Can You Have An Environmentally Friendly Muscle Car?

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By Dave Ashton

Many would think muscle car and environmentally friendly are contradictions in terms, but the competition EcoCAR3 partly sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy plans to change that using a modern Camaro as the test vehicle.

A team from the University of Alabama are currently underway to be one of the top runners in the competition. Josh Stoddard who is the project and engineering manager stated, ‘The first year was mostly design work and choosing an architecture and designating how torque will be produced in the vehicle.’ ‘You do a bunch of analysis on how crazy you want to get in design and what can you feasibly do; and what you can afford to do. It also involves doing customer research to figure out how to market this. With the Camaro, we want to retain the Camaro sports car way, but also determine where it can be a hybrid. The first year wraps up with a completed design and chosen architecture.’

They have plans of using P-1 and P-3 electric motors, with Year 3 of the competition hopefully having a drivable vehicle available. Trevor Ford who is one of the team members states that the Camaro can be a future muscle car that can live with the environment, ‘Many people have never experienced driving a hybrid. Because of its battery torque, there is strength in the area of acceleration and that makes it fun. Muscle cars and environmentally friendly design can go hand in hand.’

Electric vehicles and hybrids are already a mainstay of the roads which means moving forward, there has to be at some point a muscle car(s), which has all characteristics of what we love about the breed and be environmentally efficient at the same time. It’s possible, it just needs a ton of work in the right areas.

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