Founded in 2003, Tesla set out…“to prove that people didn’t need to compromise to drive electric – that electric vehicles can be better, quicker and more fun to drive than gasoline cars. Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
From the outset, Tesla decided to focus on two essential sustainability priorities: First, the transition to an economy based on carbon neutrality, or one that produces a net-zero carbon footprint. Second, the urgent requirement for a new viable business model for the transportation industry driven by zero emissions.
To reach those goals, Elon Musk and his team at Tesla developed their zero-carbon solution by created vehicles that not only are fully battery electric vehicles (BEV), but are appealing to the general public. They chose to build cars that are both practical and sporty at the same time: cars that display a sophisticated elegance reflective of high-end, cutting-edge technology.
However, a few individuals and aftermarket companies feel that the Tesla design can be improved by modifying the original. Some have been more successful than others.
Here are twenty modded Teslas Elon Musk would not approve.
20 Custom Animated Tesla with Electroluminescent Paint
Media projection company Obscura Digital modified a Tesla Model S into an “undercover mobile eco-projection” vehicle. It features Darkside Scientific’s electroluminescent paint job that lets drivers custom-animate Tesla's exterior. The Tesla can be returned to its original exterior paint color scheme by simply turning off the electric current.
Elon Musk, no doubt would not approve of his elegant Model S converted into an animation sideshow.
19 Brabus' Tesla Aerodynamics and Handling
Although the results are spectacular, Elon Musk might be offended by a company that focused on changing Tesla’s aerodynamic properties.
Famous for its work on Mercedes-Benz's AMG performance models, Brabus left the Tesla performance alone, and concentrated on the aesthetics and functionality of the popular Model S. The company designed a kit that modifies the car's front spoiler area, rocker panels, and rear diffuser resulting in both cosmetic and aerodynamic advantages.
18 Climate Change Awareness Wrap
Mark Hanson designed this striped wrap on a Tesla Model 3 to promote climate change awareness. Each stripe represents the average global temperature in a single year, ordered from the earliest year with available data to the present.
However, no one observing this vehicle could possibly understand what it means. The only awareness this wrap can promote is dizziness and a headache from staring at the bizarre color scheme.
17 The Strut Collection Upgrade for Only $14,250
For those potential Tesla buyers who think the front end looks odd without a grill (none is needed on an electric car), the answer is the Strut collection.
The upgrade for the Model S includes a carbon-fiber grille to make the car look like a traditional internal-combustion-engine-powered vehicle. The other parts of the kit are a new side trim, a rear spoiler, and Icon T wheels. All of these mods can be purchased for a mere $14,250.
16 Tesla Model S Pink Batmobile
One year for April Fool’s day, the staff at Google played a prank on co-founder Sergey Brin, turning his Tesla Model S into a pink Batmobile.
Perhaps if the Tesla conversion had been black (as are all the Batmobiles used in the films) instead of pink, Brin might have decided to keep the changes. Who wants to drive around in a pink Batmobile?
15 Tiger Themed Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S is an elegant and stylish electric vehicle that matches performance with some of the most expensive supercars on the market today.
Some owners believe that the appearance of the $80,000 plus vehicle is not unique enough to distinguish it from the average high-performance car. The owner of this Tesla made modifications to his Model S, making sure it would never be confused with another, nor get lost in a crowded parking lot!
14 2016 Tiffany Blue Tesla Model X P90D for $188,000
Although car color is subjective; an individual choice that often reflects the owner’s tastes, some colors just don’t seem to work well with some models. This Tesla is an example.
While the pricing for a limited-edition Signature version of the Tesla Model X varies between US$132,000 and US$144,000, this model cost $188,000 (as listed on eBay).
The only apparent difference is this “One of A Kind Project TiffanyX” by Tsportline has a Tiffany Blue paint job.
13 Unplugged Performance Tesla Model S Body Kit
The Tesla Model S is an exceptional vehicle with elegant lines and its own unique style. Even though auto critics and experts praise its design, several tuners and aftermarket kit manufacturers now offer their own body treatments. Some of these do little to improve its appearance. However, Unplugged Performance is one tuner that has developed an elegant, high-quality kit that actually enhances the contours of the already sleek Model S.
12 Will.i.am Hacked Tesla
Little is known about the interior of this Black Eyed Peas’ Will.i.am hacked Tesla but what is clear by merely looking at it is its gigantic size. It has a huge widebody kit, suicide doors, an enormous fake air intake, and the car sits extra low with oversized wheels.
The modified Tesla is an example of what can go wrong with form over function. While it might look cool, the new body does nothing to improve performance.
