Tesla knows that “Light speed is too slow—we’re going to have to go right to ludicrous speed.” So that’s exactly what the company just announced.
The top-tier Model S P85D, which currently has an “Insane” mode that lets it accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.1 seconds, is getting a “ludicrous” upgrade and will now be able to do zero to 60 in 2.8 seconds. TechCrunch reports that Tesla CEO Elon Musk said, “It’s faster than falling. … It’s like having your own private roller coaster.” (I guess now we know one of his childhood dreams.)
“Ludicrous” mode is a hardware enhancement, not just a software upgrade, and it’s a $10,000 add-on for new vehicles. Upgrading an existing P85D will cost $5,000 for the part, not including installation.
During the Friday event, the company also announced a Model S 70 with a 70kWh single motor for $70,000 and debuted a 90kWh battery upgrade for the 85kWh Model S that costs $3,000 and extends driving range by 5 percent. Furthermore, Musk revealed that the company’s Model X SUV will ship “in two months,” but details were scarce. He did note that the Model X won’t be able to achieve Ludicrous acceleration because it weighs in about 10 percent heavier than the Model S.
Though Tesla loves using software tweaks to draw more efficiency out of its batteries, the company is clearly not above hardware tweaks if it means the cars can hit absurd—OK, ludicrous—speeds.