A few years ago, some images of a supposedly V8-powered Tesla Model S were doing the rounds. In actuality, it was a joke shot mocked up using some Tesla-derived office furniture, but Rich Rebuilds has decided someone needs to do this for real.
The YouTuber, who has a history of working on Teslas, explains that he’s an old-school petrolhead at heart who just happens digs EVs. This is the ideal project to bring his two passions together, but it’s going to be a tough ride.
As seen by the dry fitting of the engine, it was necessary to hack out the standard car’s strut tower bar to get it in there, so a bolt-on replacement will need to be fitted. Meanwhile, the standard power steering rack’s motor won’t fit under the Chevrolet Camaro-sourced LS3 filling the front end of the car, so a replacement is set to go in.
Perhaps the biggest challenge will be fabricating a transmission tunnel. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to cut out the tunnel from the Camaro donor, since it’s steel and the Model S is made from aluminium. Welding the two together ain’t gonna happen. The solution involves hacking up the floor of another Model S which met its end at the hands of another YouTuber in the name of getting views. Oh, and a large chunk of the rear subframe had to be lopped off to accommodate a rear differential.
There’ll no doubt be plenty of other challenges in store as Rich Rebuilds tries to make the first working LS-swapped Tesla, but he’s off to a good start. Strut bar and power steering rack issues aside, it must be said - that V8 seems to fit beautifully, looking almost like it was made to take a big internal combustion engine…
We can’t wait to see how this project progresses.