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Gas Monkey’s Testa – A Ferrari Testarossa Goes Silent

Jerome Andre January 31, 2024 Electric Vehicle Features

The Incredible E-Testarossa that Richard Rawlings Wanted to Call ‘Test-E’

Photos by Jerome Andre

Imagine a world where a classic Ferrari purrs absolutely silently. Sounds like heresy, right? Well, hold onto your gated gear knob because Gas Monkey Garage, in cahoots with Legacy EV, decided to turn this wild thought into reality. Meet the “Testa,” a car that looks like it came straight out of a retro-futuristic comic book. It’s what happens when old-school cool crashes headfirst into the electric revolution.

Painted in a hue that could only be described as “ghostly lunar white,” the Testa is a rolling canvas of Mike Coy’s artistic brilliance.
The witty custom badging is like the signature at the bottom of this masterpiece.

Gas Monkey Garage, the wizards of car transformations, joined forces with Legacy EV, the conversion vehicle gurus. Their mission? To electrify a Ferrari Testarossa in just 40 days with a budget of $350,000. You read that right—turning a roaring beast into a purring cat without losing its claws.

The story of the Testa begins with Richard Rawlings, the maverick behind Gas Monkey Garage. Known for its hit TV show “Fast N’ Loud,” the garage had always pushed the boundaries of car restoration and customization. However, the Testa project was different. It was a foray into the world of electric vehicles, a territory Gas Monkey had never ventured into before. The idea sparked when Rawlings acquired not one but five Ferrari Testarossas used as screen props in the 2021 film “Infinite,” starring Mark Wahlberg. These vehicles, each with its own story, were about to embark on a transformation journey like no other.

The Testa also featured AC charging capabilities at 6.6kW on a 220-volt power socket.

The vision for the Testa was clear: to create a one-of-a-kind EV, preserving the Testarossa’s iconic design. To achieve this, Gas Monkey Garage partnered with Legacy EV. The Phoenix-based team brought their expertise in propulsion systems, battery management, and overall electric vehicle dynamics to the table. Their role was to ensure that the Testa was not just an electric vehicle in appearance but a fully functional, high-performance EV.

The team at Gas Monkey Garage had to meticulously deconstruct the Testarossa, evaluating each component’s condition and potential for reuse. The goal was to retain as much of the original Ferrari essence as possible while making room for modern EV components. One of the most significant challenges was integrating the electric motor and battery pack without compromising the car’s iconic design and balance. The teams opted for a single electric motor setup, strategically placed to maintain the original 40:60 front-to-rear weight distribution of the 1989 Testarossa. This was crucial to preserve the car’s handling characteristics.

The interior was reimagined with a central driving position, reminiscent of the McLaren F1

The Heartbeat Goes Electric

The Testa traded its gas-guzzling 180-degree V-12 heart with an IDM 190 Cascadia Motion setup composed of a BorgWarner Electric Drive Module (motor/transmission) and CM200 inverter. This configuration produces a jaw-dropping 4140 Nm of axle torque, a figure that would make the original Ferrari blush—well, any Ferrari or supercar, too! With 225 kW or 300 hp, the powerplant is not aimed at sheer top speed but is probably the world’s best tire-slaying Ferrari ever. The motor and transmission mounts, crucial to this transformation, were skillfully crafted in-house at Gas Monkey Garage by Josh Paris, while the control software was sourced from AEM Electronics. Powering this beast are 36 Kore Power battery modules, topping at 84.6kWh, ensuring a blend of efficiency and endurance.

This blurs the lines between automotive tradition and innovation. It’s a love letter to what cars were and a bold statement about what they could be.

The Testa retains its original chassis, but don’t be fooled—it’s been beefed up by Gas Monkey to handle its new electric soul. The suspension system got a high-tech hug with the Bilstein Motorsport AS2R setup, ensuring the car sticks on the road in all conditions. The factory Ferrari control arms and spindles stayed, because why mess with perfection?

Where Rubber Meets the Road

Let’s talk shoes and stoppers. The Testa rolls on 19-inch Vossen LC301 custom rims, powdercoated white and wrapped in Continental Extreme Contact Sport tires. The rear follows suit, but they’re sized up to 20 inches. The braking system was significantly upgraded with Brembo components, providing the necessary stopping power for the vehicle’s increased performance. The gear ratio was meticulously set at 8.28:1, with axles and driveshaft being built in-house by Josh Paris.

The Testa looks like it drove out of a sci-fi movie set in Miami. Painted in Axalta Spies Heckler “Super White” by the artiste Mike Coy, it’s like a ghostly apparition of its former self. Check out the custom badging by Brandon DePrato that adds a dash of exclusivity and fun, while the grille, equipped with an XK Glow sequential LED light bar, winks at the future.

Perhaps the most visually striking modification was the absence of a roof and a full-sized windscreen. Instead, the Testa featured a small wind deflector and a roll hoop, giving it a bold, roadster-like appearance. This design choice was not just aesthetic but also a nod to weight reduction and performance enhancement. The windshield, now custom cut, gives the nod to the 1960s racing Ferraris’ heritage. And yes, this is a genuine Ferrari windscreen—probably worth $15K, but the “Monkeys” dared to chop it off!

The grille, crafted by Gas Monkey Garage and NTX Audio Innovations, is equipped with an XK Glow sequential LED light bar, enhancing its modern appeal. The wheelwells, kept as factory Ferrari components, were dry-iced and recoated for a fresh look. The bumpers were modified by Gas Monkey Garage, and the body modifications included a custom one-off designed speedster (roof chop), showcasing the team’s exceptional craftsmanship. The headlights, a crucial element in any vehicle, were custom-made housings by Josh Paris, equipped with XK glow 6-inch Razor LED light bars. Similarly, the taillights, created by Gas Monkey Garage and NTX Audio Innovations, featured XK glow Sequential LED light bars.

