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Tesla vehicles can now emulate other, less powerful models through software


Tesla’s latest update didn’t only introduced a new Easter Egg that changes the animation of the road detected by the Autopilot to a Mario Kart-style rainbow road, we learn that it also enabled an interesting new feature that can modify the performance settings of Tesla vehicles to the performances of other models.

For example, the feature allows to set the performance settings of a Model S P90D to the settings of anything from a Model S 70 to 90D.

Of course, it’s only a software upgrade and therefore the feature can only downgrade the performance of the vehicle since it is still limited by its hardware – a performance motor can’t replicate the output of Tesla’s standard motor and you have the same problem with a 70 kWh battery pack to a 90 kWh pack.

Though it can still be particularly useful for test drives. A single vehicle can showcase the handling of all other trims. Tesla can wow potential customers with the performance of the P90D and if it’s too rich for their blood, quickly change the setting to a 70D and demonstrate how the vehicle performs.

At this point, I have enjoyed quite a few test drives in Tesla vehicles. I always had great experiences with very knowledgeable representatives, or sometime even with owners acting as brand ambassadors, I can only imagine this new feature being quite useful in the same context. Though I don’t see any other applications for it.

Can you think of any? Let us know in the comment section.

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  1. Daniel Steinberg - 7 years ago

    There aren’t range implications, are there? For example, would setting your 90D to 70D cut back on power output to the motors to the extent that you’re not using quite as much energy?

    There would of course be far better ways to do this (in terms of the UI/UX and marketing it as a feature like the iPhones new low power mode) but I can sort of see how that might actually work.

    • atokosch - 7 years ago

      The 90D and the 70D should be using the same motor configuration so that would not have an effect on your voltage and current the motors use. The P90D is the one with different motors, it uses a higher current and voltage to achieve the higher performance speeds, but that’s the only benefit, you can’t just change the voltage and current being drawn by the motors in the software and expect better range, it’s a hardware change with a software change, not just a software change.
      So unfortunately a P90D will not downgrade to 70D motor specs to

      • atokosch - 7 years ago

        (Didn’t mean to post that, I wasn’t finished haha)
        70D/90D motors specs to give you longer range in a P90D.

    • JoeA - 7 years ago

      I have the same question. Would setting it to a 70 or 70D give you an extra 10+ miles of range?

  2. M.J. Christensen - 7 years ago

    I’m sure it would require some extra tweaking to programming, but I have a great one: kids! If you have a teen driver, you could have their key programmed to run your P90D in 70D mode.

    • Mircea Stancu - 7 years ago

      You may wanna dial that all the way down to a 40rwd or something mate 🙂
      A 70D accelerates as fast as a BMW X5 M-series, as shown by the tests we made in Canberra ( It’s actually… slightly faster as shown by the table. We even have the videos to prove it!
      You wouldn’t trust a teenage driver with an M-series BMW, would you? 😛

    • atokosch - 7 years ago

      You must have a lot of money if you’re going to trust a teenager driving a ~$130k car alone! Im 19, I think this is a great idea, but knowing how some teenagers drive I would not let my child drive my expensive car alone, without me in it, even if they had their license! Granted I did put a reservation down on a Model 3, but that’s with my own money and it will be my car (but I would definitely love a Model S!)
      Also, in the software you have to turn on ludicrous mode to get the extra performance, it is defaulted to slower speeds, but you still get thrown back in your seat!

    • Robert Weekley - 7 years ago

      Valet Mode (Model S 70 {Single Motor Performance Limit!})
      Friend Driving – first time – Valet Mode
      Teen Driver Mode (Model S 40!!)

    • Mahern - 7 years ago

      Just put it in ballet mode. 🙂

  3. D Vajevec - 7 years ago

    You could model other vehicles too, including sound. You could switch from driving a RWD Ferrari V12 to a 4×4 pickup truck or tractor. It would be hilarious.

  4. Jacques gouffaux - 7 years ago

    Reducing the performance of the car would probably slightly increase the range by some miles. The advantage of the software setting being you do not need to pay continuous attention to.

  5. Bradley - 7 years ago

    Teens shouldn’t be driving a $70-120k car.

    • JoeA - 7 years ago

      Teens “Should” be driving the safest car on the road. (They pick our nursing homes) I think Bradley means some teens, but not the ones I taught. Plus, they text a lot, so maybe they should be required to have Autopilot cars?

  6. Mentat Handbook - 7 years ago

    The feature can be extended to adjust the driving experience according to the driver, either for less experienced drivers (with speed limita and more safeguards) or racecar drivers (with full control & power). It can also emulate other cars as well (given consent from the manufacturers), such as a Ford Model T or some of the initial Formula 1 cars. It would be an interesting lesson for kids to know just how fast were the cars when initially appeared.

  7. lachmoewe - 7 years ago

    So basically this allows you to switch form AWD to RWD? Has this been possible before?

  8. duhur - 7 years ago

    does this allow to switch to RWD?? It would be perfect for taking the car for a drift in the snow.

    • MorinMoss - 7 years ago

      If they allowed complete disabling of regen, I think the track performance would improve.

  9. Jake Poysti - 7 years ago

    I wish they added the option to make the car act like a Gasoline powered competitor. So remove some of the torque that’s available off the line, make the audio system make more sounds etc. Would be fun and could maybe be useful for purposes of showing how much better a Tesla is. But mostly just fun.

  10. Drucifer - 7 years ago

    My wife is nervous about the pedal response in my P85. I can change it to be like a 70 and make it much more “wife friendly”

  11. Paul H - 7 years ago

    I think this part is written in reverse: – a performance motor can’t replicate the output of Tesla’s standard motor… Should Be: – a standard motor can’t replicate the output of Tesla’s performance motor…

  12. Rushi - 7 years ago

    I test drove a 90D that was supposedly set to emulate 70 RWD. At that time it didn’t occur to me that the 90D’s rear wheel motor is smaller than the 70 RWD and couldn’t possibly emulate its performance. Is it simply using AWD?

  13. Johan Heyrman - 7 years ago

    I own a P85D and this performance trick isn’t working for me. I don’t get the option to select between performance.


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