The cloud of smoke parted and the unassuming lines of a 1981 Honda Accord crept out, as if embarrassed. Flashbacks of childhood pop in. Memories of the reliable family Honda that took us to school and back, to church and the grocery store, to afternoon soccer practices and the occasional road trip. It was the family car.
As the rest of the car emerged from the haze, the record skipped and the family car was gone. It was replaced with a beast of a car, with tires jutting out of the sides at awkward angles. The suspension had kicked the entire car up at unnatural angles that made it hard to look at. It was as if a Hot Wheels car had been ripped in half and hastily glued onto a Monster Truck chassis. The new creation was difficult to look at until it did it again. The inner demon growled as the mass of metal and rubber shuddered. The tires lit up, sending up another cloud of smoke, and just like that, it was gone.
The beast of a car is known as the Teslonda and is the creation of Jim Belosic and his team of hot rodders. Teslonda is the result of the unlikely amalgamation of a 1981 Honda Accord and the powertrain from a Tesla. “It’s an electric car that I built to figure out what the future of hot-rodding is,” Jim told Motherboard.
Teslonda came into being when Jim started tearing down the 1981 Honda Accord, with plans to replace its tame internal combustion powertrain with an electric powertrain to help him to better understand what the future of hot rodding looked like when it was powered by an electric motor and batteries.
His quest led him to install the rear subframe from a Tesla Model S into the stripped down Honda, and that’s when the real fun started. Installing the motor and inverter from a 4,500 pound Tesla Model S into a Honda that ended up weighing half that, or around 2,200 pounds, translates into a car that can pull away from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 2.48 seconds. That’s breakneck speed and hits the mark at just a hair under the 2.5 second rating of the full-blown $132,000 Tesla Model S Performance with Ludicrous Mode activated.
If that’s not going full plaid, I don’t know what is. To make it even better, Jim isn’t even done tuning up the Teslonda. The 2.48 second 0–60 mph time was just the fastest time he chocked up before the track he was racing on kicked him out for driving faster than he was certified to drive.
Jim sees hot rodders as the real car hackers and the Teslonda truly represents a frankenbeast of a vehicle. In addition to its Honda shell and Tesla power, the juice that feeds the motor comes from an old Chevy Volt battery pack.
They went with Volt batteries because they allowed for a battery pack that had plenty of power output without having to go crazy finding places to store all of the tiny battery cells from a Tesla battery pack — not to mention the issue of weight. The Volt’s small but powerful battery allowed them to keep the weight down, which translates to faster track times and more driving fun.
Check out the great video from Motherboard below or check out the car’s Instagram account for the build.
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