Hold on to your helmets, Prancing Horse fans! The upcoming SEMA 2023 (October 31-November 3) is set to bring an EV-swapped Ferrari Testarossa that builder Richard Rawlings of Gas Monkey Garage has baptized Testa.
The Testarossa is not just one of the most iconic Maranello machines ever, but also the perfect symbol of the excessive 1980s. Its cheese grater side intakes have inspired generations of tuners, even though Liberty Walk’s Testarossa, a Shakotan-style creation, lost these legendary design elements.
But hey, we are now in the new 20s, and giving electric conversions to (modern) classics is a thing. However, before you say that Rawlings, who was the star of the Fast N’Loud TV series, ruined this Italian machine by replacing its 4.9L flat-12 with an electric motor, we have to consider the history of this particular example.
The Testa—now translating as just “head”, since Testarossa means “redhead”—is one of the five red Ferrari Testarossas that Rawlings bought from Mallusk, Ireland earlier this year. All the Fezzas had been used as stunt vehicles in the 2021 action film Infinite, which stars Mark Wahlberg, but turned out to be a flunk.
And all these Ferraris had suffered serious abuse on the movie set, so, in a way, Rawlings is rescuing this one. Heck, he’s even turning the supercar’s Holywood situation around, as the shining white finish of the Testa is obviously a Miami Vice nod—Vossen Wheels, which supplied the forged LC3-01 wheels (19/20-inch units front/rear) of the vehicle even lists their color as Miami White.
No Tesla parts in the Testa
The Testa’s electric conversion was handled by Legacy EV. The Arizona-based specialist dropped its $15,000 Cascadia Motion IDM-190 powertrain into the Ferrari—by the way, buying a Testarossa in good condition these days will set you back around $150,000.
This hardware is a three-in-one piece mixing a BorgWarner electric motor (300 hp and 368 lb-ft/500 Nm) and single-ratio transmission (8.28:1 ratio, which explains the 3.053 lb-ft/4,140 Nm axle torque) with a CM200 inverter.
For the record, when the Testarossa was introduced in 1984, its 4.9L flat-12 made at least 380 hp and 354 lb-ft (480 Nm) of torque. So this EV-swapped Testarossa is less powerful than the original, but packs a bit more torque and, more importantly, delivers the latter instantly.
The juice comes from 36 Kore Power batteries, which are split into three housings. Most of them sit where the fuel tank used to be, which means the supercar keeps its original weight distribution.
Since the car is well over three decades old, the rest of the tech bits also had to be updated. And we’re looking at goodies like Bilstein AS2-R adjustable race coilovers and 15-inch Brembo brakes.
As portrayed in the rendering accompanying the project, the roof of the Testarossa coupe is gone. In fact, the Testa sports what Gas Monkey Garage calls a custom chop design, with a half-sized, ultra-raked windscreen and the rear of the passenger cell redesigned into a rollover bar. And yes, the Italian exotic is now a single-seater.
Having some photos of the partially-built real-world project, for now, I feel the rendering doesn’t quite do it justice. For one, the real deal packs futuristic LED lighting by XK Glow that isn’t fully reproduced in the CGI. The pop-up headlights are only partially open, exposing bright white light, while the buttresses at the back now accommodate slim, long red lights.
How will the Testa build sit with Ferrari? Rawlings seems to have worked on this too, or at least that’s what I get from the t-shirt he made.
Gas Monkey Garage has two other projects in store for SEMA 2023: Ferrari 812 Superfast revival and restomod 1968 Chevy C10
Since we’re talking Gas Monkey Garage at SEMA 2023, you should know the label has prepared two other builds for the Las Vegas event. The first is a Ferrari 812 Superfast Richard Rawlings got off an auction site. With the V12 Prancing Horse having sustained severe damage, the plan was to invest $40,000 into the project. However, as Rawlings revealed in an earlier video, he ended up injecting around $200,000 into the build. And when you consider this involves carbon fiber body panels from Creative Bespoke, you can see why the costs became so high.
Fret not, classic Americana lovers, Gas Monkey Garage has something in store for you too. And I’m talking about its 1968 Chevy C10 truck, whose engine bay now accommodates a good ole V8 by SDPC race engines. While the Ferrari’s heart used to be in the middle, this section of the truck features a massive cutout exposing the air suspension that can make the whole thing much lower than the Testa.
The finished EV-swapped Ferrari Testarossa “Testa” at in Las Vegas
With SEMA 2023 now in full swing, we can show you the EV-swapped Ferrari Testarossa by Gas Monkey Garage—now simply called “Testa” (lens tip to @adamc3046 for the live photos). The Prancing Horse may have a central seating position, but that’s only because it’s now a three-seater.
Richard Rawlings completed the build in just one month, so the dashboard features a minimalist take seen on many EVs, sporting a big screen in front of the steering wheel and not much else. This is one for camp “against”, so here’s something camp “for” will notice: that LED lighting is in the original spirit of the Testarossa, adding to the timeless look of the Italian exotic. Guess it’s time to pick sides, folks.