Broken Tesla Model S Finally Gets a V8 Heart Transplant

When you think of a Tesla Model S, chances are the first things that come to mind are its savage 0-60mph times or its incredible range. However, when one of these cars gets wrecked in an accident, they essentially become massive paperweights. This is because Tesla won’t sell Model S parts to the general public. In response, Rich Rebuilds decided to stuff a Chevy V8 under the hood of this Model S. This is how he’s doing it.

Why did this Tesla Model S get a V8 in the first place?

In case you’re not caught up with this broken Tesla Model S saga, let’s start from the very beginning. In an earlier video, Rich Rebuilds announced his plan to add a 6.2-liter V8 to a crashed Tesla Model S he purchased. The reason was that since parts are not readily available to the public, most of these damaged EVs go to the scrapyard. To save this particular EV, Rich decided to give it the world’s first V8 swap.

The engine in question is a naturally-aspirated 6.2-liter V8 out of a Chevy Camaro. Depending on the year, this engine is rated anywhere from 426 to 455 hp in the Camaro. However, Rich alluded to some potential plans of supercharging this powertrain for extra punch. However, the most interesting part of this story is that Rich plans to include a six-speed manual transmission.

As you can imagine, this EV wasn’t exactly designed to house a V8 under its hood. As a result, some major modifications will have to be made for this swap to actually work.

Here is how you fit a V8 under the hood of a Tesla

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This brings us neatly to the newest broken Tesla Model S update as Rich began tearing into the car. The first steps in this build involved transporting both the broken vehicle and the brand new engine. Rich announced that the V8 wouldn’t go into the white Model S shown in the first video in an interesting twist. In fact, it’s going into a brown Model S, which was previously flooded and was fairly disassembled.

From there, the video cuts to a shot of the disassembled Model S, which has been severely cut up to fit its new heart. As you’d expect, many of the strut tower braces and other supporting components needed adjustment. However, once the front trunk was completely removed, the result was a surprising amount of space for the 6.2-liter engine. Additionally, there is enough space in front of the engine for a radiator and other cooling components.

As you’d expect, the next steps for this Tesla Model S are to create some brand-new motor mounts and align the engine properly into the chassis. This will be particularly difficult once the six-speed manual comes into play. This is because the bottom of the EV typically houses the battery pack. As a result, there may not be much room left for a transmission and exhaust system.

What is the goal of this build?

A dark-red 2020 Tesla Model S is displayed during the London Motor and Tech Show at ExCel on May 16, 2019, in London, England
2020 Tesla Model S | John Keeble/Getty Images

Since this Tesla Model S build is still in progress, the end goal isn’t exactly clear. However, if the previous Rich Rebuilds video is anything to go by, this EV may receive a supercharger. As a result, not only will this be the world’s first V8-powered Model S, it could also be one of the fastest. Regardless, this series is bound to be incredibly entertaining.