Rich Rebuilds from Massachusetts transformed a salvaged Tesla Model S into a gas-powered car using a V8 Chevrolet engine, dubbed the ICE-T, reducing its weight by 1300 lbs. While maintaining many original electrical features of the Tesla, including its massive dashboard screen and even a version of Autopilot, the car has been upgraded with powerful engine components, cooling systems, and offers a unique blend of electric car aesthetics with the roar of an internal combustion engine.
You might have come across instances where people converted their internal combustion vehicles to battery-powered vehicles. But, it is rare to find an electric car getting a new life via an internal combustion engine. What is even rare is converting a Tesla Model S into a gas-guzzling beast, courtesy of a V8 Chevy engine. Called the ICE-T, this visually appealing Tesla looks pretty badass!
Rich Rebuilds from Massachusetts has built the world’s first V8 Tesla from a Salvage flooded car. The team took everything apart after rescuing the car and began their project of adding a V8 engine to it. Since they’ve been working with battery pack swaps, engine swaps, and everything else you could, and couldn’t imagine, they even managed to keep the Tesla’s electricals intact. Commenting on it, Rich said:
“Tesla wouldn’t sell me parts to fix it. Chevy did.”
The huge screen on the dash works as expected. The electrics work as expected. Even the beta version of the Autopilot seems to be working well. ICE-T is the perfect example of how a battery-operated car can be brought back to life with internal combustion. Another advantage of the conversion is the weight loss.
Yes, you read that right. The ICE-T weighs around 1300 lbs less than what it used to be as a Tesla. Currently, at 3500 lbs with one person in it, it weighs as much as a Corvette C7 Z06. As per Rich, the ICE-T was built a few years ago and includes the following upgrades:
- 415 stroker
- Stage 3 blower cam
- 4:10 gears
- 2.6 Magnuson supercharger
- Sequential shifter
- 4-inch oval NASCAR style dual side exit exhaust
Before it received a supercharger upgrade, the car used to make 444 HP. Though the latest figures aren’t public, we’re expecting them to be way more. The engine is a Chevrolet Camaro-sourced LS3 V8 that fits perfectly in the ICE-T’s frunk. The power is sent to the rear wheels through a sequentially shifted manual gearbox which received a new custom gear tunnel and fits the length of the car.
All that power meant it needed some serious cooling. Rich and his team smartly installed two high-powered fans and a multi-core racing radiator. There are also cooling ducts that point to the radiator and holes in the front bumper that aren’t visible.
The team has done its best to retain the original look of a Tesla Model S, minus the absence of a hood. But I’m sure they’re doing something about that. In addition to all the oomph would be the laughs from looking at people’s reactions after revving that big engine. What’s even better? Pulling up at a gas station to fuel that thirsty engine in a V8 Tesla.