Meet the Testang. As its name suggests, it’s a Tesla-powered Ford Mustang, and it packs the same 470 HP and 440+ lb-ft of TQ as the Tesla Model S P85+ that gave its motors so the Testang could live. It’s a neat build, but it’s the who that built it that’s important here: AEM Electronics.
AEM has been building standalone engine control units (ECUs) for as long as I can remember, and their products have made advanced and precise control of fuel delivery and spark timing accessible to tuners who — against the relative might of the OEMs’ motorsports divisions — couldn’t hope to deliver competitive packages on their own. In a way, they democratized electronic fuel injection, and now they’re hoping to do the same thing for engine swaps. Electric engine swaps, that is — and that, while a niche, is still important to The Industry As A Whole.
I say that because the future of the automobile is electric. You know that, I know that, and just about anyone who is paying attention is starting to figure that out — and if they plan on staying involved in any aspect of the car business, they’re planning on going electric sooner rather than later. Nowhere is this more true than in the hundreds of garages across the country that specialize in making their customers’ cars go faster than they otherwise would from the factory, and that’s where AEM comes in, because Tesla’s controllers are pretty well locked down — as are Mercedes’, BMW’s, etc. And, while people have made do and cobbled things together in the past, the AEM solution is much more elegant and turnkey.
Below’s a diagram of how the AEM EV controller works to connect your car’s factory CAN system with the Tesla motors and battery packs. It’s surprisingly easy to follow, I think, but I’ll look to guys like FreedomEV to give it their blessing before totally fawning over it.
Admittedly, I was a ProEFI guy before I was utterly sold on Syvecs for my Porsche and Nissan projects — but AEM has always been there, and Lawson is no stranger to making things go fast. “Perhaps the best thing about this conversion is how easy it is to drive,” commented Lawson Mollica of AEM. “It behaves like a proper street car until you give it the volts, and even when you do, the sensation is exhilarating but not frightening. It goes very fast, but I’ve yet to feel like it’s near its limits. I’ve driven a lot of high-performance cars and I can’t say that about all of them.”
Translation: the Testang is going to surprise a lot of people at the drag strip — and may even catch a Tesla driver or two asleep at the wheel!
That’s my take, anyway. What’s yours? Do you think these kinds of projects help advance the cause of electrification in circles that have, historically, been opposed to it? Think the smart people could serve the world better by making cars slower, instead? Head on down to the comments section and let us know!
AEM Testang Image Gallery
Source | Images: AEM.
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