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Napoleon Motorsports and newly crowned Pro 2 Champion Travis Reeder will drift in the series’ first electric car, an electric motor swapped EL1 Chevrolet Camaro.

Update 4/1/2019: Check out this teaser of the EL1 Camaro below.

Update 4/5/2019: Electric Camaro won’t run at FDLB thanks to Long Beach ordinance. 

When Formula D rookie Travis Reeder shows up to tech day leading up to Round 1 at the Streets of Long Beach, Formula D techs will have their hands full when they pop the hood. According to Formula D in a press release earlier yesterday (Mar. 12, 2019) tuning shop Napoleon Motorsports have Formula D Pro rookie Travis Reeder behind the wheel of their fully electric Chevrolet Camaro.

Napoleon Motorsports, a race shop with a rich history in road-course racing, announced their intention to compete in Formula D late last year. In that press release, we first caught glimpses of a one-of-a-kind drift build. Although the lightweight carbon-composite body panels are taken straight from the new Camaro, hardly little else bears resemblance to the actual road-car, plus, no engine was in sight.

Mum was the word for what’d be underneath the hood but Napoleon Motorsports did say that

“We are working non-stop on this breakthrough project. This is sure to be one of the craziest racecars I have ever been a part of.”

Earlier last week, Napoleon Motorsports dropped a teaser of their build with one exception, lots of the special effects included electricity.

Several people in the know in the comments and supposedly a segment on Maximum Driftcast confirmed the rumor that Napoleon Motorsports is ready to drop in an electric motor making this Camaro the first electric car in Formula D history.

Drifting has changed a lot since the sport first picked up steam here in the United States in the early 2000’s. No longer did a turbocharged 4AG in a Corolla have a chance against a higher-horsepower cart thanks to skill. With the courses much tighter and emphasis on proximity and style, in order to maintain and control your drift, higher-horsepower cars are needed hence the ubiquity of LS swaps.

Torque isn’t everything but it sure helps when inducing and maintaining controlled oversteer. Enter electric motors fueled by batteries. With instant torque off the line, this EL1 Electric Camaro might prove to be a magic formula for a sport that emphasizes muscle. Then again, electric cars in the heat of drift competition are uncharted territory. A dead battery, overheated motors, or an electronic snafu might spell disaster if Napoleon Motorsports doesn’t work out the kinks.

I’m excited to see an electric car in Formula Drift. Hopefully, Napoleon Motorsports can make a competitive package.

What do you think about an electric car in Formula Drift? Let me know in the comments below!

Source: Formula D

5 COMMENTS

  1. I believe that electric cars are the death of the sports car. The death of creating memories working on a car with your dad during a warm Saturday afternoon, of spending hours on a car with your buddies to finally hear the engine turn and the rush of accomplishment. I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

    The first nail in of coffin makes the rest come quicker. An electric car succeeding in a sport like this, is that first nail.

    • Fair enough. There’s something to be said, as you hint at, of the decline of sacred spaces for car enthusiasts to enjoy and learn as they wrench together or on their own.

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