Tesla Model S Widebody Launched at SEMA

Say what you will about Elon Musk– whether you think he’s a hero or a con man– but you can’t deny that his Tesla Model S is a serious machine. The car is seriously expensive, seriously quick, and seriously scaring the pants off of longtime segment-leaders Mercedes-Benz. Now, it’s Mercedes’ AMG sub-brand that should be feeling the pressure, thanks to the Model S-APEX widebody by Unplugged Performance.

Unplugged Performance has been positioning itself as “the AMG to Tesla’s Mercedes” for a while now, and has offered performance parts and body kits for both the Model S and Model 3 sedans. This latest conversion is something more, however. It’s more complete, more transformative, and altogether more badass. And, yes, there is a Mercedes allegory here: the AMG Black Series.

Unplugged’s Ben Schaffer sees it, too. “The S-APEX represents something closer to AMG’s Black Series: a lesson in how to approach the limits of performance and aggressive styling,” he explains, “without sacrificing the everyday usability of a daily-driven vehicle.”

I think Ben absolutely nailed it– but that’s just me. What do you guys think? Check out the official Unplugged press release, below, then let us know what you think of UP’s Model S widebody conversion in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

 

    Unplugged Performance Launches Exclusive Widebody Tesla Model S at SEMA

    Unplugged Performance announces their latest complete vehicle offering, the S-APEX series for Tesla Model S. All S-APEX complete car builds begin life as standard Tesla Model S Performance variant (P100D variant pictured). The Unplugged Performance S-APEX program then extensively reworks the car into the ultimate expression of a (high performance) Tesla Model S. Every S-APEX build is uniquely commissioned to the specific individual tastes of each owner, however identifying traits including the 19-piece prepreg carbon fiber body, racing suspension, upsized carbon ceramic brakes, ultra-light wheels and fully bespoke interior details.

    As a result of Unplugged Performance’s use of exotic materials and supercar-grade performance upgrades, their complete vehicles and the experienced team have become renowned for their unique attention to detail. Tesla’s focus on production line speed and the streamlining of vehicle configuration options satisfies the mass market, however a select few of discerning Tesla enthusiasts still prefer a car that has been given the personalized attention and craftsmanship one might expect from an exotic car. On behalf of clientele, Unplugged Performance sources vehicles directly from Tesla on which to use as a base for an S-APEX build (retrofitting existing P85D, P90D, P100D donor cars is also possible upon request). Where a fully loaded Tesla Model S option list ends is where the S-APEX program begins.

    Unplugged Performance’s efforts in upgrading Tesla vehicles is not unlike an AMG, the in-house performance arm of Mercedes-Benz, with AMG vehicles often used as benchmarks for upgraded Unplugged Performance Teslas. In that spirit, the S-APEX represents something closer to AMG’s Black Series: a lesson in how to approach the limits of performance and aggressive styling, without sacrificing the everyday usability of a daily-driven vehicle.

    Every S-APEX complete car begins with an extensive consultation in which each owner collaborates with the Unplugged Performance team to establish an individualized vision for their build. The options for exterior and interior personalization are nearly limitless, as the team at Unplugged has access to a wide array of rare and exotic interior materials, and possesses a deep in-house expertise in carbon fiber composites, fabrication, prototyping and bespoke performance vehicle production.

    The signature design of the Unplugged Performance S-Apex Model S complete car comes from its low-drag, 19-piece dry carbon fiber body conversion, which increases overall width by forty millimeters per corner. The S-APEX body conversion can be configured to showcase visible carbon fiber, or painted to match the vehicle’s body color. (For those interested in a seamless appearance, integration of exterior panels via hand-sculpting is also available.) The widened body enables increased tire width (up to 335mm in the rear) for maximum performance, while being engineered to maintain full compatibility with Tesla’s Autopilot systems.

    A range of ultra-light weight forged wheels may be selected in 19, 20, and 21-inch diameters. The first demonstration vehicle features Unplugged Performance UP-03 Carbon Fiber wheels in 20” diameter, which utilize carbon fiber barrels that provide a 50% reduction in rotational mass (each wheel weighs only 16.8 lbs / 7.6 kg). Braking is improved through Unplugged Performance’s Super-light Carbon Ceramic 6-piston braking system, which provides increased stopping power, improved fade resistance, and a further weight reduction of 20 lbs / 9 kg. In total, critical rotational mass is reduced by more than 100 lbs / 45 kg on the S-APEX. The P100D’s increased grip and reduced rotational mass enables 0-60 runs in under than 2.3 seconds and low 10 second quarter mile passes. To further maximize handling dynamics and cornering grip, the widebody wheelbase and high-performance tires are paired with Unplugged Performance Plug-N-Play High Performance Shocks that are custom tuned for the car, yet maintain full compatibility with the factory height adjustable air suspension system.

    The demonstration vehicle’s interior has been completely reimagined in exotic materials. Beginning with a headliner and pillar re-trim in Alcantara material, the customization continued to a completely reworked steering wheel, dashboard, and center console, as well as seats, door cards, console and dashboard components that feature luxurious materials like hand-selected premium leather and additional Alcantara accents. In addition to the custom upholstery, the steering wheel, instrument cluster, center console, door kick plates, seat trim and more were resurfaced in real carbon fiber with a factory satin clear coat finish.

    With regards to the order and delivery processes, all Tesla markets are served. North American builds take place directly at Unplugged Performance’s Hawthorne, California facility with free roundtrip vehicle transportation included. Internationally, authorized partner facilities exist in all major Tesla markets and conversion work is performed under the direct supervision of Unplugged Performance USA.

    Beginning October 30th, the Unplugged Performance S-APEX will be on display in the Toyo Tires booth at the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pricing for the S-APEX complete car program begins at $50,000 (base vehicle not included in price).

 

Source | Images: Unplugged Performance.

 

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.