The Tesla Model 3 Performance is a beast when it comes to acceleration and handling. The crazy part here is many people may not have expected the mass-market two-door five-seat midsize Tesla saloon to fare nearly as well in many performance metrics, especially when considering its purpose and price ($56,990). Add some aftermarket parts to the Model 3 and you've got yourself a sleeping monster.

Unplugged Performance shared this recent video on its YouTube channel. It tested the modified car in Japan, with Erik driving. We know that the driver is Erik Strait (DAErik on YouTube). In fact, we knew early on he was headed to Asia, but we didn't know why. It only makes sense that he's the man here. In addition, we shared a recent video in February featuring the same modded Model 3, and it just fell short of the McLaren. However, at that time, Erik wasn't behind the wheel. Instead, it was a friend of Unplugged who has some racing experience but had never driven a Tesla before.

At any rate, check out the Tsukuba Circuit time attack footage in the video above to learn more. As we always say, we'd love to hear from you in our comment section.

Video Description via Unplugged Performance on YouTube:

Unplugged Performance Street Tuned Model 3 Beats McLaren F1 - Time Attack at Tsukuba Circuit

We produce complete Model 3 builds like this one and offer worldwide shipping - Read on for this story...

Tsukuba Circuit Lap Times:
Unplugged Performance Model 3 Ascension-R (Street Spec): 1:03.3 - Driver Ken Negoro
McLaren F1: 1:04.6 - Driver Naoki Hattori

Car spec:

We sent our client Erik's Unplugged Performance Ascension-R Model 3 to Japan to have some fun after we completed showing it at SEMA in 2019. The car arrived in Japan in January 2020 and was shown at the Tokyo Auto Salon with Tesla Japan's support. After Tokyo Auto Salon we had our friend Ken take the car to Tsukuba Circuit to participate in an open track day event. Ken had never driven a Tesla before and is an amateur (but skilled) driver who tracks his tuned Honda Civic at Tsukuba. The car's setting is the same as Erik's street specifications, there are no changes to height or parts between street spec and the spec shown. The car has full interior, factory front bumper ground clearance (although a lower front diffuser is coming), and tasteful performance modifications that can be driven daily without compromise. The racing coilovers on the car are quickly hand adjustable and the damping was dialed up more firm for track driving. Tires used are factory OE (original equipment) supplied tires that came standard on all Porsche 911 GT3 RS (997) new deliveries, they are not a racing semi-slick DOT tire. The 911 GT3 RS model from which these tires are borrowed has a fastest recorded lap on the same tires of 1:04.51 (1.2 seconds slower than the Unplugged Performance Model 3 Ascension-R which borrows the exact same tire). This helps create a more balanced comparison as the Unplugged Performance Ascension-R Model 3 is designed to be a factory style tuned sports car similar to a GT3, whereas the Porsche GT3 RS goes even further with factory roll bars, further weight reduction and bigger wings. Both the UP Ascension-R and the GT3 RS use carbon ceramic brakes, another similarity.

Overall we feel the car is capable with the current upgrades and no further changes of:

1:02.5 - as is with better weather and more seat time since less than 30 minutes of driving was possible and it was near freezing conditions in February at the track

1:01's with semi-slick DOT legal tires in same widths (we wanted to compare with factory production cars using a factory production tire)

0:59 with stripped interior and racing slicks

* We also feel there is another 1-2 seconds in the car when Tesla releases Track Mode V2 software update which will help reduce traction control interference.

In 2020 we will develop high downforce aerodynamics and further weight reduction parts along with our already track proven suspension and braking components.

Video Credit: Best Motoring Japan - McLaren F1 Tsukuba Fastest Lap Footage

Fastest Lap at Tsukuba Circuit References:

Model 3 Car Owner: Erik Strait (DÆrik)
See more videos of this car's history and the car's journey here:

Mod List:

Ascension-R Dry Carbon Rear Diffuser Fins

(also available with Penske external reservoirs in 2 way and 3 way adjustability)
Billet Adjustable Rear Toe Arms


UP-03 Forged Wheels (19x10.5 Race Spec):

Michelin OE Porsche 997 GT3 Tires
305/30ZR19 Cup 2 - Front and Rear

Full Street Car Interior
Unplugged Performance Racing Seat, Seat Rails, Sliders and Bases

Special thanks to our project partners: Tesla, Michelin, Erik Strait, Autobacs, ProStuff as well as our great team and partners around the world who helped make this a reality.

*There were way too many related links to embed here, so head to the Unplugged Performance channel on YouTube to follow the link.