Does battery power make it the spawn of satan?

The world of EVs is ever growing, and as we near a time when there will be no gas to fill our tanks, we realized some of the world’s best-sounding and glorious engines will have to be ditched in favor of electric power. Think of an electric Camaro, Mustang, Corvette, or Lamborghini... does it sound good? Or rather, does it make any sound at all?

With the advent of electrification in the business of car building, you see every major manufacturer scramble to put together a lineup of eco-friendly electric vehicles as a statement of their forward-thinking plans and their bias towards the future of mobility. It all looked foolish almost 20 years ago when Honda introduced the original hybrid Insight, which was shortly followed by Toyota’s Prius, but today, this seems to be the trend that will sell. For some, it might be a marketing ploy to appease a new section of the market, but you can’t dismiss the trend altogether.

Audi just took the wraps off its first fully-electric car, the E-Tron. Mercedes was doing the same just a few weeks ago with its EQC, and just about any manufacturer you can think of has a mid- to long-term plan for at least hybrid, if not electric. For instance, Aston-Martin is looking forward to the year 2030, by which time the British manufacturer’s stable should be made up exclusively of electric cars. Ferrari, well-known for their devotion to making their cars sound perfect, is planning a 60 percent hybridization of its lineup in just four year’s time. You can imagine a Ferrari EV isn’t that far off in the future, then.

All this got us thinking - which cars would you never want to see without a growling V-8, or maybe a high-revving V-12 under the hood? Which car’s move from gas to electric sounds like blasphemy to you? We know there is a Mustang-inspired sports utility vehicle coming from Ford in 2020, and the pony car itself might go electric in the future, so how does that make you feel?

Read on to learn about our top 10 cars that would be blasphemous to turn into EVs.

Ford Mustang

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Ford Mustang GT - $35,095
It’s only natural that we start the list off with the Mustang.

Launched over 50 years ago, the Mustang was the epitome of its generation, and its V-8 heart has a lot to do with building this legend. Although many Mustangs aren’t V-8s, the V-8 is what made Ford’s icon the muscle car we know and love today. Although the earliest 4.3-liter Fairlane-sourced V-8s offered in a few 1964 models were good for a puny 166-horsepower, a trend was started, and what followed only hiked up the power output. For instance, by 1967, the Shelby GT500’s 7.0-liter V-8 put out 355-horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, only to be bested by the 1968 GT500KR, which was nearing the 400-horsepower mark.

The V-8s, which built their reputation in competition, survived the test of time and remained under the hoods of each of the following Mustang iterations, even through the Malaise ‘70s, moving into the new millennium as a modular engine. Nowadays, you can get your Mustang GT with the well-known 5.0-liter Coyote V-8, capable of 466-horsepower in its latest version, or you can go for the 5.2-liter Voodoo V-8 of the Mustang Shelby GT350, which produces 533-horsepower.

The upcoming GT500 should have even more power, with some claiming it will go into 700-horsepower territory. Which is terrifying, but in a good way.

All that is what’s in the Mustang landscape today. The growling exhaust, buckets of torque (430 pound-feet to be precise for the GT350) available at under 5,000 rpm, and the way you can make it your own through countless tuning options. It could be gone by the time the next generation hits the showrooms. A hybrid Mustang will be here in 2020 so it’s not improbable that by the time the seventh generation is here, it will be electric. In fact, Ford wants all the cars in its U.S. lineup to be electrified since they axed all of their economical sedans and hatchbacks. Hardcore fans will hate reading this, and we hope Ford will keep the Mustang’s soul alive as much as possible.

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.

Chevrolet Camaro

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2019 Chevrolet Camaro
The Camaro, which was born two years after the Mustang, became Ford's nemesis and a legend in its own right.

Originally, the Camaro came equipped with some inline 6-cylinder engines, but there was also the option for a 5.4-liter V-8, which, similar to early Mustangs, wasn’t strong in the power department, making just 210-horsepower. But the first-generation Camaro offered a huge variety of engines, most of which were V-8s of varying capacity and performance figures. The 4.9-liter Z28, for example, put out 350-horsepower (although it was rated at just 290-horsepower), while the 6.5-liter L78 engine on the SS went further, making 375-horsepower and 412 pound-feet of torque. It was the definition of massive mid-range torque, since all those 412 pound-feet were available at just 3,600 rpm.

Roll the clock 50 years forwards, and yes, the V-8 – in its modern guise – is still alive and well inside the Camaro. The sixth-generation, which debuted in 2015 as a 2016 model, is offered with either the LT1 V-8 engine, or the LT4 V-8, both with a 6.2-liter capacity. The former, which is equipped on the SS, produces 461-horsepower, while the latter makes a whopping 660-horsepower and can only be had on the range-topping ZL-1.

All that performance, Tesla has shown, can be achieved via electricity.

