Electric cars have had their ups and downs. While several attempts at bringing electric vehicles to mass market have been made leading up to now, none has made as great an impact, and helped solidify the idea of an electric car as a viable option, more than Tesla.
Founded in 2003, Tesla Motors would start out small but take the world by storm. In 2004, with investments from Elon Musk, Tesla began working on their first electric car, the Tesla Roadster. When released to the public in 2008, the Roadster had its issues but secured Tesla’s position as a leading maker of EVs.
It was in 2012, with Musk now the CEO, and the Model S ready to be sold to the world, that Tesla became the powerhouse it is today. After seeling insane numbers of Model S sedans, Tesla became respected as a genuine option for a high-end car that could be daily driven yet powered only by batteries.
With the Model X and Model 3 joining the Model S, Tesla is as popular as ever, with the average person now knowing full well what a Tesla is. But that has also opened the door for Tesla’s to be modified, leading to some cool, and some horrible results. Read on to see some of the worst results of people modifying their Tesla:
15 Will.I.Am’s Custom Model S
Will.I.Am has well established himself as a connoisseur of the finest custom vehicles, and by “finest” I mean horrendously ugly. While his custom DeLorean was pretty damn bad, he seems to have one-upped himself on how ridiculous a car can look with this Model S. Claiming that he built “something nobody has, [and] that’s the new luxury,” it seems he forgot that personal taste is only personal.
14 Will.I.Am’s Custom Roadster
Another car from Will.I.Am’s garage that looks like a prop for some generic sci-fi movie set 50 years in the future, this first-generation Tesla Roadster is respectable for at least going all out with the re-design. But it still is pretty damn ugly. Maybe if the rear end wasn’t so much higher than the rest of the body, the proportions might have made sense. But they don’t, at least this is a properly executed custom job though.
13 “Teslamino” Model S
Can’t wait for the Cybertruck? Just draw some inspiration from the good ol’ days of American muscle, and make your own Tesla El-Camino. While the concept of taking an American sedan, and chopping the back to make a truck bed, is nothing new, it’s certainly interesting to see it on a Tesla. Although it’s not the most practical truck bed, and with contenders like Rivian poised to make actual electric trucks, it’s hard to justify doing this.
12 “Truckla” Model 3
Another take on the Tesla El-Camino concept, this one happened to have been made by the Queen of ridiculous robots, Simone Giertz. Doing what she does best on a Tesla yielded this as a result, the “Truckla.” While, like the “Teslamino,” it’s not the most practical vehicle, I doubt she has any regrets, as her video on it went viral and gave her plenty of exposure.
11 Holographic Chrome Model 3
For anyone who grew up in the 1990s, you may have fond memories of opening packs of trading cards, and getting excited when you saw a glimpse of a rare card with holographic foil. Well, this Model 3 owner clearly has plenty of nostalgia for that feeling, as they covered their entire car with the stuff. Looks good on a small piece of artwork, not so much on a full-size car.
10 Decoupage Model X
The “What” next to the front fog light sums up my feelings on this one quite well. Ugly vinyl wraps are rather common today, but this takes the cake as one of the strangest. You don’t need to be a graphic designer to realize how visually unappealing this is. It almost looks like stickerbombing, but with less color coordination, and even more ugliness.
9 Alligator Skin Model S
At least the modifications on this list have so far been properly executed, even if done in bad taste. This, on the other hand, has neither taste nor execution on its side. There’s just too much ugly going on in one place. Count for yourself the different material patterns here. I found 7, and none of them work well with each other.
8 Sergey Brin’s Model S Prank
At least with this one, we have some confirmation that the owner realized how bad it was, and didn’t do it intentionally. Belonging to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, this abomination is thought to have been the result of an April Fools prank by Google employees. It must have been pretty funny to see your boss roll up to work in a hot pink knock-off Batmobile, although fairly damaging to the eyes.
7 Rag Top Model S
What do you do when you love your Model S but miss having a convertible? Combine them into one vehicle! Unfortunately, the Model S was not designed to be a convertible and doesn’t exactly look good as one. Particularly bad is the support pillar across the center of the interior, it reminds me too much of a PT Cruiser convertible to ever consider it good looking.
6 Hearse Model S
Hearses are not meant to be pretty cars; they’re meant to carry you off on your last ride with respect. But this Model S just looks wrong as one, and while it’s not the worst idea, it just seems strange that a car designed to be trendy, modern, and eco-conscious would be filling such a role. At least the ride will be quiet.
5 Model S With Quad Exhaust Pipes
While some of these modifications make at least some sense when talking about personal taste or interesting ideas, this, on the other hand, is completely unjustifiable. I don’t even need to say that electric cars produce no exhaust, it’s common sense. Unfortunately, not everyone got that memo. It makes even less sense when you consider that most people on the street know that Teslas are electric, who are they trying to fool?
4 A Confusing Model 3
Look, I get it, decals are an affordable and easy way to personalize your car, to give you a sense of uniqueness and truly personal ownership of a vehicle. But before you go ahead and cover your car with random vinyl you think looks cool, please, consider some basic design principles so it doesn’t end up looking like this. In what world a monster mouth goes with some ’90s beach graphics, I’m not sure, but definitely not the one we live in.
3 “Educational” Model S
Designed after the Tiger main character of a Japanese educational TV show for pre-school children, this Model S was intended to get Japanese children excited about electric cars. While that makes sense, it’s odd that they chose a Tesla, rather than one of the several Japanese-made electric cars. While it is cute, it also looks like something that would chase you down in a surreal horror movie.
2 Hypebeast Model S
In case you don’t understand what “Supreme” is, know that they’ve sold literal bricks with their name on them, and those bricks are sold second hand for nearly $1000 because they’re “limited edition” and “it says Supreme on it.” So, when adding that single word adds so much value, why not do it to your car? Well, no one is falling for it, printing your own decals isn’t hard.
1 “Lightning McQueen” Model S
If you are going to print your own decals, at least have some fun with it. While definitely ugly, this tribute to the animated race car Lightning McQueen is pretty cool. And though it may just seem weird to adults, I’m sure this guy’s kids love it, and that makes it pretty cool in itself. Although I imagine a few years down the road he’ll want to remove the graphics, at least it’s easy with vinyl.
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