Can a heavily modified Tesla Model Y survive in the Chinese desert? [Video]

It is a question that not many have asked, but the team at Bitauto decided it was time to try and answer it.

The project car company custom modified a Tesla Model Y long range AWD to be the ideal EV off-road car.

The test was to see if the vehicle could make for a good overland or off-road vehicle in the desert.

Improvements on the car included:

  • Improved and lifted the suspension three inches with custom upper and lower control arms, spindles, CV shafts, and adjustable coil-overs.
  • To give the CV shaft some extra protection, they lowered both the engines
  • Custom metal fender flares
  • 32-inch tires
  • Custom roll cage
  • Custom front bumper
  • Off-roading light bar

They first tested out the car 500 km outside of Beijing. The day of off-roading included river crossings, steep mountain climbs and even rock climbing. Then it was off to the desert.

The Model Y did well in the desert, but the EV did have some limitations. To make the crossing, the company installed a gasoline generator to give the car some extra range. Although the factory range of the Model Y is 594 km, with the mods, the car’s range ended up being around 200 km in the desert.

So, the Model Y finished the 500 km crossing with some minor issues, but the range was certainly the biggest hurdle.

If you plan to mod your Model Y for off-roading, the range loss is certainly something to consider.

You can check out the full video down below. (via Reddit)

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