As automakers push electric vehicles as the future more and more, Chevrolet is looking to apply electric power to their hugely successful line of performance crate engines. Last week, Chevrolet showed off the 1977 K5 Blazer-E, an all-electric Blazer for SEMA360. It’s the first vehicle to showcase their final Electric Connect and Cruise system, a kit that includes everything you need to convert your classic to electric power. Plus, Chevrolet have also announced Lingenfelter Performance will become the first licensed installer of the kit.
Connect and Cruise is nothing new for Chevrolet Performance. The company has been offering kits with the engine, transmission and everything else you need to have a perfectly calibrated powertrain system in one easy package. But starting in the second half of 2021, electric versions will be available.
The aforementioned K5 Blazer-E concept features the first eCrate Connect and Cruise offering from General Motors. It pairs the Bolt EV’s 200 hp motor with a 60 kWh battery, as well as a DC-to-AC power inverter and converter, wiring harnesses, and battery cooling systems. With these parts, owners have everything they need to convert their classic into an electric vehicle. If car enthusiasts worst nightmare comes true, and the internal combustion engine does indeed die one day, at least we have a way to save our classic cars with these electric crate motors.
Still, you’ll need a licensed dealer to install these electric drivetrain packages. In a pilot run, the first will be Lingenfelter Performance, the legendary GM tuner based just outside of Detroit in Brighton, Michigan. They will receive all the training, tools and equipment they need to install these Connect and Cruise packages to a multitude of classic cars. Considering the stellar reputation of Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, Chevrolet couldn’t have picked a better partner to test this program.
Over the next few years, the program will be rolled out to Chevrolet dealers and other aftermarket companies using what is learned from the Lingenfelter trial run. And if 200 hp sounds a little wimpy for your electric crate motor, GM plans to offer their new line of modular Ultium Drive motor and battery packs. That’s right, you may one day be able to buy the 1,000 hp motor and battery setup of the GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 to put in whatever can handle it. Expect a wide range of electric motors, batteries and Connect and Cruise packages to bolster the lineup of Chevrolet crate engines over the next few years.
GM’s “All Electric Future”™ may find a place in the aftermarket and performance industry after all.