Fans of the Throtl crew are probably familiar with how ambitious their projects can get. After all, they put a Hellcat in a Viper and made it look easy. But this one has been in the making for two years, a Nissan 350Z dubbed “Zesla” because of its unique Tesla swap.
All sports cars are defined by their engines, which provide not only performance but also character. In the case of the 350Z, you’re talking about a good, honest 3.5-liter V6 with a few issues here and there. But you know what can’t drink oil and destroy its bottom end? A Tesla motor.
Back in 2006, this old boy was making about 276 horsepower and 268 pound-feet, good for 60 in about 6 seconds. The Tesla motor was neatly swapped into the rear of the car and now makes 460 kW so about 600 horsepower. The torque is about 450 pound-feet, and while many 2022 SEMA cars are trailer queens, this has been raced on the Hoonigan channel, against an old Viper.
It’s pretty funny to look inside the wheel wells of a 20-year-old Nissan design and see brand-new Tesla suspension and brakes. So what about the batteries? Well, from what we gather this has 16 Tesla cells in total, 12 under the hood and a further four at the back. Can you imagine taking this to a Supercharger? I mean, you have to, but wow.
A unique 350Z-370Z kit
One thing that makes this really special is the body kit which is called the 350Z Liberty Walk Z33 and you can still buy it for under $6,000. From what we gather, only two such cars have ever been built, and this is the first one in the united states.
At the front, the pack completely changes to the look of the later 370Z model, borrowing its headlights and fenders, then pairing them with a new bumper, flares, and a custom hood. At the back, the fender flares add muscle, while the bumper is changed to the Nismo style.
Because the Tesla track is so wide and they’re running large wheels, the Throtl team had to modify this widebody to be even wider, by about 3 inches on either side. In the styling department, we have some clean Rotiform 5-spoke wheels and Ford Cactus Gray paint that they just brought out.
It’s possible that this is now the most complicated and expensive Nissan 350Z build on the planet. Just the amount of wiring is crazy, but you also have air suspension, a fully customized interior, and re-engineered shell to accommodate the Tesla components. We can’t state this enough: the build is 2 years in the making and it works 100%.