Jay Leno Drives Electric 1978 Ford F100 “Eluminator” With Mach-E Swap

For SEMA 2021, Ford didn’t announce any old V8 crate engine. No, it made available the innovative electric system from its Mustang Mach-E that you can buy and install in… whatever. But that’s not all, the company also showed what could be done by dropping the F100 Eluminator, a 1978 truck that’s cool enough to roll with Teslas.

Jay Leno is one of the first people to drive the F100 Eluminator, resulting in this crucial review video. If the old guard of die-hard V8 and V12 fans can be swayed, this channel is the place to do that. And it’s not looking that good, with YouTube comments talking about the recycling batteries, cost, and range. Not that they don’t matter, but we’re past all that in 2022.

So let’s get into the stuff that pleases old-timers and classic car fans like us. Ford Performance is responsible for the build, so you know it’s done right. For the chassis, they went to the best company in the business, Roadster Show. The wheels look amazing and the Avalanche Gray (the GT350 color?) paint is set off by the copper accents.

The engines are from the Mustang Mach-E Performance, the one that can almost keep up with a Corvette down the 1/4-mile. And there are two of them, producing a combined 480 horsepower and 634 lb-ft of torque. That’s more than an F-150 Raptor!

Leno himself, well he’s more about the acceleration, performance, and styling of this concept. He even mentions going 200mph in his Corvette… to a Ford guy. Leave it to the triple-denim man to be unphased by a $3 million one-off.

Mach-E crate motor pricing

You won’t have to spend that much to do a Mach-E swap. One electric motor from Ford will set you back $4,095. It comes with a high-voltage motor-to-traction inverter harness, a low-voltage harness connector, and a vent tube assembly. However, other components are in high demand, and Ford simply can’t spare any batteries to sell you. Frankly, that’s a little scary. Do Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt packs work here? What kind of shop even has the experience to pull all this off?

As you’ll see in the video, the Ford official doesn’t want to talk about the Roadster Shop chassis that much and instead switches focus to the interior. Now, putting new Mach-E parts like the steering wheel and infotainment in a 1978 truck is interesting. But it’s not beautiful or natural-looking. The upside is that this drives way better and Ford made sure nothing rattles or squeaks.

Tesla swaps have been taking over SEMA for the past few years. Many now believe that EV swaps will somehow save our old cars. Is it illegal to drive an old car that’s not converted? No. But the Porsches, Land Rovers, and even the muscle cars that I’ve seen have all been amazing.



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