World's First V8 Tesla Is On The Road

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How to anger fanboys in a single move.

The automotive world is going electric whether you like it or not, but thanks to manufacturers like Tesla, with its incredibly rapid Model S, and Rimac with the ballistic Nevera, speed junkies can rest easy knowing that even without big-block V8s and twin turbos, they'll still be able to have fun behind the wheel. Others just like to see the world burn. At the end of 2020, we reported on Rich Rebuilds' Tesla Model S V8-swap project, the first such swap in the world. Now, a year later, the build is complete and looks and sounds like a proper performance sedan. Named "Ice-T," this Model S recently stole the show at the 2021 SEMA extravaganza, and now it's ready to break hearts everywhere else.

RichB/Instagram
Rich Rebuilds/YouTube
Rich Rebuilds/YouTube

To give some background on the build, Rich Builds got this water-damaged Model S a few years back and stripped the entire car since the electric motors and battery back were ruined. Since Tesla won't sell powertrains to individuals, Rich Rebuilds decided to do what any warm-blooded American would do: drop a 426-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 engine out of a Chevrolet Camaro under the hood. It turns out that a Chevy V8 fits perfectly in the frontal cavity of a Tesla Model S - with a ton of cutting and fabricating. The original wiring harness was relieved of over 50% of its original connections and went back in without much issue. A complete transmission tunnel had to be custom fabricated for the sequential shifting gearbox, as did a fuel tank and all its ancillary systems. A gorgeous four-inch custom exhaust was also fabricated in-house.

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Rich Rebuilds/YouTube
Rich Rebuilds/YouTube
Rich Rebuilds/YouTube
Rich Rebuilds/YouTube

In the video, the guys take Ice-T on a few errands. First, they pick up the kids from school, then flummox a gas station attendant with the location of the fuel filler cap. Next up, they show off their creation to some local car guys who seem blown away by the quality of the build. Ice-T even has a remote starting system, and all the original Tesla displays still function, although any references to battery life and charging times have been removed. Rich Rebuilds promises to give a more in-depth review of the car's different elements in future videos, including a dyno run, and a peek at how much this thing actually weighs, but for now, we're just happy to see that this thing is actually moving under its own power and aggravating Tesla fanboys.

Rich Rebuilds/YouTube
RichB/Instagram
RichB/Instagram
RichB/Instagram

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