The only thing as cool as drifting is radio control drifting. High-powered, 1/10th scale electric R/C cars sliding around a parking lot or gymnasium floor is about as much fun as you can have without having to zip-tie the bumpers on to your daily driver.
What if someone made a full-size electric drift car? Just imagine how wild it’d be to see a car drifting through a corner with nothing but tires squealing out in pain, prodigious clouds of white smoke, and the high-pitched whine of a truly righteous electric motor the size of a BMW Isetta. Well, thankfully, we don’t have to wonder anymore.
The latest video in Donut Media’s excellent Bumper 2 Bumper series is focused on the cleverly-named Camaro EL1, built by Napoleon Motorsports. Competing in the 2019 Formula DRIFT championship, it’s the first of its kind, and the rule book actually had to be updated as a result.
Regardless of how the car actually performs, it has to be a cool feeling to know that you pushed the envelope far enough that a race sanctioning body had to rewrite the rules. Thankfully, this electric Camaro is more than just a cool parlor trick –it’s brutally, seriously fast and almost surgically effective at murdering tires.
The Camaro is a pretty heavy car, so Napolen Motorsports heavily employed carbon fiber in an effort to offset the 800 pounds of batteries the Camaro has to haul around. Given that the EL1 weighs a scant 3,000 pounds, we’d say their weight reduction efforts were a success.
James, the host, explains, in layman’s terms, how the battery technology works. When all is said and done, the Camaro EL1 is good for the equivalent of 515 tire-burning horsepower and around 800 lb/ft of torque that’s available instantly, whenever it’s needed. Now that’s something we can wrap our head around.