When it unveiled a new high-performance version of its flagship Model S sedan in July in the form of the Tesla Model S P90D, Tesla Motors also introduced the world to a new high-speed performance mode for its luxury plug-in: ludicrous mode.
Available as an option on Tesla Model S P90D models and as an upgrade for existing Model S P85D owners, Tesla promised 0-60 mph times would be cut from the 3.1 second time for the Tesla Model S P90D to 2.8 seconds, with an impressive quarter mile time of 10.9 seconds. Made possible by a brand-new, eight-lane non-steel contactor and high-tech safety fuse designed by Tesla to safely allow up to 1,500 amps to be instantaneously withdrawn from the battery, the upgrade was initially priced at an eye-watering $10,000 for new orders, with the 90kWh battery pack upgrade available to existing Model S 85, 85D and P85D owners for $3,000.
Last month, Tesla began offering preorders for an upgrade package offering Ludicrous mode enhancements to existing P85D owners who had placed their original car order before 11am PST on Friday July 17 (the time the Ludicrous mode was announced). Initially priced at $7,500, Tesla has just written to Model S customers offering them the same upgrade for just $5,000, saying that reductions in costs on the parts and processes used to carry out the upgrade means that it is now able to offer the same upgrade for $2,500 less.
But as Teslarati reports, while the new price for the upgrade represents a significant reduction in cost for the end user, Tesla Model S P85D models fitted with the aftermarket upgrade won’t give a P85D identical performance to the Tesla Model S P90D.
In a letter sent out to owners and reproduced by a Tesla owner by the handle of “Buttermd”, Tesla isn’t particularly clear about what the differences will be.
“The upgrade represents an estimated 10% increase in power over the already insane P85D and provides a 0.2 second improvement over both the 0-60mph and the quarter mile time versus the performance of your current Model S,” it says. “Please note the retrofit does not offer the exact performance spec as a new P90D.”
Looking carefully at the original specifications for the Tesla Model S P85D, we think that results in a 0-60 mph time of 2.9 seconds rather than 2.8 seconds, plus a total power increase from around 515 kilowatts combined motor power to 566 kilowatts of combined motor power, a little less than the 568 kilowatts quoted by Tesla for the P90D with Ludicrous mode. While the 0-60 time is easy to calculate from Tesla’s quote however, it’s worth remembering that power figures are for both motors combined and therefore the actual power produced will be different to our fuzzy-math calculation.
The news has upset some Tesla owners who had hoped that the Model S P85D upgrade math to Ludicrous mode would give them the same performance as Model S 90D owner. For now however, it seems anyone craving that extra tenth of a second will either have to trade in their car for a new model.
In reality however, we feel this news is going to only affect a handful of owners. After all, at $5,000 for the upgrade, owners are paying $2,500 for every tenth of a second they slash off their car’s 0-60 mph time. That’s $5,000 to slash less than the time it takes to blink off your car’s 0-60 time.
In short, unless you’re the sort of person who is obsessed with those few tenths of a second or spends a lot of time at the drag strip, you’re not going to notice.
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