the Numbers
- Big Battery EVs Under Fire
- Chevy Volt: It's Not Time to Panic
- Lead-Acid Batteries Seek New Role in Hybrids, Plug-Ins
- GM to Idle Chevy Volt Production Again
- 54.5 MPG Comes With Trade-Offs
- Slideshow: Top 12 Most Fuel-Efficient EVs & Plug-In Hybrids
- Tesla's CEO: 'Half of Cars Will Be Electric in 15 Years'
- Big Battery Means Big Range, Cost for Tesla's Model S
- EV Battery Chemistry Could Eliminate Cooling Systems
- The 'Conspiracy' Behind the EV Market
- Electric RAV4 Rolls Off Toyota Line
- China's Electric Cars No Better Than Ours
- How Would You Cope With High Gas Prices?
- 'Revenge of the Electric Car' Gives Glimpse Into Minds of EV Faithful
- Why Is EV Battery Development So Hard?
- Hybrid Redux? Not for Most Owners
- EV Batteries: Solid Concept, but Not Ready for Prime Time
- EV Battery Report Says Costs Going Down
- Internal Combustion Engines Primed for Performance
- Electric Car Subsidies Won't Make EV Batteries Better
- Slideshow: Airbags From the Inside Out
- Slideshow: Detroit Auto Show's Concept Cars Roll Hybrid
- Slideshow: Electric Car Batteries Get Bigger
- Slideshow: Detroit Auto Show Highlights EVs, Hybrids
- Tesla Model S Hitting the Road This Summer
- Superbattery: The Next Great Triumph of Engineering
- Li-Ion Batteries in EVs May Last Longer
- Slideshow: 'Start-Stop' Hybrids Hit the Road
- Slideshow: Top 5 Automotive Trends to Watch in 2012
- Slideshow: Autonomous Vehicles Leave the Driving to... Themselves
- Electric Vehicles: How Far Have We Come in 100 Years?
- Would You Buy a Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt?
- GM to Build First All-Electric Car Since EV1
- Slideshow: Car Electronics, From Dashboard Nav to Autonomous Vehicles
- Is GM's EV1 Still the Best Electric Car Ever?
- Does Anyone Know the True Cost of EV Batteries? (Not Really)
- Prius Plugs Into a New Era
- Nissan Bets on the Electric Car
- Tesla Engineer Boosts EV Range to New Heights