Ford Performance’s Eluminator electric crate motor made headlines when it debuted at SEMA last year, selling out its first allocation not long after it was revealed in a custom 1978 Ford F100 by the Blue Oval.
Even with the first lot selling like hotcakes, we hadn’t seen one of these motors successfully swapped into a running, driving car – until now.
AEM EV is believed to be the first company to successfully re-power a car with Ford’s Eluminator, swapping it into a fifth-gen S197 Mustang. This isn’t the first time the California-based company has pulled this trick on a fifth-gen Muzzy, having already done a Tesla electric motor swap into another example that they call ‘Testang’.
“We already know S197 Mustangs, so let’s build another one. But what’s unique about this car is that it’s actually Ford-powered,” said Nate Stewart from AEM EV.
At this stage, Ford only offers the Eluminator as a stand-alone motor, with no accessories, batteries or ECU, so AEM EV used one of its own VCU2000 ECUs to control just about everything in the car and streamline the swap.
For obvious reasons, the AEM team also wanted to keep the Mustang rear-wheel drive, and because the Eluminator comes with no driveline, the easiest way to do that was by grafting a Tesla rear subframe into the Muzzy and rear-mounting the motor.
With the motor in the back, that left plenty of room in the vacant engine bay for the batteries, of which there are six. All up, they have a capacity of 16kWh, which may not sound like much, but the boys at AEM did a quick street test against the stopwatch and found the Mustang still gets up to 65mph (104km/h) in around 5.5 to six seconds. That’s fairly close to the pace the car would’ve had with its original 5.0-litre Coyote V8, and AEM EV says there’s plenty more room in the bay for more batteries.
One issue with the Eluminator is its lack of an LSD, because it effectively acts as both a motor and transaxle in the rear of the Mustang. So while it may only lay a single-legger, the instant torque means there’s still plenty of smoke.
This swap was done on the Eluminator’s home soil, but the good news for us Aussies is that Eagle Auto Parts in Melbourne now offers the Ford electric cratey for AU$6750, and last time we checked, they still had a few in stock.
It may sound expensive at first, but Ford claimed the Eluminator they debuted at SEMA was capable of up to 358kW and 859Nm, so when you consider how much it’d cost for a crate-motor V8 of equivalent power off the shelf, that price seems a whole lot cheaper. So if you’re interested in ordering one, you’ll find it on Eagle’s website here, or you can give them a bell on (03) 8710 3000.