As we reported yesterday, Tesla finally started pushing the software update promised by CEO Elon Musk that includes an Easter Egg to enable an even quicker 0 to 60 mph acceleration in the Tesla Model S P100D Ludicrous. The vehicle was already the “Quickest Production Car in the World” with a 2.5-second 0 to 60 mph acceleration, but now the first test with the new update showed a 2.4-second time.
And that might only be the beginning as Musk now says that 2.34 seconds “might be achievable”, which would again raise the bar for sedans and even most supercars.
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No 4-door sedan has come even close to the 0 to 60 mph acceleration of the Model S ever since Tesla started producing dual motor performance version of the vehicle, but the ‘Ludicrous mode’ has pushed the performance past even most supercars.
Only the almost $1 million Porsche 918 Spyder is technically quicker with a 2.2-second time.
The more than 1,000 lbs difference between the two cars makes a significant difference, but if it can really achieve 2.34 seconds like Musk now claims is achievable, everything is possible.
Musk is referring to Motor Trend’s way of calculating the 0 to 60 mph time using a first foot–rollout. Most 0 to 60 mph times are calculated using this method now.
The Ludicrous upgrade consists of two improvements to the electronics of Tesla’s 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 used 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.”
But now the latest versions of the vehicle have shown a max power output 1,600 amps and of course, a much quicker 0-60 time.
As evidenced by the latest software updates, Tesla is still learning to handle that much power in its vehicles, which is why it can increase performance simply through software updates.
The company is also now warning owners that so much power can result in premature wear of some components, which is why it limits the power of performance vehicles after too many launches with ‘launch mode’.