JEROME ANDRE February 08, 2024 Electric Vehicle Features
PHOTOS BY JEROME ANDRE
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, car enthusiasts Eric and Amanda Dotson have made a mark in the automotive world with their groundbreaking project—EVzilla. As the owners of Evolved Imports and SQC Tuning, the Dotsons are known for pushing the limits of performance in the car modification scene. Now, their most recent project, EVzilla, a reimagined 1990 Nissan Skyline GTR, stands as a testament to the Dotsons’ dedication and passion for their craft.
Born out of Eric’s early foray into the automotive world, where he put himself through college working on car audio systems, the journey evolved into a deep exploration of performance enhancements. In 1999, Eric delved into tuning with his first turbocharged Honda, marking the inception of his love for pushing the boundaries of conventional automotive performance.
Since the establishment of SQC Tuning in 2007, Eric Dotson has been at the forefront of tuning, working on an array of vehicles from small, quirky builds to high-performance beasts. The transition to tuning professionally occurred in 2014 when Eric left his day job to fully immerse himself in the world of automotive performance.
EVzilla, however, represents a paradigm shift in the Dotsons’ automotive journey, although not a surprising one. After all, they’ve put a Honda V6 in the back of a VW bus, crammed a 2JZ under the hood of a 240z, and according to Amanda, they love placing motors where they don’t belong.
The decision to electrify the iconic Nissan Skyline GTR was a strategic move to be at the forefront of an industry undergoing a seismic shift towards electric power and also pays homage to Eric’s nostalgia for the imports of his childhood. The project, executed over an intensive five-month period at Evolved Imports, has garnered attention not only for its electrifying performance but for the meticulous attention to detail.
The Evolved Imports team undertook the intricate task of performing a dual motor swap using a 2018 Tesla Model S P90D dual motor system. The result—a powerhouse boasting 762 horsepower and 713 lb-ft of torque. Custom-fabricated motor and transmission mounts, courtesy of EVI, ensure optimal integration of the electric powertrain, demonstrating the team’s engineering prowess.
Sixteen 5.3 kWh Tesla modules are on battery duty, disturbed throughout the vehicle for optimal weight distribution and culminating in a total of 85kWh of battery capacity. In particular, the front battery box is a stand-out, reminiscent of the inline-six valve cover that once powered this classic ride.
Beyond the powertrain, the transformation extends to every facet of EVzilla. The chassis and suspension underwent some serious customization to accommodate the newfound electric power. Ohlins Coilovers, a custom EVI rear-cradle, and Dutchman Axles EVI spec contribute to the vehicle’s exceptional handling characteristics.
The exterior of EVzilla, painted in the captivating Toyota Voodoo Blue by Next Level Paint, reflects Eric’s discerning taste. Carbon fiber accents, a Jun body kit, Nismo N1 headlights, and custom LED tail lights further showcase a marriage of aesthetics and aerodynamics.
Inside the cabin, Recaro SP1 seats, an AEM CD-5 display, a Tesla A/C system, and a host of audio components from Jl Audio contribute to a driving experience that seamlessly blends comfort and technology.
The journey of EVzilla culminated in its debut at SEMAfest 2023, marking a pivotal moment for Eric Dotson and his team. However, this is just the beginning. The Dotsons have a roadmap for EVzilla, planning a tour around the country to showcase the potential of their electrifying creation at various events.
The decision to electrify the iconic Nissan Skyline GTR was a strategic move to be at the forefront of an industry undergoing a seismic shift towards electric power…
As EVolved Imports reflects on the challenges encountered during the EV conversion,they emphasize the importance of a supportive network and the invaluable assistance from collaborators such as ReVolt Systems and Legacy EV. Dotson’s journey goes beyond building fast cars; it’s about shaping a future where high-performance EVs become the standard, and EVzilla showcases what is achievable at the intersection of nostalgia, new technology, and the pursuit of excellence.
OWNER: Eric & Amanda Dotson
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