Unplugged Performance have taken their Tesla Model 3 back to Tsukuba
It's going to make a lot of supercar enthusiasts very, very mad...
As you might recall, Unplugged Performance caused a lot of noise in the tuning world last month when its Tesla Model 3 Ascension R went out to Tsukuba circuit in Japan to do some laps and came very close to beating the McLaren F1's time. Wanting to give it another go, Unplugged Performance went back to Tsukuba recently and the results from this trip out were absolutely astonishing. The Model 3 Ascension R didn't just beat the McLaren F1's time, it absolutely obliterated it!
When the modified Tesla originally went round the circuit, it clocked in at a time of 1:04.7, making it a tenth of a second slower than the legendary McLaren. This time though it managed a time of 1:03.3, outstripping the F1 by 1.3 seconds! This is even more impressive considering that the car was run on street settings with factory tyres from a Porsche 911 GT3 RS and the driver who set the time wasn't even used to driving electric cars.
Whilst this is already very impressive and will no doubt make performance car traditionalists incredibly mad, Unplugged Performance reckon that the Ascension R could potentially lap the circuit at 1:02.5 without any further upgrades, 1:01.0 with semi-slick tyres and even under a minute with fully slick racing spec tyres. Tesla's upcoming Track Mode V2 update could help to shave even more time off that too, whilst Unplugged Performance are promising further aerodynamic and weight-saving upgrades over time.
More importantly though, Unplugged Performance's efforts are a clear indicator that, even as we enter the electric age, the old ethos of tuning companies isn't going to go away. We will still be able to modify our cars into crazy speed machines. It may not be tuning as we know it, but we can rest assured that tuning is far from dead.