Unplugged Performance reveals the crazy Model S plaid Pikes Peak Racer
June 2021 Elon Musk officially started the delivery of the 1,020 PS strong Tesla Model S Plaid. About two days later, on June 12th, Unplugged performance debuted his race-ready Model S Plaid, which will compete in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (with our resident professional racing driver Randy Pobst at the wheel). You may recall that Pobst had a small moment in last year’s race and the Unplugged Performance Model 3 unexpectedly flew off the track. The team from Unplugged Performance converted the car overnight with great determination and Pobst came second in the exhibition class – and that in a car with only half its horsepower!
What is it?
The Plaid racing car from Unplugged Performance uses the standard drivetrain of the top-line model S. The interior is almost completely removed. After removing elements such as the car’s airbags, a center console and the door panels, Unplugged Performance equips this three-engine Tesla with a roll cage and a racing seat with six-point racing belts. The body is standard except for a huge front splitter and a gigantic adjustable rear wing. Likewise, the Plaid Racer retains its factory air springs, but uses bespoke Unplugged Performance / Bilstein dampers and a three-way adjustable rear stabilizer. The car runs on Yokohama Advan Slicks on specially forged aluminum wheels. The so-called Pikes Plaid retains its standard brake calipers, but comes in Unplugged Performance / PFC rotors. Air lift? Yes ma’am. This thing is a real racing car. Before the car hits Colorado, the company plans to equip its front end with a set of fully adjustable upper control arms, adjustable rear crash bars, and high-performance brake pads.
Unplugged Performance removed the covers from its Pikes Plaid Racer for the third year Hypercar invitation hpening at the Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca. The company completed the vehicle at 3:00 a.m. on June 11, loaded it onto a trailer, and then drove it straight onto the track. In other words, the finished car was driven for the first time when it rolled straight from his garage in Laguna Seca onto the racing surface of the track – exactly as it was meant to be. Pike’s plaid will be in full shake-down mode for the next two days. Pobst was able to silently overtake several Lamborghinis, Porsches and McLarens before smashing the splinter on his second run of the day.
What is Unplugged Performance?
Ben Schaffer originally founded Bulletproof Automotive in 2000 to customize Janese cars (Ben was even an extra in The Fast and the Furious). In 2013, the company moved to a building next to Tesla’s Hawthorne design studio – right next to SpaceX. It was through that physical connection that Schaffer began speaking to Tesla about modifying the automaker’s electric vehicles for enthusiasts, which led to the birth of Unplugged Performance.
After Unplugged Performance fell in love with EVs as performance cars, it quickly started building racing cars and brought a tuned Tesla Model 3 to Pikes Peak in 2020. The difference between last year’s Model 3 and this year’s plaid?
“The power is the greatest. That is more than four times the performance that we had in the race last year. Unintentional,” said Schaffer. Obviously the Model S is heavier than the Model 3, but “the battery and cooling systems are much better.”
To illustrate this point, Schaffer points out that as the state of charge in the Model 3 decreases, “the performance would decrease in proportion to a certain degree”. This does not apply to the Pikes Plaid Racer of the Unplugged Performance. At some point, Pobst rolled to the pits in Laguna Seca with 34 percent remaining charge, only to announce that the car felt as fast as it did with a full charge. “That’s a big difference.”