The F-100 Eluminator restomod truck Ford built to showcase its new electric crate engines was one of our favorite SEMA 2021 vehicles. Based on a 1970s F-100 truck, the zero emissions pickup is powered by a pair of crate motors, sending a combined 480 hp (358 kW / 487 PS) to the ground via all four wheels.
Think of it as a Mustang Mach-E GT Performance disguised as a 45 year-old F-Series truck. Now Edmunds has grabbed the keys (or should that be keycard?) to the stealthy Avalanche Gray concept to find out if it drives as well as it looks.
Edmunds might seem like an odd outlet to choose for an exclusive drive in the concept considering its idea of a restomod is probably a three year-old Honda Accord with a fresh set of tires and a WeatherTech trunk mat. But host Travis Langness puts our minds at ease by outlining his own background in modified cars, which includes a sweet-looking turbocharged Acura Integra and a very slick-and-slammed Studebaker.
So you could say he’s right at home in the Eluminator, but he makes clear he isn’t, and that’s down to the driving position. Stuffing the Mustang Mach-E’s seats, instruments, steering wheel and huge central touchscreen inside the truck might impress in pictures, but Langness reckons the fat seats mean your legs are pressed up against the steering wheel, whose low-set position also obscures the rectangular digital gauge setup.
That’s not ideal when you’ve got 480 hp and 634 lb-ft (860 Nm) of torque to play with. Edmunds doesn’t strap its timing gear to the side of the Eluminator but we see it pull hard from walking speed and it certainly looks rapid. Given the Mach-E GT Performance model’s 3.5-second zero to 60 mph (96 km/h) capability, the F-100 shouldn’t be much slower.
This build is strictly a one-off, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t build your own. Edmunds says the motors are priced at $4,095 each, so a pair of them costs about the same as a pretty high-spec traditional V8 crate motor. Unfortunately that’s not the end of the expense though, because you also need to shell out for various other bits of EV kit, not least a battery, which Ford currently can’t supply.
There’s no doubt that we’ll see more and more EV-converted classics in the future, and more people in the hot-rod community using crate engines like this in their builds. But for the average car guy wrenching out in his garage there’s still plenty to love, including the price, of ICE power.