By Matthew Gault, vice.com
Watch a formerly gas guzzling Audi S5 run whisper-quiet with a Tesla motor and battery.
You don’t have to own a Tesla to drive a Tesla—or, at least, a car that runs like one.
Elon Musk’s electric car company is notoriously grumpy about Tesla owners working on their own cars, but that hasn’t stopped enthusiastic mechanics from fixing up the vehicles and even lifting the electric motors out of Teslas and putting them in the chassis of other, formerly gas guzzling cars.
Rogue Tesla Mechanic Richard Benoit was at an event called Supercharged Sunday in Long Island on August 5 when he noticed an Audi S5 creep by without making a noise. The mechanics driving the car, Benoit discovered, had taken the engine and battery packs out of a Tesla S P85 and dropped them into the body of the Audi. The result is a car that runs like a supercharged Tesla, but looks like a normal ass car. Benoit spoke with the mechanic responsible for the car at length about the project and uploaded the whole thing to YouTube.
The Audi belongs to Samuel Polyak, a mechanic in Bergen County, New Jersey. “I’ve been converting cars for a couple years now,” he told me via Facebook. Polyak founded a company called PolyKup in 2014 with the intention of converting old gas guzzlers into electric vehicles.
“It’s about time we ALL went electric,” PolyKup’s website says. “At POLYKUP, we turn yesterday’s internal combustion engine powered vehicle into a car for tomorrow. All internal combustion engine components are removed and upgraded to electrical components of the customer’s choosing. With options offered for those within every budget.”
Polyak started converting his first car in 2013. He told Benoit that the Audi took him about six months to convert. His previous swap was a Mazda MX3 from the 90s. Since Benoit posted the video, he’s drowning in requests to get a quote to convert old cars. “I have more emails than I can read,” he said.