All-Electric, Tesla-Powered 1949 Mercury Sleeper by Icon
Shocks us and the SEMA 2018 crowd
There is something for everyone at SEMA each year, whether you like meticulously crafted show cars or lifted trucks on stretched tires. The wide variety of vehicles can make it hard to stand out from the crowd, but Icon has done just that with their 1949 Mercury build despite its unassuming exterior.
This old Merc is one of their Derelict series where the vehicle retains a worn and weathered exterior despite being updated with modern technology beneath the faded paint and battle scars. Normally they opt for LS, Coyote, or Hemi power, but that just wasn't shockingly different enough for the individual who commissioned this build, so Icon partnered with Stealth EV to fit this old girl with a full, electric drivetrain!
The one owner, original paint, SoCal car now sits on an Art Morrison chassis with independent suspension, Brembo brakes, and a custom-designed EV system powering the vehicle. It packs an 85-kilowatt-hour battery array from a Tesla sending power to twin Rinehart Motion Systems controllers under the hood that are sitting atop one of the battery packs in a sort of V configuration to mimic an old dinosaur-munching power plant.
Underneath are dual AM Racing permanent magnetic electric motors producing a combined 400 horsepower and 470 ft-lb of torque which are capable of whirring the machine to 120 mph with approximately 150 to 200 miles of range.
The inside has been finished out to match the exterior nicely with period correct upholstery used to refresh the factory seats. It appears virtually stock other than the Andromeda Interfaces Display set into the dash, but even that has been styled with vintage graphics designed to mimic the original gauges.
What you can't see is all the sound deadening they added and the refreshed rubber door seals and moldings that have made the interior a comfortable and quiet place to be. Additionally, they have added an electric air conditioning system, and the factory steering wheel now directs the car with ease with the help of an electric-assisted rack and pinion. Essentially the idea was to fit the car with as many modern creature comforts as possible while still retaining that rustic, vintage feel, and we think they nailed it.
It certainly isn't conventional, and seeing this old cruiser move while making virtually no noise at all is a little strange to say the least. Is this the future of hot rodding? Who knows—but for now it's definitely something to take notice of while we enjoy our gasoline burning hot rods!