Modern cars have been losing their character for years, and with a few exceptions, electric ones haven’t bucked that trend. That’s why there’s a growing interest in taking iconic classic cars and converting them to electric driving. Done properly, a lot of the original personality can be maintained, but without the downsides of an older vehicle, such as poor reliability and antiquated performance. One of the best examples of this is the Everrati 911, which I was lucky enough to spend some time with recently.
The Everrati 911 is based on a Porsche from the 964-model era, which spans from 1989 to 1993. The 964 was a leap over the classic 911, which had evolved more gradually since its original introduction in 1964. But it retained the bulbous front lights, which were smoothed away somewhat with the next 993 generation and beyond. So the 964 still has the legendary 911 look, but with a mechanical basis that is more contemporary and durable than the first 911s.
For its 911, Everrati takes a donor 964, but there were nearly 64,000 of these built so finding one that needs care already isn’t such a task. Most 964s are now over 30 years old. The Everrati electrification process also involves a complete restoration and replacement of many panels with carbon fiber alternatives. Not everything is entirely “period”, with the car I drove having the door handles from the 993 era, teardrop wing mirrors inspired by Porsches of the same timeframe, and steering from a 993 as well.
More power without petrol
The most obvious replacement is, of course, the engine. This is the aspect that will have purists most up in arms, because the six-cylinder boxer motor used by all 911s (apart from the 912 variant) is considered to be the heart of the beast. But there are some major benefits to mitigate the loss. The original engine had 247hp and 310Nm of torque – decent figures for the late 1980s. But Everrati has upgraded that considerably with its electric replacement.
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There are two main variants available – the Pure and the Signature. The former is based on a regular 964 chassis, whereas the latter uses a widebody. Both versions provide a huge improvement in power. The Pure has 440bhp and 460Nm of torque, while the Signature has a whopping 500bhp and 500 Nm of torque. In other words, it is more than twice as powerful as the original.
If you do miss that flat 6 sound, Everrati can also fit an artificial noise creation system with rear exhaust pipes, which you configure and enable via a smartphone app. This reintroduces a surprisingly realistic simulation of engine noise, with a burbling idle and rising note as you accelerate, although of course there are no gear changes. It can be very loud, too.
Subtly modernized interior
The interior has had subtle modernizations as well. There are heated seats, and a media display head unit that includes DAB radio, Bluetooth phone connectivity plus support for Apple CarPlay. The latter is essential for providing in-car satellite navigation and works well enough, but the screen is a little small. It’s also quite low down compared to where modern cars now put their media screens.
Everrati offers quite a choice of seat covering options from cloth to leather to Alcantara. The seat style can be specified by the customer too, but the default is Porsche Sports Comfort, which have high side bolsters like buckets but are otherwise fully upholstered. They are an excellent happy halfway between race seats and something you could enjoy spending hours in. I had these in a classic Porsche 968 that I drove for many long journeys and found them excellent.
The Everrati 911 looks amazing, but that’s because the car it is based upon is one of the most recognizable vehicles ever made. The Gulf Oil livery on the example I drove is in a different league of eye-catching. This harks back to the 917 race car of the early 1970s. It’s up there with the Martini Racing livery of a similar era for legendary status. The Gulf Oil Everrati turns heads without having to do anything more than sit there.
Driving like an original 964, only faster
The way this car drives is really what it’s all about, however. If you’ve tried a few older 911s through the years, you’ll know that they had a reputation for being unforgiving if you hit a corner too fast. Having that engine weight literally behind the rear wheels was great for traction off the line, but once the rear wheels lost it in a curve from lift-off oversteer you were done for. Porsche did mitigate this considerably with the Weissach axle fitted on the 993 generation and beyond. But the Everrati 911 predates this.
Of course, though, it doesn’t have a conventional engine behind the rear axle. The electric motor is still over the rear axle, but the overall weight is further forward, and there’s a bit more at the front with the battery box too. But this isn’t another obese electric car. The original 964 weighed a sprightly 1,375kg and, amazingly, Everrati has managed to create an EV that is 30kg lighter. This is thanks to liberal use of weight-saving materials like carbon fiber.
Because of this similar balance, dynamically this car has a lot of the same feel as a 911 of that era. The steering is light and precise, and you feel the road in a very visceral way through the rack. Having stepped into the Everrati 911 from a Tesla Model 3 Performance, I didn’t find the acceleration quite so raw and immediate. But this is still an incredibly fast car and much quicker than an original 964, which took 5.5 seconds to hit 60mph. In comparison, the Pure takes 4.5 seconds, and a Signature like the Gulf Oil car I drove “under 4 seconds”.
Whereas the Tesla delivers power as soon as you hit the accelerator even a little, the Everrati 911 is a bit more exponential. You put your foot down hard and it flies, but tamer pedaling leads to much more genteel speed changes. This, again, is more like the original car, except that the top end is higher. Once you get used to the level of grip, you realize that this car won’t spin you off the road if you hit the naughty pedal or lift off on a corner in the same way as a classic 911 might. In fact, roadholding is very confidence inspiring.
Part of this is because both Pure and Signature have a Quaife ATB torque biasing differential, to help lay down the power without wheel spin as you accelerate. However, the Signature has a bit more configurability. The Pure has sport and eco drive modes, whereas the Signature adds tractive suspension that also configures the power dynamics. This is configured via an extra touchscreen in the center console.
The brakes are also more traditional. Although this car does have regeneration, so it slows down when you take the foot off the accelerator, the brakes are more progressive than a lot of modern cars. Dab them and they don’t slow you down much. But if you put your foot down hard, they will stop you very quickly indeed. These are proper Brembo brakes with drilled discs and racing pads. They have the same legendary capabilities so loved by Porsche enthusiasts over the years.
Middling range, premium price
One area where Everrati hasn’t managed to surpass the original 964, however, is range. All car variants come with a 53kWh battery pack, which is similar in capacity to a current generation Renault Zoe or a whole host of vehicles from Stellantis, and less than a VW ID.3 Pro Performance or Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus. With the high motor power, you only get 180 miles of range from the Pure and 150 miles from the Signature Everrati 911s. That is a lot less than the 345 miles the original 964 could go on a tank, and behind a lot of mainstream EVs now.
In other words, a trip from London to Glasgow will involve a lot of stops. The Everrati 911 is better suited to more local driving or day trips of 100 miles or so where you know you can charge when you get there. Charging is at least competitively quick, however. There’s 11kW AC and 80kW DC, with the latter allowing an 80% charge in around 40 minutes. So long distances aren’t out of the question, just not what this car is primarily about.
Electric classic car conversions are never cheap, but Everrati’s is in a different league. The Pure costs from £200,000 and the Signature from £250,000, both plus taxes and the donor car. The Gulf Oil Signature car I drove doesn’t even have a price. In other words, this is a vehicle for the very rich and isn’t going to be a classic EV you will want to drive every day to go to the shops. But as unique statement for when you’re meeting up with friends for lunch or heading to the golf course, it’s going to grab attention more than any modern sportscar. And you will have had an awful lot of fun driving there.