This Company Sells an Unofficial, Cheaper Tesla Upgrade

Tesla provides performance upgrades for its vehicles through software updates made over-the-air. One company found a way into that process.
June 15, 2020, 12:11pm
Boost 50. Image: Ingenext

A company in Canada has found a way to hack the process Tesla uses to upgrade its vehicles and is offering performance upgrades to Tesla vehicles at a discounted cost.

As first reported by electrek, Ingenext is selling a Tesla upgrade called Boost 50 for $1,100. According to a video posted to the company’s YouTube, the module can be installed to the Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor, and will increase the vehicle’s performance by 50 horsepower and allow a driver to go from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds—an improvement from the 4.4 seconds listed on Tesla’s website.

This is similar to an upgrade sold by Tesla that electrek reported on last December. Listed as an Acceleration Boost, Tesla’s over-the-air software upgrade improves the time needed to go from zero to 60 mph in the Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor to 3.9 seconds. That upgrade is sold by Tesla for $2,000.

Tesla has made upgrades to their vehicles available over-the-air for some time now. Software built into the vehicle can be updated or unlocked to add new features or enhance existing ones—all over Wi-Fi via the vehicle’s built-in touch screen or from the Tesla app.

Ingenext’s website says firmware updates from Tesla will still be available after the Boost 50 module’s installation, but added a note regarding any impact on the manufacturer’s warranty.

“The Boost 50 module is undetectable remotely. However, when visiting a Service Center or when a technician visits your home, it is recommended that you remove the device beforehand. Installation and removal takes only a few minutes,” Ingenext said on its website.

Rich Benoit, who runs the popular Tesla tinkering YouTube channel Rich Rebuilds and the third party repair facility Electrified Garage, helped develop Boost 50. It is also available for sale through Electrified Garage.

“I think it's fantastic. It will help the adoption of [electric vehicles] in the future,” Benoit told Motherboard in an email. “Many Tesla owners are former performance car owners and drivers and aren't pleased with the fact that you can't upgrade the performance of the car outside of Tesla. Hopefully this will bring a new era of car enthusiasts to electric vehicles.”

Benoit also said he doesn’t think Tesla will respond to the hacked upgrade—at least not verbally.

“It's a simple third party upgrade, which most major auto manufacturers have available already,” Benoit said. “If anything they will silently attempt to disable the hack in the background.”

Tesla did not respond to Motherboard’s request for comment.