This Porsche 356 has been converted to electric | Top Gear
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This Porsche 356 has been converted to electric

Is a 356 converted to plug-in power less offensive than a 911?

Published: 01 Nov 2021
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This is billed as the first electric conversion of a Porsche 356, though that’s a topic up for debate.

If you can feel your commenting figures already tensing, then let’s admit this is arguably a less problematic EV rethinking than an electric Porsche 911. Gorgeous as the 356 is, it’s never been defined by an all-time great powertrain.

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Electrogenic – who’ve also converted an E-Type, Morgan and Citroen DS – have thus plucked out its stock 1.6-litre 4cyl engine with its modest 94bhp and 91lb ft, and slotted in batteries and motors for 120bhp/173lb ft outputs.

Curiously, they’re still sent to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual gearbox. An experience we’re intrigued by. If it’s still not enough connection for you, then the conversion is reversible and Electrogenic will pop your 1.6 back in with haste.

A 36kWh battery serves up around 140 miles of range and can be recharged in a mite over two hours. How it impacts upon the stock 356C’s sub-tonne kerb weight we’re not told, but there’s been zero degradation of its svelte styling.

“Electrogenic always maintains the beauty of the original car when converting classics to electric power,” we’re told, “so the 356’s iconic design remains totally unchanged. At the request of the owner, there is no visual identification anywhere on the bodywork that it is not an original car.”

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Why’s the owner specced it? Ease of use, as much as lowering of emissions. “The owner of this particular example has always loved driving the car, but other family members were always put off by the complexities and difficulty of driving a classic,” says Electrogenic. “That’s not the case anymore; it is a smooth and easy drive that absolutely anyone can enjoy – enthusiast or not.”

So. Unleash those comments…

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