In fact, a Tesla Model S P100D will reach 62 mph in under three seconds, more than two tenths quicker than the ZL-1. Will we then see the Camaro follow the Mustang at some point in the future and go electric? It will still be able to do burnouts and go very fast, but you won’t get the sound or the smells. Who’s for it?

Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro.

Chevrolet Corvette

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The Corvette, often dubbed “America’s Sports Car”, is already about to undergo a dramatic makeover, as the C8 will be a mid-engine supercar.

Before we even go into discussion of an electric future, how about putting that V-8 that we have now in the middle? Can you cope with that? Sure, plans for a Corvette with the engine in the middle are nothing new, and Zora Arkus-Duntov, the father of the Corvette, was all for it in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Some argue that, in his honor, the new supercar should be called “Zora” and not Corvette, which should stay as it is: a GT with the engine ahead of the driver.

Either way you have it, be it front- or mid-engined, the engine bit itself has always been crucial in a Corvette. After all, the 5.7-liter LS1 engine in the C5 Corvette is a legend in and of itself, and more recently it has become an Internet meme. Its performance and durability made it an easy pick for those who wanted to swap their old engines for something better. In fact, this engine even went under the hoods of some Mazdas that came out of the factory with Wankel engines. Too much? Maybe.

But all those stories about swapping engines and the heritage of the LS series will fade into the history books if the Corvette goes electric.

Will it happen? Chevrolet hasn’t uttered a word on what the future of the Corvette will be, so everyone who visits Corvettes At Carlisle can rest assured you won’t have a Corvette literally woosh by you anytime soon. Some folks, though, want it here and now, and that’s how the Genovation GXE was born. It is a C7 with electric propulsion which produces the equivalent of 800-horsepower and 700 (!) pound-feet of torque.

Uncommonly, the car doesn’t have some sort of torque-vectoring one-speed gearbox, but rather a manual seven-speed unit which helps it to reach 220 mph. It’s expensive, but the performance figures are ludicrous. I reckon most Corvettes fans would settle for less if the engine is still humming and making the car vibrate at idle.

Read our full review on the 2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette.

Dodge Challenger

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Dodge seems to be putting out a new, crazier version of the Challenger faster than we can wrap our heads around the performance figures of the previous one. Everyone loves the Hellcat, the Demon and the Redeye.

In a world where everyone goes for smaller displacement and lower emissions, the Challenger is a fresh breath of old-school air, if that makes any sense.

I mean who doesn’t love a manufacturer who decides to produce the first production road car that can perform a wheelie? The Demon delivers 808-horsepower on high-octane gas and even more on racing fuel. It can do the quarter mile in less than 10 seconds, which is astounding for a car that weighs 4,254 pounds.

Now, imagine that Dodge wanted to go a step further in terms of acceleration and G-forces and decided to introduce a fully electric plug-in Challenger. The weight could, in theory, stay the same with the engine, transmission and some of the wiring going out the window, so it could happen. What’s more, Dodge could actually claim that the Challenger as the fastest production car in the world, without having to exclude a whole range of cars from the equation. But that is really unlikely.

Read our full review on the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

Porsche 911

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Porsche’s long-term fans went berserk when the German automaker introduced the first production water-cooled 911 with the 996 generation. It had been in use for over a decade in racing by that point, and nobody seemed to bat an eye until it got on road-going models.

Over time, people calmed down, and the latest super-911s (read GT2 RS and GT3) are appreciated as some of the best road cars you can get your hands on.

Porsche also angered the old fans when they decided to branch out into the emerging luxury SUV market with the Cayenne, which proved to be a lifeboat for the company. In more recent times, Porsche showed what they could do in the world of EVs with the Mission E, which will, sooner rather than later, spawn a production version.

There’s good news here, though. The boxer will live on for many years, as Porsche does not plan to go all-electric with the 911. Yet. Instead, the 718 might turn to electricity in the future, as we’ve reported earlier this year. Porsche wants to keep the 911 as the company’s last bastion of gas-guzzling propulsion and we love them for it. This is also precisely why they will, eventually, get a lot of hate when the 911 will finally go down the electric path. But will it matter by then?

Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3.

Ferrari Superfast

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It’s a weird notion that Ferrari, the company renowned for it’s V-12s, will have to go fully electric some day.

Just a couple years ago, then-CEO Sergio Marcchione said that the idea of a silent Prancing Horse was downright "obscene."

Indeed, the engineers at Maranello produced the engineering feat that is the LaFerrari hypercar, but also came up with the 812 Superfast.

The latter is the most powerful GT in the world. It is powered by a 6.5-liter naturally-aspirated V-12 capable of 790 horsepower. That’s the most powerful N/A engine ever, producing 170 horsepower more than the BMW V12 engine in the middle of the McLaren F1. It’s an out-and-out beast, with 530 pound-feet of torque, but it’s also a swansong.

