Tesla Motors is probably the most controversial automaker on the market right now. While it is true that they have helped propel the auto industry towards embracing the reality of electric vehicles, Elon and his company have been known to behave in ways that other OEMs would not dare. Whether it be the exaggeration of their ADAS system’s capabilities, the questionable quality control, or the seemingly constant dance with the SEC, Tesla is unique. Rich Benoit, who runs the Rich Rebuilds YouTube Channel, has learned this the hard way. After facing a ton of trouble trying to rebuild a salvage title Tesla Model S, Benoit decided to have a bit of fun sticking it to Elon. In order to do this, he decided to shove an LS3 V8 from a Chevy Camaro into it. Now, Benoit has finally got the thing to run and given it a name: ICE-T.
Chevrolet Camaro LS3-Powered Tesla Model S
The name ICE-T may be funny, but it also is quite self explanatory. That is because this Model S is an internal combustion engine powered Tesla. Apparently Benoit initially wanted to name the vehicle Angela, an homage to the character Elon’s ex-wife Talulah Riley played on HBO’s “Westworld”. Eventually he decided against this however, after his friend came up with the ICE-T moniker. Regardless, this is a vehicle that Mr. Musk will likely not find too enjoyable, personal dig aside. Under the hood now sits a 6.2L LS3 V8 engine sourced from a fifth-gen Camaro, which produces 426 horsepower and dreaded exhaust gases.
Of course this project is far more involved than a typical engine swap, which has resulted in somewhat of a slow build by YouTube standards. The entire chassis has needed to be reinforced now that the batteries are missing, sub-frames needed to be fashioned, as did a new suspension setup. Combine that with needing to fit a trans tunnel, a clutch pedal, and a fuel system that never existed, and it’s easy to understand why such a build might take some time. Regardless of the pace, Benoit has thrown his fans a bone by sharing a clip of the engine roaring to life for the first time in its Tesla Model S body. Minus an issue with a forgotten oil filter and some spilled fuel, the Camaro-sourced LS3 V8 seems quite happy in its new home.
A Different Kind Of EV Hot Rod
As electric vehicles become more popular, we are starting to see some EV powertrains being swapped into traditional ICE-powered vehicles. More commonly than not, these powertrains are coming from Tesla Motors’ products. And while some of these builds are downright sweet, Benoit’s approach with the ICE-T build is the exact opposite. That in itself is worth a laugh, though we’re sure that the Tesla crowd aren’t in agreement with us. All I know is that I can’t wait to watch this thing hit the street with that LS3 V8 backed by a six-speed manual driving the wheels.