Tesla Heads Into Ludicrous Territory with Model S

Tesla Model S

An all electric car is the most powerful car in America? Preposterous! Or not, if you’re Tesla. The automaker is introducing a new 762 horsepower Ludicrous Mode option on its upgraded version of the Model S, the Model P90D. And yes, that leaves the 707 hp Dodge Challenger and Charger Hellcats in the dust.

“Nobody was asking for ‘ludicrous’ mode because it is too ludicrous. It is just incredible fun. It is like having your own roller coaster,” says Elon Musk, Tesla Chief Executive.

The Ludicrous Mode delivers up to 762 horses and sends the Model S from zero to 60 mph in a rocketship 2.8 seconds. That makes the Insane Mode, good for a 0 to 60 time of 3.2 seconds, seem slow by comparison and  is a 10% improvement from the current model that packs 691 horses.

This achievement was no easy feat. It was made possible by new fuse battery technology and an upgraded battery pack contactor that uses inconel, which is a high temperature space-grade superalloy, that allows it to remain springy despite the heat and intense current. This allows the max output to increase from 1300 to 1500 Amps.

“While working on our goal of making the power train last a million miles, we came up with the idea for an advanced smart fuse for the battery. Instead of a standard fuse that just melts past a certain amperage, requiring a big gap between the normal operating current and max current, we developed a fuse with its own electronic and a tiny lithium-ion battery. It constantly monitors current at the millisecond level and is pyro-actuated to cut power with extreme precision and certainty,” says Musk.

The insanely fast option is available on the top of the line P90D model for an additional $10,000. For the next six months, the automaker is offering current P85D drivers the not so ludicrous option to have the pack electronics upgrade that allows for Ludicrous Mode to be installed on their vehicles for $5,000 plus installation labor.

Tesla’s new Model X is also going to offer Ludicrous Mode with an even larger 98 kWh battery. Few details are known, but it could potentially be the fastest crossover SUV ever when in Ludicrous speed.

The apt name of super fast mode pays homage to Mel Brook’s 1987 classic sci-fi farce “Spaceballs,” in which “ludicrous speed” is unlocked after exceeding “light speed” and “ridiculous speed.”

Musk jokingly concludes, “There is of course only one thing beyond ludicrous, but that speed is reserved for the next generation Roadster in 4 years: maximum plaid.”

The P90D model starts at $108,000 and is available with Ludicrous Mode now.

Photo Credit: Tesla
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