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Unplugged Performance Opens Hawthorne Tech Center

Unplugged Performance opens a new facility built to build complete high-performance and race-prepped Teslas.

Unplugged Performance has made a name for itself as one of the premier Tesla tuning firms, helping enthusiastic Tesla owners stretch their cars’ legs and building some real rocket ships of its own along the way. Unplugged Performance’s efforts have won it rave reviews, and even an official sanction from Tesla itself.


Now, the company hopes to build on those successes with the opening of the new Unplugged Performance Technical Center in Hawthorne, California.

Located in the same industrial complex as the Unplugged Performance service center and neighboring both the Tesla Design Center and SpaceX, the new facility is designed to be the world’s premier hub for Tesla performance. In addition to offering everything needed for complete vehicle construction and race car fabrication, the tech center will expand Unplugged’s already established R&D facilities, enabling even more efficiency-improving designs in the future.

“(Our new) Technical Center in Hawthorne, CA represents the next step in our mission to deliver the most compelling and exciting Tesla vehicles to customers around the world. Our new facility is purpose-built to support this mission and designed to allow our team of engineers and technicians to maximize their potential,” said Ben Schaffer, President of Unplugged Performance. “This is a world-class facility built to the demanding specifications of car nuts like us. The new facility will empower us to deliver more S-APEX and Ascension-R complete vehicles as well as deliver additional options to the global market of Tesla enthusiasts.”

More of This From Unplugged

Image courtesy Unplugged Performance.

It looks like an empty meeting room, but rooms like this are where great race cars are born in this day and age. Someone has an idea, a track, a goal — and a whole bunch of other someones get to work making it happen. And, when they do it right, people make movies about them. Speaking of which…

“When you’re racing on the limit along the winding mountain roads of Pikes Peak,” reads the introduction to Unplugged Performance’s behind the scenes documentary following their 2020 run at Pike’s Peak. “There’s a fine line between success and failure,” it continues, “with road and weather conditions shifting constantly, even purpose built vehicles struggle to make it to the top. They say it’s almost guaranteed that something will go wrong for each team during race week and your job as a driver, a race team, or a team manager, is to mitigate that risk as much as possible just to get your car to the top of the mountain. On race day, you’ve only got one shot and everything you’ve been working on for the last year needs to survive 156 turns to get to the top of the 12.42-mile road.”

This, meanwhile, is what the team came up with for the 2021 Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb. It’s based on the Model S Plaid, and they rose from the ashes of the trouble-filled 2020 campaign to absolutely blast up the mountain for a class victory. Check it out for yourself below.

What do you guys think? Is this new tech center just a fancy way to spin nicer offices, or is this the first glimpse into a future world-class racing team? I’ve known Ben for over a decade now, and for what it’s worth, I wouldn’t bet against him. Scroll on down to the comments and let us know what you think!


Image courtesy Unplugged Performance.

Source | Images: Unplugged Performance.

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Written By

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.


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