Tesla To Begin Offering Ludicrous Mode As A Retrofit For P90D Model
Those who missed out on it the first time now have a second chance to get itby Kirby Garlitos, on
Tesla’s aptly named Ludicrous Mode for the Model S initially became available as a configurable option for the P90D, which meant that those who weren’t able to fork out the extra $10,000 were left out entirely. Eventually, Tesla extended the option to owners of the P85D as a $5,000 retrofit, giving owners of that Model S trim a chance to try it out. Now, Tesla is giving owners of the P90D a second chance to avail of the option they passed on the first time.
The cost for the retrofit remains at $10,000, but for that money, P90D owners get the full benefits of the Ludicrous Mode for their Model S units. This includes the replacement of the car’s standard fuse with a more advanced “smart fuse” that Tesla says can monitor and manage electric current right down to the millisecond. On top of that, the main steel battery pack gets replaced with an innocent superalloy, an oxidation and corrosion resistant material that can withstand environments subjected to high amounts of pressure and heat. Incidentally, this material is also used by SpaceX, another Elon Musk company, specifically in the engine manifold of the Merlin rocket engine that powers the Falcon 9 launch vehicle.
These upgrades are included for the specific purpose of improving the car’s performance capabilities. According to Tesla, a Model S P90D fitted with Ludicrous Mode not only increases its maximum output to 1,500 amps from 1,300 amps, but just as important, it helps shed time off of the sedan’s performance numbers. For example, a sprint time of 0 to 60 mph takes just 2.8 seconds with Ludicrous Mode, 10 percent quicker than models without it. The quarter-mile time also drops to 10.9 seconds from 11.1 seconds while the 155-mph top speed is “20 percent faster” to attain compared to a Ludicrous Mode-less Model S P90D.
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Why it matters
Generally speaking, the upgrades that come with the Ludicrous Mode aren’t that ludicrous to begin with. In other words, they’re alright. But, here’s the thing: the relative dearth of performance upgrades for the Model S should be enough to entice owners of the P90D to avail of the retrofit.
Tesla isn’t promising an entirely new world of performance capabilities for the performance sedan, but the upgrades that come with the Ludicrous Mode do come with the advantage of helping round the Model S into better shape. The use of the inconic superalloy is actually a significant upgrade over the stock steel material. Same thing with the “advanced smart fuse”. These modifications won’t do anything to improve upon the Model S’s appearance, but they’re very important improvements in the place where all the magic really happens: the powertrain.
Besides, the cost of availing the Ludicrous Mode retrofit - $10,000 plus the extra expenses tied into taxes and labor installation - isn’t that expensive to the point that P90D owners are going to be financially affected. Some owners might scoff at spending that much, especially those who are already happy with the way their cars run. But, for those looking to give their Model S P90D models that extra slice of performance edge, availing of the Ludicrous Mode retrofit isn’t all that ludicrous of an idea.
Read our full review on the Tesla Model S here.