V8-Powered Tesla Takes Gas on the Side of the Road on Its Way to First Dyno Session


When someone says they’re going to build a V8-powered Tesla Model S, the only thing you can do is sit and watch, rubbing your hands in excitement at the thought of the number of people who are going to lose their minds once this vehicle gets out into the world. Well, thanks to Rich Benoit and the entire team behind him who took it to last year’s SEMA show, the ICE-T has already gained a lot of attention from both gas-powered cars enthusiasts and Tesla fans. As you can imagine, one of the two camps is slightly more excited about the project than the other but, what can you do? Set out to make everyone happy, and you’ll only waste your life away trying. Just in case this is the first time you come across this magnificent project, here’s a quick recap: the ICE-T used to be a Tesla Model S P85D, though some parts came from at least one more donor. After a lot of planning and even more cutting and welding, the once-electric vehicle received an LS3 V8 engine sourced from a Chevrolet Camaro SS – that’s 6.2-liters of naturally-aspirated, gas-guzzling greatness. The best thing about this conversion is that it’s been done with the greatest attention to detail. The ICE-T doesn’t look like something done in a hurry just to get it out on the track and have some laughs. No, it looks as though it came from an alternate dimension where Elon Musk’s company had to give in and build V8-powered cars to survive or something. Well, despite the fully-functional dashboard, it looks as though they might have forgotten to install a fuel level indicator. On its way to the dyno, the ICE-T was forced to stop on the side of the road and wait for the Model 3 assistance vehicle to drop by the gas station and return with a full canister. At the same time, it’s even more likely that they did it intentionally for comedic purposes but, either way, if you happened to drive by and saw a guy pouring gasoline in his Tesla Model S, know that neither of the two explanations you first thought of (either the guy was planning to set it on fire or you had lost your mind) was true. The very reason for ICE-T’s existence is to cause some upset on the drag strip, so the LS3 engine will surely not spend a lot more time without a blower attached to it. However, with this stage of the build completed, the team wanted to know where they stood in terms of power, and the only way they could do it was on a dyno stand. The predictions made by Rich Benoit turned out to be pretty accurate. He expected the rig to produce “300 and change” hp on its first pull and, after the tuning experts had worked their magic, go up to just over 400 hp. Well, with the car securely strapped in, things seemed to go pretty much as planned with the first run yielding a promising 333 hp result. The figures went up by roughly ten hp with each of the following pulls, but something didn’t feel right. A closer inspection revealed one of the plugs and its corresponding wire were damaged, so the team had to return the following day with everything sorted out. The 400+ hp estimated by Rich turned out to be slightly conservative as ICE-T manages to go as high as 444 hp. That sounds like a great figure to build upon, especially when you consider the former EV now weighs 3,732 lbs (1,692 kg) with the driver inside. That means its weight probably sits around the 3,600 lbs mark (just over 1.6 tons), leaving plenty of room for whatever the team has in stock for this project.