The assembly process begins with the 356 Speedster chassis and body kit from Special Editions. The replica fiberglass shell has been painted red at the factory, and other finishes - like the carpeted cockpit and soft convertible top - have already been installed.
However, the car has no transmission, engine, gas tank, suspension, brakes, wheels, or completed wiring.
Speedster body shell from Special Editions
At this stage, the chassis is mounted on a roller frame until a suspension system and wheels are installed.
To handle the added weight of the lithium battery cells, heavy duty coil-over shocks in the front and rear are required. Otherwise, the suspension, based on VW Beetle parts, is identical to the gas-powered version.
The lithium electric 356 is outfitted with a special 4-speed racing transaxle designed to handle the higher torque output of the electric motor. In addition, LED lights are used to reduce the overall current load.
Body shell with suspension installed
The iconic Porsche Speedster proved to be an excellent EV conversion candidate due to its low weight, relatively simple design, and ample front/rear compartments for mounting pristmatic lithium battery cells. Weight distribution was improved over the original rear engine configuration with better acceleration and overall performance.
The unusual fiberglass Sonett, originally powered by a Ford V4 engine, combines a low center of gravity and front wheel drive, optimal for our high performance EV conversion. Without the need to accomodate a long drive train, the space behind the two seats was used for additional batteries. The original four-speed transmission remains intact along with the braking system.