That Viral V8-Swapped Tesla Model 3 Is Fake
Sorry if it tricked you, but this ICE-swapped Tesla isn’t real. The shop behind it says it was “just having fun.”
A Tesla Model 3 with a supercharged Coyote V8 under its hood sounds too weird to be true, right? Commenters on the original Instagram post, Facebook pages, and even a post by Whipple (whose supercharger can be seen under the hood) have voiced their conflicting opinions on the "build."
The photo of the car popped up June 30 in an Instagram post. In less than two weeks, it amassed nearly 60,000 likes and plenty of comments from supporters and naysayers. While some supported the build for its uniqueness, others used it as an opportunity to bash the electric automaker. Likewise, supporters of EVs hinged on the car being inefficient and slower than the Model 3. A surprisingly underwhelming amount of people stop to ask the important question: Is it real?
The answer is no, it's not real.
"We're just having fun," Justin from Late Model Racecraft told The Drive. Put down your pitchforks, people.
For starters, the entirety of the under-hood shot appears to have been plucked from a sixth-generation Ford Mustang with a Whipple supercharger. The strut towers are from the Mustang, as are the mounting locations of every accessory. The engine and strut towers are also positioned slightly off-center.
If you look closely, you can see that the radiator made its way into the composite as well. However, it would receive no airflow from the Tesla's closed-front bumper, meaning that the V8 would run incredibly hot in the cramped frunk space. Furthermore, a hose from the coolant tank can be seen protruding from a space where it would be kinked should the hood be closed.
The poster doubled down later on claiming that the build not only had a supercharged V8 under the hood, but it was also hybrid and all-wheel-drive. (Justin was right, they were having fun.) Given the layout of the engine, location of the battery pack, and limited space in all areas where drivetrain components would need to be mounted, it wouldn't be just difficult to make this happen—it'd need to be magic, too.
The interior looks to be largely unmodified in the sub-10-second clip shown with the engine "running." We'd expect to see some sort of modifications to the interior that would reinforce the idea that an engine was under the hood. Maybe a tachometer, gear selector, or fuel gauge, for starters? There is, however, a tablet mounted underneath the Tesla's infotainment screen with the Uber Driver app open on a tablet. Call me crazy, but I don't think anyone is bringing a wild build out to run rideshares.
Now, this isn't to say that an internal combustion-powered Tesla couldn't be built. In fact, it has been done before—and with a V8 too. However, this particular build is a bit too ambitious to believe and should be a lesson in believing everything you see on the internet. I mean, what's next? A deep-faked Elon Musk promoting a cryptocurrency scam?
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