Tesla, since its inception, has been all about electric propulsion. Elon Musk and his company have taken the world by a storm and are proving that the future is now. However, their adoption of this policy has antagonized them for automobile purists. Tesla is called out for the way they have put tech first and the car second. There are very few purists who are fond of the brand. The overall consensus among purists is that Tesla and their “tech” approach is ruining the automobile as we know it.
These same purists are big fans of big engines. Cars with big V8s, V10s, and V12s are the apples of their eye. However, this brings up a question, would purists like the rest of the Tesla if it came with a big ICE (Internal Combustion Engine)?
The World’s First V8 Tesla Model S Is Here, Reverse Retrofitting EV to ICE
Is it feasible?
There have been many pictures of a V8 engine in a Tesla. However, none of them are actual working vehicles. A couple of them are merely tables designed to look that way. While the rest just have an engine placed in the car. None of them truly is a Tesla that works flawlessly with a big engine. This leads us to the question, is it actually possible to have a V8 in a Tesla? The short answer is no. The lack of an engine bay, transmission, and the lack of provisions to fit these parts makes it very hard to imagine a Tesla car to work on petrol power.
However, if someone was able to create space for these things, it could change the answer. But that solution is neutered by the fact that Tesla doesn’t sell any parts to customers. They think nobody apart from their trained technicians can work on their cars. While that is the ideal situation, it is not entirely true. If someone can acquire knowledge about how the internals of the car work, they could, in theory, modify a Tesla.
Modifications done so far
The modifications that have happened on Teslas so far are: converting an RWD (Rear Wheel Drive) to an AWD (All Wheel Drive) and converting a 75D to a P100D. However, both these options are available as variants in the Tesla model range. This means that current owners will question the requirement of these modifications. The logic is quite simple: Why spend extra time on something if Tesla can do it for you?
While it is cheaper to buy an RWD Model S 75D and convert it into an AWD Model S P100D, it is also risky. There is no guarantee of the modifications working. This makes it even less desirable for current owners to modify their cars. The fact that you cannot buy authorized parts for the car makes it an even harder sell.
Could it happen?
In theory, yes. A trained group of mechanics could fit a V8 in a Tesla. But, they would have to be absolutely careful about not altering any other aspects of the car. They will have to ensure that the transmission tunnel doesn’t foul with the seats and that the engine fits in the bonnet (frunk in the case of a Tesla). The video shows that for the modifications, a car ruined by floods is chosen. Not only does it make it easier to strip the car to pieces, but it also is eco-friendly. The chassis needs reinforcement because the weight is in a higher position than usual. Extra materials are also required for building the transmission tunnel.
All these excess parts are sourced from other Tesla cars that are not working anymore. This makes the rebuild cheaper than converting a working Tesla into a V8 powered car. The engine is from a Camaro. It is a 6.2L V8 churning a mammoth 426 hp. This means that the car will go from being an eco-friendly electric to a gas-guzzling beast. It also means that this will be the first Tesla which neighbours will hate for being noisy.
Is it necessary?
This is a classic head vs heart question. While a layman will say no, an automobile purist will say yes. The biggest argument to not do this is that electric cars are faster than ICE cars. That is not true. While electric cars have a faster rate of acceleration, over a quarter mile, an ICE car with the right engine and gearbox combo will be faster. Thus, the car is actually becoming faster. And in this world where the supercharging network doesn’t exist in all countries around the world, this does promise a little more peace of mind. It also makes this a car that will turn heads for reasons other than its looks. The sight of a Tesla at a petrol pump will definitely be a story worth telling.
While this job isn’t complete yet, it is one that could appeal to a wide range of people around the world. This is one of the most ambitious rebuild projects seen in a long, long time. We will keep you updated about this crazy, amazing story.