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Is the Unplugged Performance high efficiency trunk spoiler the best Model 3 spoiler?

Discussion in 'Model 3: Interior & Exterior' started by artsci, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    After about a 6 month wait, I finally received Unplugged Performance’s high efficiency trunk spoiler, which in the Model 3 trunk spoiler world is quite distinctive for its design, which IMHO is more sweeping and graceful. I know some Model 3 owners don’t like the design, but everyone’s taste is different, and I like it. Ironically, the day it arrived my local service center contacted me to let me know that the OEM Tesla spoiler had arrived (more than a year after the car was delivered). I told them to give it to another customer who was waiting in line, as I wouldn’t need it.

    I think that was a good decision, as Unplugged did extensive CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) testing of its spoiler design. To quote from the results, ”The total vehicle drag was reduced by 6.3% relative to the factory car baseline, representing a 273% relative improvement over the optional factory rear spoiler. Rear downforce was increased over baseline by 83.7%, representing a 241% relative improvement. This reduction of drag reduced the total drag coefficient (Cd) by 0.015.”

    I also added a Gurney flap to the spoiler. For those who don’t know what that is, the flap was developed by the famous US racing driver, Dan Gurney, and the flap operates by increasing pressure on the pressure side of the spoiler, decreasing pressure on the suction side, and helping the boundary layer flow stay attached all the way to the trailing edge on the suction side of the airfoil.

    Unplugged also did CFD testing for the flap, and to quote from the results, “Rear downforce was increased over baseline by 160.9%, representing a 464% relative improvement over the Tesla rear spoiler and a further 192% improvement over the Unplugged Performance High Efficiency Rear Trunk Spoiler. The total drag was reduced by 0.1% relative to the factory car baseline in this configuration, making this configuration nearly drag neutral despite the specific downforce focus.”

    As an extra benefit, the UP high efficiency spoiler is incredibly easy to install. There’s a notch in the back which has a 3/8” wide strip of double-sided tape. The notch fits precisely over the rear edge of the trunk. All one has to do is confirm that it’s centered side to side and press it into place. Done, and with no fuss.

    I’ve known Ben Schaffer, the head of UP, from the days when we were both developing aftermarket accessories for the Honda S2000. He’s a perfectionist, and doesn’t do anything without thorough proof of concept testing, so I trust implicitly the results of the CFD testing on the spoiler.

    To answer my own post title question, IMHO the UP high efficiency trunk spoiler, from both the perspectives of aerodynamics and aesthetics, is the best trunk spoiler available for the Model 3 for street and track use. It's not inexpensive by I think it's worth every penny.

    A few pix:

    IMG_0290.jpeg IMG_0291.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. hydro 481

    hydro 481 Active Member

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    I like it and it’s nice to see they invested the time and money to properly test it.
     
  3. holmgang

    holmgang Active Member

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    I'd be highly skeptical of their claims, given the way they present the results. Drag values given without speed. Most values are relative, instead of absolute. In what ballpark is the performance of the OEM product (and hence, that of the market), if it improves on the OEM by "464%"

    That's to say nothing of the confidence/uncertainty, CFD model....though in marketing saying "CFD" alone is often determined to be impressive enough :)
     
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  4. Barracuda-P3D

    Barracuda-P3D Member

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    Anyone actually record their before and after watt/ hr highway consumption to back up these numbers ?
     
  5. Wennfred

    Wennfred Supporting Member

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    Hate the lip it has behind it and that has to catch the wind causing Vibration.

    Let us know the 6 month life on it.

    Fred
     
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  6. belanger

    belanger Member

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    Based on the images on their web site, I placed my order Sept 28.

    They took in advance all money and at that price you’d expect some service. Never got a reply of questions submitted via web form. I had to pick the phone and call and finally got a contact name and was told early Dec. I postpone my detailed for wrap/nano coating and ended up not doing nano coating on the trunk lid. Mid-dec no news no update, no reply to my email ... waited for 3rd week, had to pick the phone again. Got an update Jan 3rd, I replied minutes later :

    Do you happen to have a few picture of that spoiler? I saw something in a forum made me wonder if I want this spoiler or not. The product looked quite different than on the product’s web page.

    I got no reply and I’d bet if I don’t call perhaps I will get a spoiler delivered?

    If I decide not to cancel, I plan to do a compare before/after but I expect someone to post numbers before I get mine.

    About the new design. I’ve cross USA Bay Area <=> upper NY and in some areas, some people very high will look at that spoiler and think it’s an awesome boomerang to play with. Looking at the spoiler’s lid, will try to pull it off the car and then either throw it around or hit the hood. The lid is so verticals, it seems it’s counterproductive for high efficiency. Their product page have nice images of R&D efficiency based on the “original” spoiler design. If the design is so different, why didn’t they update their product page with the latest numbers/images?
     
