As the automotive industry pushes towards electrification, it leaves a market for electric conversions of classic cars, like Chevrolet’s K5 Blazer EV for SEMA. While stripping down a gas powered vehicle to the chassis and fitting batteries and electric motors has been proven possible, the same can’t be said the other way around. EVs usually feature bespoke platforms that take advantage of all the packaging benefits an EV architecture provides. But just because it’s challenging doesn’t mean it’s impossible, and YouTuber Rich Rebuilds has recently set on a journey to create the first V8 powered Tesla Model S, courtesy of an LS3 ripped from a fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro SS.
If you’re at all familiar with the Rich Rebuilds channel, you’ll know he is one of the most knowledgeable figures in electric car repair. He’s rebuilt several salvaged Teslas, something Tesla won’t even do for you. He opens the video addressing that, despite his skills with EVs, internal combustion is his first and true automotive passion, and he is growing tired of some of the culture inside the Tesla and EV community. No surprises there.
Rich also points out some of the paradoxes inside the EV community, specifically Tesla. They are marketed as an environmentally friendly car company, but they push their customers to constantly buy the next, better model. This is a wasteful cycle that proves Tesla is there to make money, and just so happens to do it with vehicles that produce no emissions while driving. From a car enthusiasts perspective, most EVs but specifically Teslas have very little room for modifications outside of cosmetic changes, and it’s easy for people that are used to improving their cars over time to get bored.
Because of this, Rich decided to marry his appreciation of the Tesla Model S and love of V8 engines in a rather massive project. He’s also using a Tesla Model S donor car that would have rotted away on a scrapyard, proving his point of sustainability. He travels to an engine shop and picks up an LS3 V8 from a fifth-generation Camaro SS, along with the rest of the powertrain system, and discussed his plans for swapping the V8 inside.
This is just the start of the journey, and won’t be an easy project. The Tesla Model S was never meant fit a V8 under the hood, let alone be powered by one. Hats off to Rich for going all in on the project, and we can’t wait to see how it progresses. Check out the video below:
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I would guess that a Tesla isn’t subject to emissions testing, so if you kept this to yourself – instead of putting it online for all to see – you could install and modify the hell out of a gas engine in a Tesla and the state motor vehicle testing apparatus would be none the wiser.