Elon Musk went on another Tweetstorm last night and although it was mostly about SpaceX’s upcoming missions (not that we mind – it’s just not what we cover), he did reveal a few tidbits of information involving the Tesla Model 3.
The CEO said that the higher-end version of the Model 3 will have a ‘Ludicrous’ mode option, like the Model S and X.
During the Model 3 unveiling last month, Musk only talked about the minimum specs of the vehicle and in term of acceleration, he only revealed the 0 to 60 mph in “less than 6 seconds” – that’s for the rear-wheel-drive base version starting at $35,000 before incentives.
The day before the unveiling, a source familiar with the Model 3 program told us that Tesla was planing for the higher-end all-wheel-drive to be able accelerate from 0 to 60 in less than 4 seconds, which would make the higher-end Model 3 faster than the current lower-end Model S, though still a little slower than the higher-end versions – especially the performance version with ‘Ludicrous’ mode (0 to 60 in 2.8s).
Ludicrous mode is an upgrade on top of the performance version of Tesla’s vehicles (eg Model S P90D). The upgrade consists of two improvements to the electronics of the battery pack. The first improvement is the replacement of a standard fuse to an “advanced smart fuse” which enables the monitoring of current to the millisecond, and makes it possible to cut the power with “extreme precision”.
For the second improvement, Tesla replaced the main pack contactor to use Inconel instead of steel. Inconel is a space-grade superalloy well suited for extreme high temperature environments. This superalloy is primarily use in the aerospace industry, and one of its more famous use is in the novel manufacturing process of SpaceX’s SuperDraco engine.
The two improvements combined allow Tesla to increase the max power output of the Model S’ battery pack from 1300 to 1500 Amps, which enables higher performance. Tesla writes on the Ludicrous upgrade listing for the Model S:
“Upgrade the level of performance in your existing P90D from “INSANE” to “LUDICROUS”! This upgrade will decrease 0-60 mph time by 10% to 2.8 seconds with a quarter mile time of 10.9 seconds. The time to 155 mph is now 20% faster than a standard Model S Performance.”
And you get a line under your “P90D” badge to show that you have a “ludicrous” car. Tesla has yet to confirm the size of its battery packs for the Model 3, but it’s now safe to assume that we will have a version with an underlined P__D.
During the same Tweetstorm, Musk also said that more “cowbells” are coming with the next update:
We will keep an eye out for the next over-the-air updates.