  7. Ryephile

    Ryephile Member

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    That's called a Gurney flap, named after race car driver Dan Gurney. The result is improved flow separation and reduced turbulence, not more. There is a small drag penalty. The Gurney flap on Unplugged's offering is an optional extra, the base "high efficiency" spoiler doesn't come with it.
     
  8. belanger

    belanger Member

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    I'm not sure I read that correctly. The title of the thread says "high efficiency", the picture shows a lid and you wrote the high efficiency one doesn't come with it?! And thanx for bringing up that Gurney name, we learn everyday!
     
  9. Ryephile

    Ryephile Member

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    OP said in the first post that he added the Gurney flap to the High Efficiency spoiler. I agree it would've been clearer if he included "high downforce spoiler" in the thread title instead of him focusing on being click-baiting.

    Unplugged's website: High Downforce Trunk Spoiler for Tesla Model 3 for Tesla Model 3 - Unplugged Performance

    The "high downforce" spoiler = the "high efficiency" + Gurney flap.
     
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  10. kurgen99

    kurgen99 Member

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    I am dying to know whether any of the numbers that they give in terms of decreased drag and more downforce are valid at all. I think that those improvements would be huge on the Model 3. I haven't been able to find anyone on the Internet who has done a real review in terms of before and after comparisons. The aero efficiency package, front and rear spoiler, would be such a great mod if the numbers added up. I live close by them, and they said that I could have all the parts painted and wrapped and a 1 hour install, of course, once the parts were available. I'm not crazy about how the rear spoiler looks, but I am all about function. This whole thing started for me when driving my Dual motor Model 3 this weekend all over the SoCal freeways, and thinking "this car would be greater with a little more downforce."
     
  11. belanger

    belanger Member

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    Based on the title, I had no clue these pictures were for the high down force performance spoiler. Thanx for pointing that out!! So I won't cancel my order and will edit my post above to reflect that information as well.

    [edit] ... turns out and we can't edit old posts, that's too bad.
     
  12. Shewillbemine

    Shewillbemine Member

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    That Gurney flap...yikes.
     
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  13. Orwell

    Orwell Member

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    Any pictures before you added the gurney flap? Looks great!
     
  14. Musclez

    Musclez Member

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    I’ve been waiting about a year now since my order. I have to say this company Sux they have the worst customer service. I feel like Kia does a better job communicating. I truly hope I get an update on where mine is as I ordered mine March 2019.

    OP looks great hopefully they actually used official 3M tape and not some Chinese knock off.
    How’s the quality?
     
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  15. Musclez

    Musclez Member

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    Btw this is the high downforce model

    efficiency has no kitchen shelf, that’s what I ordered.
     
  16. belanger

    belanger Member

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    I ordered mine in September and based on email exchange, ETA was early December. Mid October date was pushed to mid-December. Based on your dates and when I was told delivery more like "mid-December", it seems the person knew in advance it was very impossible to happen in 2019. I kept postponing a trip for that exact reason just for that spoiler and I wasn't happy about it at all, it ruined my trip.

    I doubt to get mine before summer. True *worst* customer service. I thought they were busy like hell shipping tons of Tesla 3 rear spoilers, are they shipping anything yet.

    When I get up in the morning, if I lost confidence in the company, I'm not sure if I can trust their products.
     
  17. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Now that I received and installed the spoiler, the quality is superior. Fits perfectly and the finish is flawless. Installation is easy and the doubled sided tape holds it securely in place with no signs of it delaminating.

    On a business trip to LA I visited Unplugged Performances facilities, which are very near SpaceX and the Tesla Design Studio in Hawthorne. As it turns out I knew Ben Schaeffer, the head of Unplugged, from our Honda S2000 days, when we both had businesses selling aftermarket products for that car.

    I know that with a small business selling dozens of products, customer communications is the greatest challenge, especially when a company relies on manufacturers to deliver products on time and at a level of high quality. Ben told me that Unplugged faces many of these challenges.

    Unplugged has a close relationship with Tesla that benefits their product development. That was something I didn’t know.

    To make a very long story short, I was more than angry at how long it took for Unplugged to deliver the spoiler and the failure to communicate about the delays. When I learned from Ben about the reasons for the delays, as they had much to do with the quality of the spoiler, I was much more understanding. Ben acknowledges that customer communications is one of the greatest challenges and he’s doing his best to address it.
     
  18. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Regrettably, I took no photos before adding the flap.
     
  19. Orwell

    Orwell Member

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    I ordered in August with only 1 email from Ben explaining the delay and stating they were expecting it before the end of the year then no updates after that.

    I had to email several times and vent on this forum before getting a response.

    Latest email says that I'll get it next month. We'll see...
     
    • Informative x 1
  20. belanger

    belanger Member

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    Did you install it by yourself? I believe the 3m tape requires pressure for proper adherence. I was as well planning to use adhesion promoter.
     

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