Named after the world’s fasted plane, this is one special Blackbird
While I admit the title is misleading, American company Sacrilege Motors does have the answer to the question; “Both.” That’s because they have literally taken the best attributes of both machines and combined them into a triple-black, road-going missile nicknamed “Black Bird.” Time to buckle up…
Sacrilege Motors, founded in 2020, is the vision of financial entrepreneur Phil Wagenheim and Porsche advocate Bobby Singh, a 30-year veteran of building, tuning, and driving Porsches, including a 959, Carrera GT, 918 Spyder. Wagenheim and Singh, both devout air-cooled Porsche enthusiasts, highly value the analog sensations and handling precision of the early 911. But always open to face a challenge, they created the goal of building an authentic feeling 911 powered by electricity. But could it even be done?
While Porsche purists predictably call it “sacrilege,” those who favor innovation and sustainability approach it as preserving the original 911 driving experience, but without the typical maintenance and ecological footprint associated with a petrol-burning engine. Sacrilege Motors now delivers a Porsche 911 infused with electric propulsion but instilled with the familiar feel of the classic Porsche 911.
Sacrilege Motors co-founder and CEO Phil Wagenheim commented, “As a longtime Porsche owner myself, the goal from the start with this project was to preserve the unique experience of a Porsche. The steering feel, the handling, the braking, even the weight transfer, we set a very high bar for ourselves. Through our countless hours of engineering and our outstanding partners at Fellten and Penske Racing Shocks, we think we’ve nailed it…”
As such, out goes the air-cooled flat-six and its 250bhp from the super rare 911 America Roadster (just 250 were built between 1992 and 1993), and in comes an electric motor from a Tesla Model S powered by a 62kWh battery pack with double the power. The range is quoted at around 200 miles. And alongside 500 electric ponies, there’s also 369 lb-ft of torque on offer.
Where the original 964 AR could manage 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds, this electrified version manages it in under four. Sacrilege Motors has gone to work on the car’s chassis, too, fitting two-way inverted custom Penske racing shocks up front and three-way adjustable ones on the back. There are big Brembo brakes all around. There’s a limited slip diff, too.
“We want to deliver an analog, air-cooled-era 911 with the reliability and instant power of an EV while preserving an exhilarating driving experience that’s familiar to air-cooled 911 enthusiasts,” said SM president and technical lead Bobby Singh. “What we’re doing at Sacrilege is just adding an electric power option to your analog quiver of fun,” added SM CEO Phil Wagenheim. Indeed, the company concedes that “some might call such conversion work heresy, but others welcome the act of retaining the classic 911’s uniquely enjoyable driving dynamics while reducing its need for maintenance and environmental impact”.
The owner of this transformed 911 was so impressed with the outcome, that he actually named the car after the world’s fastest aircraft–Lockheed’s supersonic SR-71 “Blackbird”—on account of its impressive acceleration. It is also fitted with a 62 kWh battery pack that affords a range of 200 miles on a single charge. Pretty impressive.
While the company name might feel like a joke on the 911 community, its enthusiast owners say they’re, in fact, trying to retain the spirit of the classic Porsche and reduce its environmental footprint. While I would personally miss the sound of the air-cooled fan in this 1992 911, I have to admit it’s a thoughtfully designed product that aims to preserve the original feel.