Tesla Model S Fitted With Chevrolet LS3 V8 Engine


Behold…the first (?) Chevrolet LS3 V8 swap ever performed on a Tesla Model S?

Tesla tuner Unplugged Performance alerted us to the image seen above.  Unplugged stated:

“We are working hard every day to further the potential of the Tesla Model S. What we are NOT working on is a Chevy LS3 swap into a Tesla. NEVER. However, someone else apparently is. Thoughts?”

“This photo we found on East Bay Muscle Cars‘ Facebook page had us excited, shocked, and confused, all in one fell swoop.”

“Being an all-electric car, the Tesla Model S was never outfitted for an internal combustion engine, especially a 480 horsepower LS3. But why an LS3 and not another more powerful LS engine, to be in closer reach of the Tesla Model S P85D’s performance?”

The story doesn’t end there…

“The guys over at East Bay Muscle Cars haven’t given out much info about the build, and that’s because it was a joke all along.”

“EBMC was actually recruited by Draper University in San Mateo, California, to take a Tesla Model S shell and turn it into a reception desk. It came out awesome, nonetheless, but during the early stages of the build, the guys at the shop couldn’t help themselves and dropped an LS3 into the “frunk” of the Model S shell.”

Here’s a look at the completed desk.

Unplugged adds:

“We’re not going to lie; once we found out the photo was a joke, we were a little disappointed. From the angle of the photo, it looks like the engine fits really well, but we can’t actually tell how far back the engine is really sitting.”

Lastly, it seems the fellas over at Unplugged perhaps put some thought (even if only jokingly) into actually fitting a V8 gas engine into the Model S.  Here’s some info on what that would entail:

“And for the team over at EBMC to turn the Model S into an LS-powered masterpiece would be a lot of work. There would have to be a lot of cutting, hacking, and fabricating to get the engine and all of the auxiliary systems to fit in the car. The floorpan (basically the battery compartment) would have to be nixed in favor of a new floor with a driveshaft tunnel, and a firewall would have to be fabricated as well. There would have to be one-off subframes made to accommodate suspension components, a rearend, and much more.”

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39 Comments on "Tesla Model S Fitted With Chevrolet LS3 V8 Engine"

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Let me check the calendar. Is it perhaps April 1?

No, just a few days late for Halloween. This picture is awfull to look at. A thing that should not be… a Tesla-Thulhu…

Just let me say this, just this one time. *Ahem….

F**k. No.


That’s F**KNO.


Too funny. Made my morning..

Even as a joke– it is an ABOMINATION.

I would say it’s a sacrilege. period!


It is simply a huge step backwards.

If true, and done well, it would be interesting to see how it performs. Can it pull off 0-60 in 3.1 seconds? If they geared it right, it could be close. Then even franken-Tesla would be better than anything coming from others.

It would be extremely light for its size (only advantage I can think of). I think the way to go, would be to get an transverse mounted LS (from a Grand Prix GXP) and put it in the back and seal it off.

All in all it would be a tremendous waste of time and money. I don’t think you’d get close to the P90D performance and it would cost a ton. You’d basically have to have an irrational hatred of EVs to waste your money on such a car.

It is ridiculous as anything practical. But as a hobby project, why not? If it works well, it would showcase Tesla is a formidable car company even if they chose to use gas engines. With electric drive train, it’s all the better.

I don’t think the weight would really change that much in the end. By the time you add in a front and rear sub-frame, add all the parts to put in an ICE drivetrain, add the ICE drivetrain itself, and then all the ancillaries to make it work you might loose a few hundred pounds.

I use to know a company that put small block Chevy engines in Jaguars. The Jaguar swap made sense at a certain level. This Tesla motor swap makes no sense other than to prove it can be done.

If it performs well, also to showcase that Tesla is more than just an electric drive train, but a better car at any level.

Behold: proof that prolific Inside EVs commentors do not actually read the articles.

I don’t recall seeing the “joke” part of this in earlier reading. Was it changed or did I skip over it? Based on previous comments, it seems lots of people missed it or wasn’t there earlier.

Not that it matters overall, stuff happens/gets missed sometimes…but since you asked the story has not been changed or updated in any way.

Jay said:

“Behold: proof that prolific Inside EVs commentors do not actually read the articles.”

Yup. The Slashdot meme “RTFA”* is something which should be applied to all threads commenting on articles, not just on Slashdot.

For the record, I myself am not free from the sin of occasionally posting after merely skimming an article, without reading it carefully.

*Read The F’ing Article

This is a family friendly site. You should use the alternate “read the fine article”.

I looks sort of frunky.

To one up these guys I guess someone will have to convert a Model S to a stagecoach and hitch it to a team of horses.


Finally! Someone is looking at a range extender for the Model S.

Sabotage in the truest form…..Tesla Should Have contract in place with every sale , To prevent this from ever happening again ……….

It is a nice way to turn a Tesla into an old fashion slower car.

The upside? This weeks car b que is back on the menu boys.

Behold a tesla Rex! This is just a luxury volt

It’s a nice joke.
I was initially sure it was a photochop, so all the more credit that they actually did the effort of dropping the engine block in the Tesla body.

Incidentally, where would they get a donor Tesla body? I don’t think Tesla sells ’em, and It sounds pretty expensive to use a running Tesla just for that…

wavelet asked:

“Incidentally, where would they get a donor Tesla body?”

Quoting the linked, older InsideEVs article:

“Tesla donated a bare Model S shell to East Bay Muscle Cars. The team then went to work converting it to a useable desk.”

Given that the desk uses only the front end and the left side of the Model S body, you could do the same with a wrecked Model S body which had damage only to the right and/or right rear areas.

I would love to put a Tesla shell on my LEAF. The better aerodynamics would likely improve highway range!

Reminds me of those horrible parasites which take over the host animal to reproduce their species.

Remember the chest-burster in “Alien”?

Still better than fuel cells.



this isn’t even current news… this made the rounds initially over a year ago

“A fool and his money…” MW

Haha, nice one! They had me there for a second 😛

I’d still recommend getting an electric one, especially while their referral program lasts, which gets you $1,000 off (till Dec. 31). Here’s the referral link: