• This Tesla-powered 1972 Plymouth Satellite "Electrollite" Is A Homebuilt EV Muscle Car

Can electricity be a worthy substitute to a turbocharged V-8? This Tesla-powered Plymouth Satellite provides an answer with a tire-shredding prejudice

LISTEN 03:32

Tesla-swapping a classic American muscle car is still a highly divisive subject. However, a 1972 Satellite isn’t exactly as sought-after as its more performance-oriented, MOPAR sibling, the Roadrunner, so exceptions can be made. We know that the third-generation Satellite was powered by a variety of engines, from 225 to 400 cubic inches, and while we don’t know what engine was initially put in this one, it now has a Tesla P100D with all the cool features and none of the safety. That Racing Channel finds out if it’s still as fun to drive and pits it against a 700-horsepower, 1969 Dodge Dart.

This Tesla-powered 1972 Plymouth Satellite "Electrollite" Is A Homebuilt EV Muscle Car
- image 1086838

Having a muscle car produced after 1972 releases you of some of the considerations you would make with an equivalent of the same car from a few years earlier. At that point, American carmakers had already begun neutering their car’s performance in pursuit of better fuel efficiency. With this in mind, it was an easy decision for Kevin (the owner of the 1972 Plymouth Satellite) to do a complete overhaul, especially considering that the original powertrain was in rough shape.

This Tesla-powered 1972 Plymouth Satellite "Electrollite" Is A Homebuilt EV Muscle Car
- image 1086834

Where you would originally find a carbureted, internal-combustion engine with 93 to 300 horsepower (73 to 223.5 kilowatts), you now find a Tesla Model S P100D powertrain. This means two electric motors – one per axle – with a combined power output of 605 horsepower (445 kilowatts) and 679 pound-feet (967 Nm). Moreover, with the Ludicrous drive unit at the rear, the electrified MOPAR can sprint from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 2.5 seconds. The 100 kWh battery also provides 375 miles (604 km) of range according to the WLTP standard. And yes, the car also comes with fast-charging capabilities, just like a Tesla would.

This Tesla-powered 1972 Plymouth Satellite "Electrollite" Is A Homebuilt EV Muscle Car
- image 1086835

In terms of aesthetics, the 1972 Plymouth looks very clean and almost stock. It scores a subtle grey paint alongside minor modernized features like the LED DRLs incorporated into the quad-headlights and American Racing wheels that hide Brembo brakes. For some reason, there’s also a Hellcat logo on the front fenders, despite the lack of a supercharged Hemi V-8. Inside, almost everything is original apart from the digital driver display and the custom leather seats, which Kevin managed to model after the original high-back pieces.

This Tesla-powered 1972 Plymouth Satellite "Electrollite" Is A Homebuilt EV Muscle Car
- image 1086836

The project took one and a half years to complete and it was motivated by Kevin’s curiosity about whether or not you can be quick in something that’s dressed as a classic American muscle, but is powered by electricity. The answer can be seen, once the 1972 Plymouth Satellite “Electrollite” lines up next to a 1969 Dodge Dart that has a turbocharged V-8 with 700 horsepower. That one is, actually, Kevin’s first car.

Kevin’s build is surprisingly clean and has been backed up by some very clever engineering that has helped turn the 1972 Plymouth into the well-sorted performance EV build you see here. The TRC video perfectly showcases the difference in performance as well as the owner’s arguments behind which car is better and why.

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
About the author

Related Articles

2021 Tesla Model S - Finally A Noteworthy Refresh

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: