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Rich Rebuilds Will Make a Diesel Tesla With a Cummins 4BT Engine: the Model D

We have recently told you about a Finnish Tesla owner that exploded his car with 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of dynamite. This protest was due to receiving a €20,000 ($22,635 at the current exchange rate) bill for replacing the battery pack in his 2013 Model S. Rich Benoit found another way to call attention to this problem: creating a diesel Tesla, the Model D.
Rich Rebuilds' new project is a Model 3 with a Cummins 4BT engine, the Model D 7 photos
Rich Rebuilds' new project is a Model 3 with a Cummins 4BT engine, the Model DRich Rebuilds' new project is a Model 3 with a Cummins 4BT engine, the Model DRich Rebuilds' new project is a Model 3 with a Cummins 4BT engine, the Model DRich Rebuilds' new project is a Model 3 with a Cummins 4BT engine, the Model DRich Rebuilds' new project is a Model 3 with a Cummins 4BT engine, the Model DRich Rebuilds' new project is a Model 3 with a Cummins 4BT engine, the Model D
Although used EVs have a concerning situation related to deteriorated battery packs, the diesel Tesla cannot claim its only purpose is to recycle a car instead of selling it to the junkyard. That was the excuse Benoit and his team used to create ICE-T (internal combustion-engined Tesla), a road-legal machine, but it had a different story. The Model S body was sitting there and Benoit thought about what to do with it. In the Model D's case, the YouTuber bought a wrecked Model 3 mainly to make Tesla fans curl up in a fetal position and cry. Like the video introduction, we should say – don’t miss it.

According to the project Benoit and Steven Salowsky presented, you will not be able to drive it on public roads. The chosen Cummins 4BT sticks out of the imaginary frunk lid that would work as a hood, meaning they will just leave the car without it. In other words, it will not be as low-profile as the ICE-T in terms of appearance. You have to hear the V8 Tesla scream to realize it is a different machine. The Model D will shock people that just get to look at it.

Rich Rebuilds’ new project is ostensibly controversial. However, it would probably offend Tesla fans a lot more if the engine of choice was the EA-189, also known as the heart of Volkswagen’s Dieselgate. Benoit would probably buy one for cheap, but the electronics (and the cheating software) would make the conversion process more complicated.

The Cummins 4BT is a simple, analogic machine. Presented in 1983, it is a 3.9-liter four-cylinder mill that got two more valves per cylinder in 1998. That increased its power and torque from 105 hp (78 kW) and 265 pound-feet (359.3 Nm) to 170 hp (126.8 kW) and 420 lb-ft (569.4 Nm). Post-1998 units are known as 4BTA, and it would be our bet for the conversion process. Apart from being more potent, they also allow jokes with the amount of torque it offers.

More than the technical challenges, this new project deserves to be followed for warning that used EVs may end up getting a combustion engine. It is probably cheaper than getting a battery pack that would keep it running on electricity, and the warnings about that – offensive as the Model D or not – are increasing and getting as loud as a V8. EV makers should try to offer a solution as soon as possible.

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