No, the V-12s aren’t axed, but what won’t survive to see the light of day on the Superfast’s successor is N/A induction. The future V-12 will be aided by hybrid propulsion, and just like Porsche, Ferrari will put a turbo on just about anything. Gone are the days when “aerodynamics are for people who can’t make good engines,” as Enzo Ferrari himself put it. Now, we’re looking at a future of hybrid Ferraris, and soon enough, electric Ferraris. Enjoy the V-12 screams as much as you can, for they won’t be around forever (on new cars).

Read our full review on the 2018 Ferrari 812 Superfast.

BMW M

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Over the years, the BMW M cars have been blessed with some of the best engines ever in their segments. Who doesn’t love the original six pots or the massive V10 on the E60 M5? The list goes on and on.

As such, it’s hard to swallow the words of BMW M CEO Frank Van Meel, who admitted a fully electric M car is not out of the question, although there’s no timeline for such a project.

What is in focus, however, is a line of hybrid M cars with the aim of the hybrid power to enhance performance, not to go longer between fuel stops.

So, yes, there will come the day when the distinctive exhaust note of an M BMW will be merely the sound of some speakers, or not at all. The near future isn’t the place to look for that day, but it will happen once BMW thinks that the technology has progressed far enough to deliver the performance figures necessary for an M badge. Meanwhile, enjoy the i8 if you want sporty and BMW in the same car.

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M4.

Pagani

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One of the most unapologetic car manufacturers of the 21st century, Pagani has produced amazing supercars with Mercedes-Benz AMG hearts.

Both the Zonda and the Huayra – no matter the version – sound great, but Horacio Pagani says there will be a soundless (almost) Pagani coming your way in the future.

“There is electric car research already ongoing,” Pagani said in an interview with Autocar. “Everyone is developing something in this direction. That is not something you can just pretend not to see. The management is already organizing the company to have a division specifically for electric cars.” While BMW wants to bridge the gap between gas and electricity via a hybrid, Pagani wants to go straight to emission-free EVs. “When the battery runs out (on a hybrid), you are still carrying the batteries around with your combustion engine. That’s about 300 kg of weight – useless weight.”

Given Pagani’s quest for shedding weight, rather than adding power, you’d have to think that their EV will come at a moment when the technology will be such that battery packs won’t be as heavy as they are now. ”You can imagine what we are looking for: an extremely lightweight that will probably be a benchmark for electric cars in the future.” Oh, and it will most likely have a manual because Pagani wants to keep that last bit of analog tech in place.

Read our full review on the 2018 Pagani Huayra Roadster.

Lamborghini

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Remember the sound of a Murcielago? What about that of a Diablo, Countach, or Aventador? All of that would vanish if Lamborghini goes electric. Fans of the Italian manufacturer located in Sant’Agata Bolognese might actually riot such a paradigm shift, but the Terzo Millenio supercar is a statement in that exact direction.

Still, taking out that amazing V-12 from back behind the seats and replacing it with batteries will make many petrolheads cry.

Lamborghini says they won’t do it just yet because the technology isn’t advanced enough right now. "Our target is to deliver a super sports car, and these specifications don’t exist with a battery package in terms of energy and power," said Lamborghini CTO Maurizio Reggiani in an interview with Automotive News.

What will it have to take for the heinous idea of a Lambo EV to become a reality? Well, first, the EV that Lambo would make wouldn’t be held back by batteries. Instead, as displayed on the Terzo Millenio, the car itself will act as a battery, with energy housed in different body panels. This cutting-edge technology is barely making its baby steps so it will take a few years until it reaches the stage at which it could power a car to a top speed of over 186 mph and be able to keep it going for at least three laps of the Nordschleife. Why that track in particular? Because it is the longest permanent road course in the whole world.

Read our full review of the 2016 Lamborghini Centenario.

Nissan GT-R

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The Japanese car industry was the first to put hybrids into production. Then they were among the first to experiment with 100-percent battery-powered cars. The natural step forward in this direction would be a super fast EV.

Could the GT-R brand be the backbone of such a supercar for Nissan? Would it be sheer heresy to rip out the twin-turbocharged heart of the GT-R and replace it with batteries?

"We simply have to reflect people’s dreams, and I think people dream that the next GT-R will be the hottest super sports car in the world," said Nissan Design Chief Alfonso Albaisa to Autocar. Granted, the R36 isn’t anywhere close to going into production, but Nissan engineers are developing it and keeping all options on the table in terms of propulsion.

“We are definitely making a new ‘platform’ and our goal is clear: GT-R has to be the quickest car of its kind,” added Albaisa. “It has to ‘own’ the track. And it has to play the advanced technology game, but that doesn’t mean it has to be electric.” Let’s hope this stays true and the new GT-R will bring new levels of performance and not have to do without its internal combustion engine, because we quite like it.

Read our full review of the 2017 Nissan GT-R.

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