Center of Innovation and Comfort

Step into the Testa, and you’ll find yourself at the heart of a groundbreaking transformation. The interior, masterfully reimagined by Texas Seats, is a harmonious blend of classic Ferrari elegance and avant-garde design. At the core of this revolution is the car’s conversion to a center steer setup—reminiscent of the McLaren F1. The driver’s seat, originally a standard Ferrari seat, has been reskinned with luxurious custom leather, transforming it into a commanding center throne. Flanking this central marvel are two custom-built passenger seats, combining comfort with a touch of exclusivity.

The dashboard, reconfigured for the new setup, now boasts a sleek 13 ½-inch LCD display, serving as a modern nerve center for the driver. The classic Ferrari Momo steering wheel, elegantly reskinned by Texas Seats, complements this unique layout, marrying tradition with innovation. Completing this interior symphony are the state-of-the-art Hertz subwoofers and Audison amplifiers, creating an auditory experience as refined as the ride itself. Thanks to Soundskins’ expert sound deadening, the interior becomes a serene sanctuary, insulated from the chaos of the outside world.

Gas Monkey and Legacy EV turned a roaring beast into a purring cat—without losing its claws.

As the Testa rolls out onto the streets, it carries with it the legacy of two pioneering companies, a legacy of innovation, craftsmanship, and a bold vision for the future of automotive design. In every aspect, from its striking appearance to its impressive performance, the Testa stands as a beacon of what is possible when passion meets technology, tradition meets innovation, and the past meets the future.

Richard Rawlings and his team’s creation is a pure manifesto: “We love the past, but we’re not stuck in it.”

This blurs the lines between automotive tradition and innovation. It’s a love letter to what cars were and a bold statement about what they could be. No, it is not going to please everyone, but since when did hot rods, customs, and fun cars have to please the world?


SPECS

Gas Monkey Garage 

  • Location: Dallas
  • Year, Make, Model: 1989 Ferrari Testarossa
  • Vehicle Name: The Testa
  • Partners: Legacy EV
  • Amount of Time to Build: 40 Days
  • Cost to Build: $350,000

Motor / Drivetrain

  • Motor Swap Performed By: Gas Monkey Garage & Legacy EV
  • Motor Drive Unit Year, Make, Model: IDM 190 Cascadia Motion, CM200 inverter and the BorgWarner eDM motor/transmission, the three-in-one integrated module is capable of 4140 Nm of axle torque
  • Power: 225 kW/300hp
  • Peak Torque: 500 Nm (4140 Nm at axles)
  • Motor/Transmission mounts: Built in-house at Gas Monkey Garage by Josh Paris
  • Control Software: AEM Electronics
  • Batteries: 36 Kore Power battery modules (84.6kWh)

Chassis/Suspension

  • Installation Shop: Gas Monkey Garage
  • Chassis: Factory chassis strengthened by Gas Monkey)
  • Suspension system: Bilstein Motorsport AS2R
  • Control Arms: Factory Ferrari
  • Spindles: Factory Ferrari

Wheels/Brakes  

  • Front Rims: 19-inch Vossen LC301 custom in Miami White
  • Front Tires: Continental Extreme Contact Sport 02 235/35R19
  • Rear Rims: 20-inch Vossen LC301 custom in Miami White
  • Rear Tires: Continental Extreme Contact Sport 02 285/35R20
  • Brakes: Upgraded Brembo
  • Gears/Ratio: 8.28:1
  • Axles: Built in-house by Josh Paris
  • Driveshaft: Gas Monkey Garage
  • Other: Custom Designed center caps from GMG

Body/Paint

Paint Shop: Gas Monkey Garage, painted by Mike Coy

  • Color: Axalta Spies Heckler “Super White”
  • Graphics: Custom Designed Badging by Gas Monkey Garage by Brandon DePrato
  • Graphics Installer: Gas Monkey Garage team
  • Grille: Made by Gas Monkey Garage and NTX Audio Innovations, equipped with XK Glow sequential LED light bar
  • Wheelwells: Factory Ferrari dry iced and recoated
  • Bumpers: Factory with modifications by Gas Monkey Garage
  • Body Mods: Custom one-off designed speedster (roof chop)
  • Headlights: Housing made by Josh Paris and equipped with XK glow 6” Razor LED Light Bars
  • Taillights: Made by Gas Monkey Garage and NTX Audio Innovations, equipped with XK glow Sequential LED light bars
  • Glass: Original Ferrari windshield custom cut by Extreme Auto Glass
  • Other:  
    •  Accent light package from XK Glow single color light stripes
    •  Rear Deck equipped with XK Glow Sequential LED light bars

Interior

  • Install Shop: Texas Seats
  • Seats: Center steer seat: factory Ferrari seat reskinned with custom leather and two custom-built “passenger” seats.
  • Gauges, Radio Head Unit: 13 ½-inch LCD display
  • Steering Wheel: Factory Ferrari Momo Steering wheel reskinned by Texas Seats
  • Custom Painted Dash: One-off center steer converted dash
  • Subwoofers: Hertz
  • Amplifiers: Audison
  • Speakers: Hertz
  • Sound deadening by Soundskins

Sponsors and Special Thanks: 

  • Sponsors: Legacy EV, Brembo, Axalta, Bilstein, Vossen, Hertz/Audison, Soundskins, XK Glow, Axalta, Continental Tires
  • Thanks: NTX Audio Innovations, Legacy EV, and Cristian Sosa for metal work

 

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