Ford plans to offer DIY EV-makers its key electric tech - that's a big deal

Ford Performance may have a history of offering big gas engines for your retro upgrade, but just as Ford dragged the Mustang into the age of electrification, so too crate engines are embracing battery power. Dubbed the Ford Eluminator, it's the first electric crate engine – or, more specifically, crate motor – from Ford Performance, and it could help generations of gas-guzzlers and project cars catch up with the 21st century.

Crate engines are typically a bridge between classics and modern performance. Several American automakers offer them, generally taking potent versions of the drivetrains in their latest production models, and offering them up to those looking to upgrade an old vehicle.

Increasing in popularity over the past few years, however, have been electric conversions. Effectively, a car produced before electrification was as widespread as it is today, is given the EV motors and batteries of a newer model, dropping the old gas-guzzler in the process. We've seen everything from off-road classics to vintage Porsches and more given the electric treatment.

Tesla and Nissan seem to be some of the most common donor drivetrains for EV conversions, in no small part because of their general availability. Ford Performance, though, is getting in on the action. Rather than having to source the electrification system independently, you'll be able to buy an Eluminator motor off the shelf.

Full details will be shared at SEMA 2021, the annual car mods show. What we do know, however, is that the Eluminator is targeted at restomods and project cars, and that it will be impressively compact. Only 570 mm – or shorter than 23 inches – in length, in fact.

Other details – like power and torque – will have to wait until next week, and the official reveal. There's also the matter of all of the other components an EV requires; it takes more to go electric, after all, than just a motor. Batteries, an inverter, charging system, and all of the other components are equally essential.

Still, given what we've seen Ford Performance do with its electric motor tech in the past, we're not surprised that people are excited. The Mustang Mach-E 1400, for example, is a 1,400 horsepower electric track beast, packing a total of seven motors in all, and able to be driven in configurations internal combustion vehicles could only dream about. The Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 was an equally excessive demonstration of why "EV" doesn't mean "slow" any more .

Rather than having to wait until the first Mustang Mach-E road cars hit the wrecker's yards, Ford Performance will seemingly be eager to sell you a brand new EV motor instead. We'll find out all the launch details next week.