Per tradition, SEMA brought home the bacon in a major way this year, providing us with a cornucopia of outrageous builds and over-the-top automotive craziness. Nevertheless, the Bow Tie brand managed to break away from the crowd thanks to this – the Chevrolet E-10 Concept. Offered as a shiny orange slab of classic 1962 C-10 pickup truck goodness, the E-10 looks fantastic, but it’s what lies underneath that matters most.
For those who may be out of the loop, the Chevrolet E-10 presents the brand’s new concept electric crate engine. Throwing down 450 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque thanks to two electric motors juiced by a pair of 400-volt batteries, the E-10 looks to “[blend] vintage styling and high performance with zero-emissions driving,” according to the Chevy press release.
This is a huge moment for performance lovers. While the industry is undoubtedly moving towards electrification at an ever-quickening pace, the Chevrolet E-10 looks beyond the horizon. And as most automakers are busy trying to figure out scale and profitability for EVs, the Chevrolet E-10 asks what matters to speed freaks – how do we make EVs fast?
For performance lovers, the crate engine is the beating heart. A crate engine can turn the cookie-cutter into the unique, the uninspiring into the holy-crap-will-you-look-at-that, and most importantly, the slow into the fast. The Chevrolet E-10 takes all those amazing things and throws them into the future.
Of course, we must temper our enthusiasm with caution. There’s still a long list of hurdles to overcome before we see electric crate powerplants hit future SEMA Shows en masse. Weight, recharge times, distance per charge… all of these things present very real roadblocks to widespread EV adoption.
But the potential is undeniable. The Chevrolet E-10 presents a surprisingly clever concept for hot rodders to explore, and when it comes to the stuff that truly matters, like speed, power and torque, electric powertrains have proven their worth. Last year’s eCOPO Camaro race car concept is evidence enough of that.
Good on Chevy for taking a risk like this. When it comes to electric vehicles, the future remains unwritten – but concepts like the Chevrolet E-10 will provide the words.