Wrecked Tesla Model 3 Will Be Reborn With Cummins Diesel Power

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This is recycling done right.

One of the unfortunate things we don't discuss often enough is the life expectancy of the average EV. The best estimate is around ten years, and possibly longer if you follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Did you know, for example, that most manufacturers recommend a maximum charge of 80% to 90%?

Once the battery goes, the car is essentially a useless write-off. So what can we possibly do with all of the empty EV shells that will inevitably pile up? Well, you put a V8 under the hood like Rich's Rebuilds did.

The YouTube channel received a lot of hate from fanboys, but think about how green this car is, holistically speaking. Instead of buying a brand-new Model S (filthy mining, dirty transport, etc.), he salvaged the body, interior, and technology from a Model S and the engine and gearbox from a wrecked Camaro. Recycling done right, yo.

Rich's Rebuilds/YouTube

If you're not a fan of the Model S V8, you most certainly won't like Rich's next project. Instead of a V8, Rich will be bolting a Cummins diesel where you'd typically find the frunk.

We'll give the greenies a moment to recuperate from the shock. The very symbol of guilt-free motoring sullied by Satan's fuel? America doesn't do diesel anymore, after all. Dieselgate essentially killed diesel in America.

And yet, here we are. The first video on what will eventually be the very first diesel-powered Tesla. It also provides some much-needed context as to why this car deserves to be built.

But before we get that, we first need to address the first few minutes of the video. Rich hits back at Tesla owners in a big way, telling the sad story of Bob, the Model 3 owner. Don't get too offended, people. It's just a joke. It can't physically hurt you. At worst, you'll be offended, in which case the earth slowly keeps on marching around the sun in the same way it always does.

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Rich's Rebuilds/YouTube
Rich's Rebuilds/YouTube

On to the new build, which represents a big problem. The Cummins diesel is larger than the V8 in the Model S, and the Model 3 is smaller. The donor car is also damaged from all sides, most notably at the front. Thankfully, that part of the car isn't necessary for the build, but the bent frame rails are a concern.

After a few basic measurements, the Model 3 is declared fit for diesel power. And that's when we get our first glimpse of the plans for the Tesla Model D.

It clearly shows a smokestack and refers to coal rolling. This car will be a rolling homage to diesel and will surely be even more controversial than the V8 Model S.

Rich's Rebuilds/YouTube
Rich's Rebuilds/YouTube

The Cummins 4BT engine will power the Model D. For those who don't speak engine code; it's a 3.9-liter four-cylinder diesel. It produces 105 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque in its most basic format. That's sans turbocharger and intercooler. The 4BT is too big to fit under the hood, but this won't be a problem according to the design sketches.

The 4BT engine has two huge advantages. First, there are millions of them. It's a highly adaptable engine and power everything from woodchippers to delivery vans. The 4BT is also a simple engine with few electronics, and you can quickly boost the power via turbocharging. Even so, we don't expect crazy numbers. It's safe to say that this particular build will never outpace the standard car.

The V8 Model S took around a year to build, and Rich's Rebuilds are aiming for SEMA next year. Like before, we're sure they'll keep us updated on the progress.

Rich's Rebuilds/YouTube
Rich's Rebuilds/YouTube

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