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Heroic YouTubers Are Building a 479-HP Power Wheels Tank With EV Parts From eBay

What's more menacing than an agile miniature tank with a potato cannon?

As inspiring as a workshop like Singer’s may be to visit, there’s probably no shop out there that can beat Grind Hard Plumbing Co’s for sheer fun. The Indiana-based YouTubers have constructed a variety of ludicrously powerful kids’ vehicles, from a dirt bike-powered, tube-framed Disney Jeep to a miniature Chevy Camaro with an ATV engine and treads. Apparently, though, these weren’t self-endangering enough because for its newest build, Grind Hard is stuffing drivetrain components from full-size electrified vehicles into a Power Wheels tank.

Originally sold as the Thunder Tank, the miniature military vehicle is typically powered by a 24-volt drivetrain, which in some Power Wheels products draws juice from dual series-wired 12-volt, 7.2 amp-hour batteries. Being a kids’ toy, its maximum stock power output comes in at under one horsepower, propelling it no faster than five mph. By the time Grind Hard is done with the tank, though, it’ll be plenty capable of imperiling its operator.

Power Wheels Thunder Tank, YouTube | Grind Hard Plumbing Co

This tank will presumably come together like Grind Hard’s previous builds, over top of a custom frame to reinforce the vehicle and accommodate its powertrain. In this case, drive will come from a pair of first-gen Nissan Leaf motors, which will draw power from the battery of an unspecified Ford plug-in hybrid. Going by the pack’s shape, we believe it to be the unit from a C-Max or Fusion hybrid.

Based on their maximum outputs, they calculate their final product might generate up to 479 horsepower, or nearly a third the power output of the roughly 60-ton M1 Abrams main battle tank. Between the estimated drivetrain weight of 500 pounds, the tank’s 85, and some 180 pounds of driver, it’s possible the completed tank could end up with a power-to-weight ratio of around 1,250 horsepower per ton—nearing double that of the Bugatti Chiron.

Putting all that power down, of course, may be tough given Grind Hard’s plans to substitute the tank’s plastic wheels for snowmobile treads.

The tank build’s progress can be followed through Grind Hard’s YouTube channel, which will be the first place you can find out if they end up adding the potato cannon mentioned in the announcement video. Considering how extreme the rest of this project is, it wouldn’t be surprising if that cannon wound up firing APFSDS (armor-piercing, fin-stabilized discarding spud) rounds.

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