A Step Further: The Tesla Model S P90D Gets a “Ludicrous” Acceleration Mode


Just when we thought the Tesla Model S P85D couldn’t get any more “insane,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently announced that a new Model S hardware update and larger battery pack will add a “Ludicrous” acceleration mode to the P90D, pushing horsepower to 762. The 0-60 mph run will drop from 3.1 seconds to an astonishing 2.8 seconds. Quarter-mile times will be under 11 seconds.

To put those figures into perspective, a brand-new 2015 Nissan GT-R NISMO (Godzilla on steroids) makes the 0-60 run in 2.9 seconds, needing turbocharger boost to build before delivering monstrous power. McLaren’s fantastic MP4-12C matches the GT-R’s time. Even Ferrari’s unshakable 458 Italia can only manage 0-60 in 3.0 seconds. All in all, the P90D’s performance is beyond world-class, and it’s always staggering to remember that it comes in a usable, spacious, and extremely efficient four-door sedan.


This incredible performance isn’t cheap, however. P85D owners will pay a $5,000 premium for the hardware that makes “Ludicrous” mode possible, and installation will be a separate fee. For those looking to build their new Model S, the hardware will be a $10,000 option on top of the required $3,000 for the 90 kWh battery pack (hence, the P90D nameplate).

In a press release, Tesla CEO Elon Musk explained that the absurd levels of acceleration come from improvements to fuses that manage and monitor battery output. With their own lithium-ion batteries and electronic controls, these new fuses will check power delivery thousands of times per second, allowing the batteries to maximize the energy routed to the motors. As a result, the upgraded batteries can now run at up to 1500 amps of current, up 200 from the old P85D’s 1300 amps, but range remains respectable at 265 miles.


Musk also added that on full acceleration, the P90D can achieve up to 1.1 g’s, which is “faster than falling.” And given the P90D’s all-wheel-drive system and that all of the P90’s torque is available from a standstill, acceleration will feel inexplicably faster than that from any other vehicle on the road. Having experienced the P85D’s acceleration, I can say that the uninterrupted rush of torque is absolutely mind-boggling, even ludicrous. Congratulations to Musk and Tesla for taking the Model S from “insane” to “ludicrous,” and stay tuned at TFLcar.com for more developments on the Tesla Model S P90D.

Please enjoy this TFLcar.com video review of the 2013 Tesla Model S P85.