Watch Bjorn Try Electrified Fiat 124 Sport Spider
Smart-Tesla batteries supply the power.
How fun is it to drive an electrified 1980 Fiat 124 Sport Spider? Well, judging by Bjorn Nyland‘s facial expressions as he hammers it in the video above, we’d have to say pretty stinkin’ fun. The Norwegian electric vehicle YouTuber, as you may have guessed from his most recent videos range-testing the Tesla Model 3, is in the U.S. for a visit. Apparently, he’s found time in his schedule to visit the folks from Electric GT, who are behind this particular project.
If the name of that outfit sounds familiar, they are the same people who converted a 1976 Ferrari 308 GTS, eventually selling it at a Barrett-Jackson auction for a cool $84,700. To some, this Fiat might not be in the same class as that sportscar, but with styling by Pininfarina — and more specifically, famous designer Tom Tjaarda — the 124 Sport Spider holds its own in our book.
When the convertible first rolled from factories, it was no powerhouse. Now, boasting twin AC motors it puts up some impressive stats. As you can see in the image above, output has been increased from 82 horsepower to 129 hp. The increase in torque is even more impressive: 98.83 pound-feet to 205 lb-ft. The result of the electric upgrade can be seen in its performance figures.
Where it used to take a lazy 12.2 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour, that same feat now takes only 6.75 seconds. Previously, its top speed had been 103.1 mph. With its electric drivetrain, it now maxes out at 125 mph. In fact, the only metric that has lessened in this conversion is its range. It could travel 273 miles on a tank of gas when new, but its 36 kWh worth of Tesla-via-Smart Fortwo battery modules shortens its leash to about 124 real-world miles.
Like many conversions that use lower voltage motors — these ones are said to be rated for 124 volts — the original gearbox has been retained. This allows drivers to still have plenty of torque available at higher speeds. While it seems it can cruise nicely or 3rd or even 4th gear, Nyland demonstrates the impressive acceleration that can be found in 2nd.
Though the first part of the video is all about the driving experience, we do get a look under the hood and inside the trunk later on. So, if you want to catch all the details, watch until the end. Enjoy!