The McLaren F1 is the Tesla Model 3’s latest victim

Tesla cars have been eviscerating legendary supercars for quite some time now. Thanks to constant updates from the company, the performance levels of many models are getting better and better. Recently, a skimmed Tesla Model X broke the 11-second barrier in a quarter-mile run.

This time, it’s the Tesla Model 3 and it has taken down the yesteryear McLaren F1. Although the F1 is a hypercar from the 1990s, it is still regarded as one of the best performance cars out there. The Model 3 has beaten McLaren F1’s time around the Tsukuba Circuit in Japan, but there’s a catch. The Model 3 that did the run was not stock. Does it matter?

The Model 3 Beat The McLaren F1’s Time By Over A Second

This Tesla Model 3 Performance Slaughtered the McLaren F1's Time Around the Tsukuba Circuit
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Tesla cars have performed flawlessly in straight-line races, but they aren’t that great on tracks. To counter this caveat, Unplugged Performance, a specialist Tesla tuner has worked on a Model 3 and made it equally destructive around the bends as well.

It receives chassis and aero upgrades and is now part of the “Ascension-R” umbrella of the tuner.

Thanks to these upgrades, the Tesla Model 3 has beaten the McLaren F1’s time by over a second on the Tsukuba Circuit in Japan.

It doesn’t sound fair for a modern car with numerous upgrades and instantaneous torque to beat a car from the previous century, but such is the McLaren F1’s reputation that it sounds like an achievement even today. The McLaren F1 recorded the best run around the circuit on 21 February 2000. It took 1:04.62 to complete the lap. The Unplugged Performance Model 3, on the other hand, took just 1:03.38 to finish its run. This run, however, came after two decades.

What Makes This Tesla Model 3 Special?

This Tesla Model 3 Performance Slaughtered the McLaren F1's Time Around the Tsukuba Circuit
- image 929423

Speaking of the Unplugged Performance Tesla, the mod comes with a lot of upgrades. You can opt for either 18-, 19-, or 20-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Cup 2 tires. It all depends on the profile of the tires you think would be more apt for your needs. Even the biggest wheels weigh just 19.6 pounds each. Apart from this, the kit comes with:

  • Three-way adjustable coilover suspension kit
  • Front and rear three-way adjustable anti-roll bars
  • 394mm six-piston carbon ceramic brakes
This Tesla Model 3 Performance Slaughtered the McLaren F1's Time Around the Tsukuba Circuit
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Customers also get to customize the hand-made rear wings to their liking. This won’t affect the downforce brought to the rear end. On the inside, the car will come with Tesla-embroidered bucket seats to keep the driver in place when pushed hard around the corners.

How Much Does It Cost?

This Tesla Model 3 Performance Slaughtered the McLaren F1's Time Around the Tsukuba Circuit
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Unplugged Performance is charging $35,000 for this upgrade, which seems a little too steep considering it is almost the price of the base Model 3 itself.

But, it must be noted that electric car tuners are still limited and you don’t have a whole lot of options to scout around and get the vehicle tuned elsewhere.

What are your thoughts on this build? Also, do you think the Model 3 could beat the McLaren F1 if it was built with present-day technology? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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