Car video reviews:
Tesla Model 3 by Unplugged Performance - Faster Than a McLaren F1 Around Tsukuba
A team of meddling kids at Unplugged Performance have taken the Tesla Model 3 to a whole new level. It's now able to beat track times of Porsche and McLaren.

Tesla Model 3 by Unplugged Performance - Faster Than a McLaren F1 Around Tsukuba

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So there’s these guys, right? Their name is Unplugged Performance, and their favorite game is based on the Tesla Model 3. Now, anytime you see a company with the word performance in their title, and they’re still on the market, you know they mean business.

And that is most certainly the case here as well. Unplugged Performance specializes in the upgrading of Tesla models. One of their prized possessions is an Ascension-R Conversion Program for the Tesla Model 3.

I honestly feel it’s about time that groups like Unplugged started popping up. They are really pushing the limits on the Model 3. And one of those limits broke a McLaren F1 and Porsche 911 GT3 RS lap time, at the famed Tsukuba Circuit, by over one second each.

The standard Tesla Model 3 has some decent performance for a 4-door vehicle. A 0-60 mph (97 kph) time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 162 mph (260kph) obliterates any other vehicles in its price range. A range of 299 miles (481km) per charge can be extended on a larger battery, but for an extra 9,000 bucks. However, this also boosts the 0-60 time and the top speed.

Now that we have an idea what the base Tesla Model 3 is like, let's see what it can do with the kit from Unplugged Performance. First off, I'd add that the entire set-up costs almost as much as a new Tesla Model 3, namely $35,000 dollars, but for the money you get a completely redesigned vehicle.

The first component to be modified is the suspension. A custom race valved coil-over suspension kit brings adjustable control, camber and toe arms. You'll also find 3-way adjustable front and rear sway bar. The ride can be tuned from soft to firm and coupled with 6 piston 15.5” carbon ceramic brakes gives you all the control parameters you might want.

The wheels too are tampered with. The customer has a choice of 18”, 19”, or 20” wheels with Michelin cup 2 tires. The wheels are worked out of 6061-T6 billet APP forgings, the same stuff used by Koenigsegg and Lambo. Total weight, you ready? 19.6 lbs (8.9 kg) per wheel for the 20” model. That’s less the weight than my Brompton bicycle, and these lightweight yet durable wheels are exposed to much more punishment.

The other major component you’ll see is the aero on the back. The team works together with Voltex Racing Suzuka to produce each Ascension-R wing by hand. This offers a unique build for each owner but also allows for modifications to design to be made before the process begins.

A major focus of this kit is on the interior. Due to higher cornering and maneuvering capabilities, the original seats inside the Model 3 had to go, they just weren't capable and safe enough to be kept. In their place you’ll find proper racing buckets equipped with Unplugged FIA certified racing harnesses. To make the seats a bit more to Musk’s tastes, the team created a plaid design for the coverings to pay tribute to the upcoming Tesla three-motor drivetrain.

Now, we haven’t found any info that would lead us to believe the EV engine may have been tampered with, but I don’t think that could ever be the case.

In case you have a Tesla 3 and another $35,000 dollars to spend, then all you need is around 8 weeks of patience to have your own electric speed-demon.


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