Engine swaps are an integral part of automotive culture. For decades, gearheads have ripped out factory engines and replaced them with something superior, at least in their eyes. Perhaps the powertrain in the Tesla Model S will soon become the GM LS V-8 swap of the future for those who prefer electric propulsion because what we have here is pretty incredible.
It's none other than a first-generation Audi S5 with a Tesla Model S electric powertrain. The batteries, electric motor, and everything else are all packaged in the standard S5. Video from YouTuber Rick Rebuilds showed the S5-turned-electric-coupe at a dyno day on Long Island for electric cars. The S5 first piqued the YouTuber's interest when it rolled by without making a sound; a 4.2-liter V-8 should have been burbling away under the hood.
After flagging down the owner, the individual explained how the Tesla swap came to be, and it was really a "just because" situation. The owner said he'd built other electric cars in the past but decided to tackle the Audi and Tesla swap to test his abilities, along with a buddy who is an electrical engineering student. The duo are only known as Sam and Ervin, and we aren't sure which is which.
Popping the hood reveals the electric motor and associated gear, while all 16 Tesla battery modules reside in the car—13 in the trunk and three up front behind the grille. Those batteries aren't cooled yet, so this car shouldn't be taxed too hard until the owner can rig up the proper cooling system.
With the former V-8 engine, the S5 produced 345 horsepower, but the dyno shows the now-electric Audi-Tesla creation makes 359 hp at the wheels and nearly 450 pound-feet of torque. The owner added that all the Tesla functions work as intended, including the regenerative braking feature.
The car is still a work-in-progress with makeshift pieces inside for the gauge cluster and gear selector, but those will be fixed with 3D-printed parts in the near future, according to this pair of homegrown electric vehicle engineers.