Tank Tracks Turn the Tesla Model 3 Into a Surprisingly Capable Off-Roader

Still, it’s probably not a great idea.

byChris Teague|
Electric Vehicles photo

Eyeballs equal income for YouTube personalities, so they have to go out of their way to create content that draws the largest number of viewers. Often, that process ends up producing some truly outrageous ideas, like wagon wheels on a diesel pickup. Because of their popularity, Teslas are a frequent target of view-hungry influencers, but that means anyone hoping to make a new Tesla video has to have a unique concept to break through the noise. Some, like this guy with tank tracks on his Model 3 sedan, succeed admirably.

The channel, lowlifeduramax, is run by a guy named Michael, who has amassed tens of thousands of followers on Instagram with posts on his Chevy Silverado, Nissan GT-R, and 2020 Toyota Supra. Name an irresponsible automotive stunt and there’s a good chance he’s done it, from rolling coal to massive burnouts. The Tesla is one of Michael’s more recent purchases, but seeing as others have already done everything from drag racing to converting Model 3s into trucks, he had to think of something else.

As you might have already guessed, tank tracks are not a factory option for the Model 3 sedan. This one’s a rear-wheel-drive Standard Range Plus model which, other than the tank tracks, appears to be completely stock. Michael leaned on Mullin Manufacturing to make custom adapters for the track set up, which ends up looking surprisingly legit.

The tracks go on fairly easily, requiring only a floor jack and some elbow grease. Things eventually start to fall apart, but not before the YouTuber makes several slow-speed runs across the snowy landscape. All in all, the Tesla's bootleg tank tracks perform fairly well, though at one point the track starts to slip and slide. Michael says that a quick adjustment to the belt would remedy the issue, but the exercise proves that some quick mods make the Model 3 a capable—if impractical—off-roader.

There's no telling what toll this extra rotating mass takes on the Tesla's electric motors. We'd assume it has some effect on systems like the speedometer and, if it were us, we wouldn't go anywhere near Autopilot with these snow tracks.

Now, let's see a big boy Model X get the all-terrain treatment.

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