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Is Tesla’s New ‘Ludicrous’ Mode Worth An Upgrade?

Recently, Tesla has been on a roll (performance-wise). They introduced the P85D, which is a dual-motor version of the Tesla Model S. It was one of the (if not the first) production electric cars to entice people of all kinds due to its performance, rather than its environmental or efficiency benefits. Tesla then provided an update for ‘Insane Mode’, which enabled the P85D to accelerate from 0-60 MPH in only 3.1 seconds. That put it squarely in supercar territory.

Tesla electric car
Tesla Model S sedan at the Detroit Auto Show.
Camera: Samsung WB30F.

Only a little later, Tesla has now offered a ‘Ludicrous’ upgrade that enhances the P85D’s 0-60 MPH acceleration time to 2.8 seconds, putting it at the top with the fastest cars on the market. The Ludicrous mode upgrade costs $5,000 (plus labour).

Elon Musk commented:

‘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 electronics 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.’

This means that Tesla is able to push the propulsion system closer to its limit without malfunctions. NB: There is a chance that abusing this feature may overheat and shorten the life of the motor/battery.

In addition to that, Tesla is now providing a 90 kWh battery option. Announced just this month, the option can increase range by 6%, or up to almost 300 miles per charge at speeds of 65 mph. Elon Musk also said that the 90 kWh pack option is only necessary for people whose commutes are very close to the maximum range. That makes sense, as the cost to upgrade from the 85 kWh to the 90 kWh is $3,000. That isn’t exorbitant, but batteries do cost a lot of money.

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