Unplugged Performance Tesla Model 3 Is As Fast As McLaren F1 On Tsukuba Circuit

A Tesla Model 3 built by Unplugged Performance has completed an incredibly similar lap around Tsukuba Circuit comparable to the legendary McLaren F1 supercar. We have covered multiple Unplugged Performance cars, with them being the go-to tuning company for Tesla models.

Last year, the tuning company revealed a Model 3 upgrade package called the Tesla Model 3 Ascension R. It had a long list of modifications which can be found below:

  • Unplugged Performance Ascension Front Bumper
  • Unplugged Performance Ascension Carbon Side Skirts
  • Unplugged Performance Ascension Carbon Rear Bumper
  • Unplugged Performance Ascension Carbon Rear Diffuser Fins
  • Unplugged Performance by Voltex Carbon GT Wing
  • Unplugged Performance UP-04 Superlight Forged 20×10.5 Wheel Set with Michelin 305/30ZR20 Cup 2 Tires
  • Unplugged Performance Coilover Suspension Kit
  • Unplugged Performance 6 Piston 15.5 Inch Carbon Ceramic Big Brake Kit
  • Unplugged performance Billet Adjustable Front Upper Control Arms
  • Unplugged Performance 3 Way Adjustable Front and Rear Sway Bar Kit
  • Unplugged Performance Billet Adjustable Rear Camber Arms
  • Unplugged Performance Billet Adjustable Rear Toe Arms
  • Unplugged Performance Carbon Racing Bucket Seat Set (utilizing Tesla plaid design)
  • Unplugged Performance Seat Rail Set
  • Unplugged Performance by Willans Racing Harness Set
  • Unplugged Performance Superlight 64 Titanium Lugnuts
  • Unplugged Performance Competition Brake Pads
  • Unplugged Performance Sport Brake Lines

With an Ascension R, owned by Erik Strait of the YouTube channel Daerik, in tow, they flew to Japan where the car went on show at the Tokyo Auto Salon. It was also displayed in front of the Tesla Service Center in Shinonome.

As you can see from the photos, it’s a gorgeous car. But it’s also incredibly potent on track. Driven by Ken Negoro on Tsukuba Circuit, it achieved a 1:04.7 lap time, which the company says is very close to the McLaren F1’s record lap time of 1:04.6. They said the following:

“The Unplugged Performance upgraded Tesla Model 3 posted a nearly identical lap time as the legendary McLaren F1’s best lap time at Tsukuba while on street tires in full daily driven trim. This was achieved with an amateur driver’s first Tesla driving experience in near-freezing conditions and with only 20 laps to learn the car.”

Ironically, Elon Musk used to own a McLaren F1, but lost the car in an accident without insurance.

To put this lap time into perspective, a Ferrari F40 completed the same circuit in 1:04.8, and a Porsche 911 GT£ 997 completed it in the same time. With the Tesla knocking both of these records out of the park with an amateur driver, who knows how much faster it could complete a lap with someone who’s experienced at the track.

Ben Schaffer, CEO of Unplugged Performance, said this about this moment:

“The test day at Tsukuba circuit was done as a proof of concept to illustrate that UP’s Ascension-R upgraded Model 3s can perform at the level of world-class supercars of any era, on any track, in nearly any weather condition and in a near effortless way in which a daily driven spec can drive to the track on autopilot, run with supercars and then drive back home. Future Unplugged Performance upgrades will build upon the foundation of vehicle upgrades on this car and will implement greater extremes of downforce and motorsports grip.”

We can’t wait to see this same car breaking records at other tracks around the world. Anyone up for a Nurburbring take over?

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