There comes a time in every gearhead’s life where they get the urge to shove a massive V8 in a car that it doesn’t belong in. For YouTuber Rich Rebuilds, scratching this itch involved sticking an LS3 V8 engine out of a fifth-gen Chevrolet Camaro SS into a Tesla Model S. We first shared information about this project at the beginning of the month, but now Rich Rebuilds has made some significant progress. Namely, the team has started to fit the Tesla with a six-speed manual transmission. Here is what you need to know.
Rich Rebuilds is a rather popular YouTube channel among electric vehicle enthusiasts. The YouTuber has managed to rebuild quite a few salvage title Teslas over the years, without any help from Tesla themselves. This is a practice that Elon isn’t very supportive of, but one that EV fans have found quite enjoyable. That said, Rich has always been clear that his passion for cars started with traditional gasoline-powered machines. In order to try and combat some of the vitriol so often found among the Tesla faithful, Rich came up with this Chevrolet Camaro-powered build.
This recent update video follows up where we last left the junkyard Tesla Model S, with the heart of a Chevrolet Camaro stuck into its nose. From there, this episode follows as the team tries to mount the Camaro’s six-speed manual gearbox into the electric sedan. This is quite the involved process, which required hacking away quite a bit of the car’s structure. Considering the Tesla was never intended to have a transmission running between the front seats, this is understandable. The final mounting point is a bit awkward, as is made evident by the janky shifter position. That said, three pedals in the footwell are always welcome.
After the team mocked up how the transmission will be reinstalled, they once again dropped the box to begin the wiring process. We have to imagine that this will not be a walk in the park, as the Model S learns to cope with an LS3 V8 under the hood. The team also began doing some work on the car’s suspension system, which ditches the factory air-powered units. Instead, the car will ride on a set of more traditional coil-overs at all four corners.
While it may not be adored by the Tesla community, we have to imagine this LS3-powered Model S will get some love from muscle car fans. Sticking the engine from a Chevrolet Camaro into an EV is about as close to hot rodding as one can get with a Model S. For that reason alone, we can’t wait to see what happens the first time this thing pulls up to a charging station.