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Published on March 26th, 2014 | by Jo Borrás

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Unplugged Performance of Tesla Model S

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March 26th, 2014 by
 

Originally published on Gas2.

Unplugged Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S has made it. You can tell, because – in addition to selling like plug-in hotcakes – the wealthiest and most discerning buyers of Elon’s electric luxury car have begun to turn to the automotive aftermarket to help make their Tesla just a little bit more their own. These are early days in the Tesla tuning business, but the war may already be over. Ben Schaffer and his California-based Bulletproof Automotive company are launching a new line of Tesla upgrades called Unplugged Performance, and they’ve got big plans for the Tesla Model S.

That Ben is utterly qualified to refine the Model S is beyond question. Ben’s Bulletproof Automotive has produced some of the most well-known cars in the Japanese tuning industry. In addition to his company’s towering industry cred, though, Ben is a for-real Tesla fan. “As the owner of a Tesla Model S P85+, I share the belief that the Model S is a historic automotive achievement,” he explains, obviously enamored with the car. Still, “regardless of how incredible a car is (from the factory), there is always room for further improvement, and the Tesla is no exception.”

After driving his Tesla for a few months and getting a feel for what the community was looking for, Ben gathered a hand-picked team of Art Center College of Design graduates and an ex-works Ferrari composites engineer under the “Unplugged Performance” umbrella, and got to work.

As of today, Unplugged Performance offers a tastefully aggressive front spoiler, side skirts, rear under spoiler (diffuser), and a sporty rear decklid spoiler — you can see these fitted to the cars in the red and blue images …

Unplugged Performance / Tesla Model S Aero PKG


unplugged_2   unplugged_1

… as well as a redesigned front bumper cover and fascia, that you can see below …

Unplugged Performance / Tesla Model S Front Fascia


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… all of which give the Tesla Model S a sharper, sportier look more in keeping with the P85+ model’s Mercedes AMG/BMW M levels of performance. But it’s important to remember that these aftermarket parts offer more than just a different look — these have been modeled to reduce underbody airflow and help to keep the Model S more stable at the supercar speeds the car is capable of.

Unlike some of the less-established companies who are now rushing to cash in on the Tesla’s popularity, however, Unplugged isn’t stopping at exterior add-ons. Unplugged is “busy developing modifications that will increase the Model S’s power, improve the car’s suspension (for sportier handling), and adding (a sense of) more exotic luxury to the car’s interior.” On both the hardware and software sides, then, Unplugged Performance will be able to benefit from its close ties to Bulletproof, GT-RR, and Ben’s other allied companies.

“Unplugged Performance is about creating a future for our fellow Tesla owners,” says Ben, eagerly. A future where they’ll be able to “get the most out of their Tesla experience by really personalizing and upgrading their cars. Whether it’s new heights of performance, styling, or driving satisfaction, Unplugged Performance will be developing upgrades that are worthy … of such a revolutionary car.”

 Sponsored Content | Photos: Unplugged Performance.

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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.



  • Phillip

    I was about to order the full kit and I noticed that every single image that Unplugged uses is an existing photo, photoshopped with their product overlaid. I wonder if they actually make anything? Why would they not show an actual car, but would rather resort to electronically modifying existing images? I’m a little nervous about a scam now.

  • Keef Wivaneff

    You might want to check the brakes first.

  • flip

    The front fascia is priced at $0.00 on the Unplugged Performance site and can be added to the cart. Place your orders!!!!!!

  • Argon

    Unfortunately with electric cars the best way to improve performance is to put in a new higher performance battery. In most vehicles electric motors are almost always capable of using more power than the battery can deliver. Take my hobby for example, RC model jets. Almost any motor you install in your jet will always be able to take more power, even if you use the smallest ones weighing under 40g. The battery always is the component holding the performance back. The most common mod is to increase battery size or energy density or voltage (which is essentially the same as increasing its size).
    So it will be interesting to see just how they can increase performance when the motor needs more power, and I’m sure the Power control unit (what we in the RC world call the ESC) has lots of head room for more Amps / Voltage.
    The most sensible mods would be to reduce weight, carbon disc rotors (I cant believe this isn’t a factory option), and coilover to replace the heavy and complicated air suspension, which is a factory option but not on the performance model, go figure?

  • Chandy Pand

    Holy smoke… the red one is beautiful. I wouldn’t pay for such minor change though :-)

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