East Coast Mechanic Builds Electrified Audi With Tesla Powertrain (Video)

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An Audi-loving mechanic on the East Coast of the US gutted an Audi S5 and swapped out all of the internal combustion bits for a fully electric drivetrain from a Tesla. The install involved cutting the motor and inverter apart and cramming all 16 Tesla battery modules into the car — 13 of those modules ended up in the rear, with the remaining 3 installed up near the front of the car.

Sam shared that he bought a wrecked Tesla, took it apart, and got to work integrating all the fun bits into his Audi. To integrate everything as seamlessly as possible, he had to cut apart the inverter and motor, which allowed him to play with the gear ratio and, as a special bonus, enabled him to keep Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system.

The custom gear drive has a 10.5:1 gear ratio that’s slightly more aggressive than Tesla’s stock 9.75:1 ratio. That allowed him to keep the Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive. Range isn’t terribly impacted by the change, as the electrified Audi is still able to achieve around 250 miles of range per charge.

The electrified Audi impressively retains its stock rear suspension, even with the 13 battery modules sitting directly on the rear axle.

Hilariously, Sam left the stock badging on the car, including the V8 badge, which sends a different message than the missing tailpipes. About the complexity of the rebuild, he shared that, “it’s really not that complicated,” though evidence of the massive amount of work that was required to get the car to the state it’s in today speaks to the contrary.

Supercharging clearly isn’t retained with this mod. Sam went with a standard J1772 adapter to take the place of the gasoline-filling port. The Audi S5 runs — and runs well — but the wires running all over the place and the laptop living in the front seat make it clear that this car is still very much in progress. Sam shared that he is still in the throes of the project and has plans to set up Instagram and YouTube accounts when he gets it finished.

Funny enough, the video captures Rich Rebuilds interviewing Sam. For those that aren’t in the know, Rich Rebuilds famously bought two tanked Tesla Model S vehicles, tore them down, and created a single franken-Tesla out of them for right around $6,500, selling off spare parts along the way.

Note that there is some “adult language” in this video — some of the folks in the video use colorful language to express their excitement about the rebuild.

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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

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