The Tesla Model 3 is an electric compact sedan with a clean, simple design that has nothing in common with the big, post-apocalyptic rigs seen in Mad Max movies, but why not do a conversion? That was the wild idea of a former Tesla engineer who teamed up with Rich Benoit from the Rich Rebuilds YouTube channel.
As you can see right away, they didn’t just lift the Model 3. The team went to great lengths to transform the car into a real off-road war machine.
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They started with a salvaged dual-motor unit that had a mere 27,000 kilometres on the odometer. The interior was still in mint condition, but the exterior and parts of the chassis needed a whole lot of love.
The transformation is the most striking when viewed from up front, with tubular bars replacing the bumper assembly, a custom hood with a black centre panel incorporating hex-shaped vents and new, ultra-powerful headlight units. Oh, and there’s a 12,000-pound winch, too.
Next, the front sway bar was removed to improve the vehicle’s approach angle. All-terrain tires and wheels also help in clearing obstacles.
With the project nearly completed, various tests were performed on an off-road course. In the video above, the hosts comment on their Model 3’s edge over combustion engines due to the instant torque delivery from the electric motors. An amphibious vehicle was brought over in case the car needed help, but the call never came.
Don’t expect Tesla to launch an off-road variant of the Model 3 anytime soon (especially with the Cybertruck coming up next year), but other manufacturers have started to use the power of electricity off the beaten paths. Jeep comes to mind with the Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid. Then you have the GMC Hummer EV and Rivian R1T. Ford, meanwhile, is planning a Bronco Hybrid and possibly a Bronco EV, as well.