11 Unplugged Performance Tesla Model X Mods
Californian tuner Unplugged Performance offers several upgrades to the Tesla Model X to improve performance. These include a carbon-ceramic brake package and stiffer suspension. The Brembo brakes use 6-piston calipers instead of the standard 4-piston set to reduce unsprung weight. The company also offers various interior trim options, including leather and carbon fiber.
However, the upgraded exterior with more aggressive front bumpers and a trunk lid spoiler do little to improve the elegant Model X lines.
10 Tesla-Powered Classic Porsche 911
Porsche will enter the all-electric vehicle marketplace with the introduction of the 2020 Taycan in 2020. However, a tuner has already built a Porsche EV based on the 1977 911 Coupe.
Martin Bigg Tuning replaced the car's legendary flat-six engine with a Tesla electric motor that generates 700 hp. The Porsche/Tesla is a unique blend of classic styling and contemporary tech, however not the body style Elon Musk envisioned for his Tesla vehicles.
9 Tesla Model S Station Wagon
In May 2018 Qwest Norfolk released their Tesla Model S station wagon conversion, or perhaps more accurately described as a shooting brake.
Contrary to the trend in family-styled vehicles which has seen the decline in recent years of mini-vans and station wagons and the rise in popularity of SUVs, the Qwest conversion stands out. Perhaps the company is betting on a fad reversal, and if so, they are positioned to meet the demand.
8 “Truckla” Tesla Pickup Truck Conversion
Swedish inventor, robotics enthusiast, professional YouTuber, and TV host, Simone Giertz couldn’t wait for Elon Musk to produce a Tesla pickup, so she built one herself.
She selected a Model 3 for the project because the frame was easier to work with than a Model X or Model S. The result is a coupe utility vehicle built in the spirit of classic muscle cars such as the Ford Ranchero and the Chevrolet El Camino.
7 1949 Mercury EV with Tesla Battery Pack
Although the 1949 Mercury is a classic antique vehicle, it isn’t the type of auto most car enthusiasts would associate with EV technology or Tesla engineering; nor would Elon Musk. However, at SEMA 2018, an LA-based auto-restoration company arrived with this rusted Mercury that employs an 85 kilowatt-hour Tesla battery pack.
To maintain an optimal weight balance, the batteries are distributed throughout the vehicle, and the controller is hidden in an aluminum enclosure under the hood.
6 A Classic 427 Shelby Cobra/Tesla
A group of friends based in Vancouver, British Columbia built this classic Shelby Cobra replica powered by a Kia Soul EV battery pack and Tesla electric motor.
The Kia Soul EV battery pack was selected for its light weight, less than 400 lb. It powers a motor from the Tesla Model S P85, that generates 310 kW (421 hp).
5 1981 Custom Teslonda Accord
The last car body Elon Musk envisioned for his Tesla models may have been a 1981 Honda Accord. However, hot-rodder Jim Belosic thought otherwise and created this “Teslonda” using the powertrain of a Tesla Model S P85. A Chevy Volt battery pack supplies the power, giving the vehicle an acceleration of zero to 60 miles per hour in about 2.7 seconds.
4 TesFalia Vanagon
Most modifications to Tesla automobiles are minor: tweaks to the body or a change in color. However, a few remodelers take things to the extreme, like Otmar Ebenhoech, a Westfalia nut and EV enthusiast. His “Teslification” is the combination of two VW Westfalia Vanagons producing a single stretched camping limo.
Few people would suspect this aberration has a Tesla powertrain underneath.
3 Gold Chrome Wrapped Tesla Model S
Unltd Media in Montreal wrapped this Tesla Model S using a unique process to create a special effect.
Brad Garvin (Unltd Media) describes it: “This is the first gold chrome with 3m clear that has been laminated to the material and not applied after. Also, we had all the moldings wrapped gloss black, so no chrome shows on the car and had the wheels and calipers painted gloss black with gold chrome Tesla lettering on the calipers.”
2 Glow in the Dark Customized Tesla Model S
No doubt Elon Musk and his engineers designed the elegant Tesla models with their smooth curves and sleek lines to attract onlookers. However, drawing attention to one of the cars by applying stripes of reflective tape that glow in the dark, was probably not what he had in mind.
Italian Nicola Franceschi thinks otherwise. When he takes his sci-fi-looking Tesla out at night, he wants everyone to know he has arrived.
1 Tesla Model S Hearse
While the creation of a hearse from a Tesla Model S is a macabre customization, the workmanship has to be admired. Norwegian engineer Jan Erik Naley converted the Tesla complete with an extended rear cabin, a separation wall, and manually retractable floor for a coffin.
According to a Norwegian auto website, Naley built four electric vehicle hearses and sold the first three. For interested buyers, this one is for sale at just over $200,000.
Source: tesla.com, motor1, carbuzz, vimeo.com, teslrati.com, jalopnik