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Tesla Upgrades Model S, Adds "Ludicrous Mode" to Options List

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On: Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 1:01PM | By: Carl Malek

Tesla Upgrades Model S, Adds "Ludicrous Mode" to Options List

Tesla has unveiled several updates and revisions for the Model S electric sedan, however one particular update has been grabbing the world's attention—the formal unveiling of a new level of Tesla performance known appropriately enough as "Ludicrous Mode".

While it will most likely not cause the surroundings to turn plaid, like "LudicrousSpeed" did in the 1987 film Space Balls, it does surpass the equally outrageous "Insane Mode" in the Model S driving mode list. Ludicrous Mode allows the car to complete the 0 to 60 sprint in a mind blowing 2.8 seconds (hair faster than the 3.1 seconds achieved in Insane Mode). Tesla claims that the new mode also allows the car to scorch the quarter mile in 10.9 seconds, and even allows drivers to reach 155 mph 20 percent faster than before, which should please the select few that choose to drag race their EV purchase or are looking for autobahn-grade performance.

"Model S just got quicker and is now the fastest accelerating sedan on the road," the company boasted in a separate post on its official Twitter page. The extra performance does not come cheap, however; interested buyers will have to shell out an additional $10,000, while current owners will have to pay only $5,000 (plus labor) to have the system and its components installed to their P85D sedan. While the $10,000 upcharge is a bit steep, the $5,000 fee for existing owners is somewhat of a bargain and should allow the Model S to boast the range and performance that buyers have come to expect.

In addition to the new driving mode, Tesla has released an all-new battery pack that now offers 90 kWh instead of the standard issue 70 kWh pack. This particular pack was designed more for range and should ease the concerns of customers that have range anxiety. The extra 5kWh of capacity allows the 85D to boast overall driving range to an even 300 miles when the car is at freeway speeds (65 mph) and is formally rated at 270 miles. Look for this upgrade to live up to its full potential when the company establishes a more widespread charging network. Buyers will also appreciate the all-new "intelligent" fuse system. The specially designed fuse uses its own separate battery and monitors the electrical current in mere milliseconds. If it does detect a short, the fuse fires a pyrotechnic charge that cuts power to the battery to prevent serious damage.

Tesla also revealed that the new pack is not limited to just new buyers; current owners can purchase the bigger battery pack for their vehicles, but the company inserted a small disclaimer: "Existing owners can also purchase the pack upgrade, but I wouldn't recommend doing so unless your usage is on the edge of current range. On average we expect to increase pack capacity by 5% per year. Better to wait until you have more time on your existing pack and there is a larger accumulated pack energy difference."

Along with this suite of Model S updates, Tesla revealed that it is only two months away from shipping the Model X SUV to showrooms, while the mass-market-oriented Model 3 is only a mere two years away from achieving full production status. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Tesla in the next couple of years, but we look forward to seeing the Model X and the Model 3, and whether the latter can bring more buyers into the Tesla fold.

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