Hybrids & Electrics

This Overlanding Tesla Model Y Can Tackle the Toughest Terrain

An “Overlanding electric vehicle” might sound like an oxymoron, however, for one Tesla Model Y owner, it’s a weekend hobby. Brian Jenkins, who runs the i1Tesla YouTube channel, is not only taking advantage of the Tesla Model Y’s “Off-Road Assist” mode but is also taking his car a step further with the help of some aftermarket support.

This Tesla Model Y is ready for adventure

As you can see, the Jenkins’ Model Y is not stock, however, the modifications are necessary and tasteful for an Overlanding vehicle. For his “Overlanding Build,” as he likes to call it, Jenkins installed a 4-inch lift kit from Mountain Pass Performance for some added height, a set of Toyo all-season tires, TSW wheels, and a textured combat-green car wrap for a little added protection and a subtle sense of earthy style.

In his overview video, Jenkins details the modifications that he has done to the car. He makes mention of the lift kit, which mainly just “a spacer that goes on top of the strut,” unlike more involved lift kits that you might otherwise find for trucks and SUVs. As for the wheel and tire package, Jenkins states that he’s running 31-inch all-terrain Toyo’s which work well in the wilderness and the mountains.

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overlanding tesla model y
Jenkins’ Tesla Model Y is ready for an adventure | Youtube

What about the Model Y’s “Off Road Mode?”

Part of makes Jenkins’ build possible is the Tesla Model Y’s “Off-Road Mode.” While the Model Y is technically a small SUV and it does have 6.6 inches of ground clearance from the factory, no one would really expect a Tesla owner to actually take it off the beaten path. However, Jenkins’ crafty build is out to show everyone was Tesla’s newest member can really do.

Speaking of the Model Y’s “Off-Road Mode,” the system was put in place by Tesla to aid in any excursion that the owner might take off the beaten path. When the Model Y is put into this mode, the throttle response is dampened so that you don’t put too much power through the wheels and spin the tires, which all too easy to do with an electric car. Additionally, the system provides power to the wheels that have traction in order to get the car out of soft and rough surfaces.

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The Model Y doesn’t seem to lose too much efficiency

In stock form, the Tesla Model Y is able to achieve up to an estimated 291 miles on a single charge and it seems like the modifications that Jenkins did don’t hinder its efficiency too much. According to his video, the Model Y was able to climb the 3,400-foot mountain and reach the top while only using 38% of the range. Granted he did start out at 90% and was at 52% when he reached the top, and thanks to the car’s regenerative braking, the Model Y only lost 3% went he went back down.

While Teslas are known for straight-line performance and extended all-electric driving range, Jenkins’ Model Y Overlanding project proves that they can be made to do so much more.