The electric Tesla Model S has already won more than its fair share of heads-up drag races thanks to the 691-hp P85D’s “Insane” mode, which hurtles the car to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds.
That wasn’t fast enough for Elon Musk.
Starting today, Tesla will offer Model S P85D owners an upgrade that unlocks even more power from the battery, pushing the car to 60 in 2.8 seconds and covering a quarter mile in 10.9 seconds. Total power rises to 762 hp. And because this is Tesla, the new mode will be called “Ludicrous” — since “insane” was already taken, and everyone loved “Spaceballs.”
In a conference call with reporters, Musk said the upgrades were possible mostly due to a higher-capacity fuse that allowed the battery to send 1500 amps to the two electric motors. That speed puts the Model S firmly in supercar territory — faster than a Ferrari 458 Italia and Chevrolet Corvette Z06, and bumper-to-bumper with cars like a Lamborghini Aventador or Porsche 911 Turbo S.
Why the upgrade? “We’re just trying to make awesome cars,” said Musk, “and we thought this would be awesome.”
That speed comes at a price. New owners of a Model S P85D can get the extra circuitry for $10,000; current owners can pay $5,000 and some installation fees for the next six months. And those prices exclude the cost of another $3,000 upgrade Musk announced, a revised battery pack that adds 5 kWh to the Model S, bringing it to 90 kWh — which is required for Ludicrous mode.
All of which would push a typically optioned Model S P90D to roughly $120,000 — expensive, but still qualifying for $7,500 in federal tax credits and more in many states, and less costly than some of its hotshoe competitors. In addition, Musk said the company was also offering a new lower-priced 70 kWh Model S at $70,000 before incentives.
The world’s largest EV-only automaker draws intense scrutiny with its every move, from fans and haters alike. For them, Musk tried to stick to the news, although he did say the delayed Model X was still on track to start production in a few months, and that it too would have a Ludicrous mode. And there was even a hint of more to come along the Spaceballs continum: the next generation of the Tesla Roadster, due in four years, will have a mode called “maximum plaid.”