Turbo Tesla? NZ mechanic rotary-swaps Model S and goes viral (again)
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If Reuben Bemrose isn't already a household name around your parts, it probably should be, as he is the Wellingtonian that recently gained international fame for dropping a rotary into a Ferrari 456.
While the cease and desist letter may not have been real, the hype behind the build certainly was, and Mr. Bemrose has turned his attention to rotary-swapping another chassis, one that's even more controversial.
Now Reuben has got his hands a Tesla Model S P100D, that had suffered frontal damage in an accident, so was the perfect candidate for an engine swap, and had more than enough room for the 13B turbo.
In most cases, engine swaps are undertaken with the goal of creating something faster in mind, but that's not the case here, it's pretty obvious that these swaps are done because Mr. Bemrose can do it.
In stock form, a Model S P100D is powered by two electric motors, one mounted on each axle, allowing the luxury sedan to hit 100km/h in around 2.8 seconds, which is supercar fast.
We're guessing that the all-wheel drive system is being ditched in this build, in favour of a more rotary-orientated rear-wheel drive system, so despite the large turbo strapped to the side of the 13B, we aren't expecting to see the rotary P100D outperform a standard one.
One aspect that this turbo Tesla has going for it is weight. Once the electric motors and floor-mounted batteries are ditched, the sedan will be significantly lighter, but light enough to beat the electric version? We're skeptical.
Thanks to the power of the internet, it's only a matter of time before Tesla CEO Elon Musk notices this build, and unlike Ferrari was with the 456, we can imagine he'd be a fan of the ingenuity.