Tesla Model 3 project shatters Buttonwillow lap record, nears hypercar time

An extensively modified Tesla Model 3, nicknamed “Bionic Phoenix,” has taken its first lap record at Buttonwillow Raceway.

Unplugged Performance has been on the bleeding edge of Tesla vehicle performance since its inception. The company’s incredible suspension offerings and aerodynamic upgrades allow owners to get every last drop of performance from whatever Tesla vehicle they have. In showing off this capability, the company’s “Bionic Pheonix” Model 3 project has shattered its first Model 3 lap record at Buttonwillow Raceway in California.

The video of the incredible lap record was posted to Youtube late yesterday, and it shows just how capable UP’s aerodynamic upgrades have made the previously crashed Tesla Model 3.

The extensively modified Model 3 achieved the insane time of just 1:48.65, placing it just outside the top 10 vehicles to lap the track but making it the fastest Tesla Model 3. Overall, the Bionic Pheonix is just 10 seconds away from the number one spot, currently held by a race-prepped Acura NSX. The Bionic Phoenix joins UP’s four other Tesla records at Buttonwillow, including Fastest Race-Prepped Model S, Fastest Street Legal Model 3, Model S, and Model Y.

For those unfamiliar with the Bionic Phoenix project, the car has run through the gauntlet before becoming what it is today. The now incredibly modified single-seater started life as a race-prepped Model 3 but was forced to retire after a significant crash at the infamous Pikes Peak hill climb. The company then decided to rebuild the car; now, it might be the fastest Tesla Model 3 Performance on the planet.

Besides the noticeable aerodynamic upgrades, including a front splitter and rear wing the size of a dining room table, the Tesla Bionic Pheonix has been fitted with an entirely new suspension setup, an all-new carbon-ceramic brake system, and stripped of essentially everything unnecessary, including most of its metal exterior paneling, which has been substituted with lighter and stronger carbon fiber. However, UP has left in the Pikes Peak ready roll cage, an homage to the project’s beginning.

Unplugged Performance notes in the video description, “We know this is still early in this stage of development for Bionic Phoenix. The progress of Phoenix shows potential, and the road map is far from complete. Although, as you can see on the incredibly smooth lap video, we now have the aero and suspension components so dialed in that the driver can be flat out on the accelerator for most of the lap due to the insane levels of grip and road holding now present in the current iteration of the build.”

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