The 2019 Formula D season will be unlike any other thanks to the inclusion of one car in particular: Napoleon Motorsports’ EL1 Camaro.
That’s because, unlike all other entrants in the drifting championship, the Camaro EL1 isn’t powered by some kind of brutish internal combustion engine. Instead, it is an all-electric and will be piloted by professional drifter Travis Reeder.
To create the EL1, Napoleon Motorsports started out with a standard Camaro and proceeded to remove its conventional engine and transmission. They have been replaced by an electric powertrain with a 38.4 kWh battery and an electric motor producing 515 hp and 800 lb-ft (1084 Nm) of torque. As the crew from Donut Media explain, those figures are more than enough to spin up the rear wheels.
As it doesn’t feature a traditional manual gearbox, Waters won’t be able to clutch kick, one of the most important techniques in drifting. Fortunately, Napoleon Motorsports thought of this and says combining the handbrake with the immense torque of the electric powertrain is all that’s needed to get the car sliding.
Most drift cars we’re familiar with sound absolutely insane thanks to straight-through exhaust systems and other modifications. Clearly, the EL1 Camaro will be silent and the only sound will be that of the screaming tires, but whether we like it or not, this could prove to be a glimpse into what the future of drifting, and probably motorsports in general, will be like.