Simple tuning kit is a different approach for the German tuner

Over the years, Mansory has built a reputation as one of the most provocative tuning firms in the world. That reputation was on full display at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show as the German tuning firm presented a handful of programs, including one for the Ferrari 488 GTB. But there was one program that didn’t get as much time in the spotlight: this somewhat mild kit for the Tesla Model S. Now I can argue that this kit could actually turn into one of the most important programs in Mansory’s recent history.

The Model S program is different in a lot of ways, not the least of which is because it’s for an electric car. But more than that, it’s different because it isn’t what I’d come to expect from the tuner. For one, the exterior upgrades are limited to a few aerodynamic components. It also doesn’t have the kind of horsepower upgrades that Mansory has staked its name on. You know those 1,000 horsepower monsters it’s built in the past? Don’t expect to see it here on the Model S.

Instead, we get a simple program that includes the aforementioned carbon aero kit, a new set of wheels, and a plush and luxurious interior. Some fans of Mansory might be disappointed that the tuner didn’t turn the Model S into a full-blown Decepticon, but for those who appreciate the subtleties of the tuner’s genius, this kit is a good representation of what Mansory is capable of, even if it took the road less traveled to get there.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

Exterior

2016 Tesla Model S by Mansory High Resolution Exterior
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The rear section of the Model S arguably has the biggest change in looks

In a somewhat surprising move, Mansory opted for a little subtlety with its exterior program for the Model S. The changes aren’t even that pronounced when you look at the photos of the final product. Look a little closer though and you’ll notice the presence of a new front bumper, a bigger cover on the radiator grille, a new front lip, and a lime green racing stripe right smack in the middle of the hood. To the side, new side skirts can be found just below the same lime green decals. The rear section of the Model S arguably has the biggest change in looks. That’s largely attributed to the new rear spoiler lip and the presence of diffusers where the underbody guard used to be. Lime green accents on the diffuser add the final cosmetic touch to what really is a toned down exterior kit, especially from a tuner that’s known for being aggressive with these things.

Interior

2016 Tesla Model S by Mansory High Resolution Interior
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The interior of the Model S is dressed in Olivenleder, a type of leather that’s tanned with an olive-leaf agent. It’s unclear what Mansory is going for here, but I assume that it wanted to use a specific kind of leather that tied up to Tesla’s eco-friendly character. The leather is complemented by a similar lime green trim on the dashboard, sporty steering wheel, and floor mats. Linings and stitching of the same color can also be found throughout the cabin, specifically on the seats, door panels, and headrests. The styling package on the cabin concludes with illuminated door sills and aluminum pedals.

Drivetrain

2016 Tesla Model S by Mansory High Resolution Exterior
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Here’s another surprising twist with this particular program. Mansory was coy about the motor upgrades on the Model S, opting only to say that the new aero kit on the exterior helps shave off some weight, thus resulting in better acceleration numbers, improved stopping distances, and better energy consumption. The tuner didn’t release any numbers to back up these claims, so it’s really anybody’s guess how this aero kit manages to help improve the sedan’s performance numbers. Given the nature of the upgrades, its unlikely that we’re going to see anything significantly more than the model’s standard output. Supposing that we’re talking about the entry level, 380-horsepower, 60 kWh trim of the Model S, a 0-to-60-mph time of around 5.8 seconds is possible. That’s one-tenth of a second quicker than the standard model.

Pricing

Pricing details weren’t announced, so anybody who is interested in buying the kit must reach out to Mansory directly to get a quote. The program itself can be customized, so pricing details will vary depending on what components a specific customer gets for his Model S.

Competition

Lumma CLR i8 Concept

2015 LUMMA CLR I8 Concept Exterior
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Finding a competitor for the Tesla Model S under these circumstances is difficult considering that there aren’t a lot of programs available for electric vehicles. One tuner that did work on this front was Lumma Design, which presented a kit for the BMW i8 back in 2014. The program is called the Lumma CLR i8 Concept and when it was teased two years ago, the tuner promised a host of high-tech carbon components, including a new front spoiler, new side skirts and a new rear bumper with an integrated diffuser tacked on to it. Lime green accents and a new set of wheels were also part of the program.

At that time, no performance upgrades were given to the BMW i8, but even without any mods on the sports car’s electric motor, it still packed a solid 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. It’s not clear whether the kit is still available for the i8, but it would certainly be interesting to see how these two programs compare when you line them up next to each other.

Read our full review here.

Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

2015 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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I’m going to take a left turn here and use a high-performance hybrid sedan that actually counts as a direct competitor to the Model S. This one is the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, the hybrid version of the Panamera. The exterior and interior bits of this sedan are similar to its gas-powered siblings, but this one has an electric motor that complements the car’s familiar 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine. Together, output reaches 416 horsepower and 435 pound-feet of torque, making it a suitable competitor to the 85kWh and P85 kWH versions of the Model S.

Performance figures are on the Panamera’s side as it is capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds to go with a top speed of 167 mph. Those numbers are a little better than the 5.4 seconds it takes the 85 kWh to cover the same ground. The electric-only range of the Panamera S E-Hybrid hits at around 22 miles, although Porsche also indicated that it can return 25 mpg combined using both gasoline and electric power.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

2016 Tesla Model S by Mansory High Resolution Exterior
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This program is a bit of a surprise considering what we’ve come to expect from Mansory. But just because it’s different, it doesn’t mean it’s already a bad thing. The truth is that there is an art to simple yet effective tuning programs and while Mansory isn’t known for dipping into that well too often, it showed with this kit for the Model S that it can also take that route and be good at it. i like that the tuner resisted the urge to be provocative with its program for the Model S. It tells me that it can swing from both sides of the plate and still keep its identity intact.

  • Leave it
    • * Not what I expected
    • * No details on the any performance upgrade
    • * Limited market
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