How one software update unlocks the absolute beast that lives within the Model S.
It's unclear whether the inconsistencies in Tesla's 0-60 mph times, which sometimes have been found to be shorter than what Elon Musk and friends claim, are due to sandbagging by the automaker or by production anomalies that cause some cars to be faster than others, but the fact is that the Model S P100D's 0-60 mph time is so short that small factors can change everything. Whatever the reason, Motor Trend has just tested the Model S P100D's Ludicrous + mode and found that it's faster than expected.
It all started when Tesla released the P100D, which was able to go from 0-60 mph in only 2.5 seconds, making it one of the fastest accelerating cars on the planet. Then the automaker released an update with its latest Software v8.0 release called Ludicrous +, which wrings out just a bit more acceleration by sacrificing the longevity of the gearbox and battery and forcing the car into a pre-acceleration ritual that cools the motors using the car's air conditioner and heats the battery to optimal temperatures. After waiting a few minutes for the components to reach operating temp, the Model S was able to hit 0-60 mph in 2.2755 seconds in Motor Trend's most recent test, obliterating the record set by any previous fastest car it tested.
The instant electric torque was more than enough to beat the last hardest launching car, the Porsche 911 Turbo S, to 60 mph by nearly 0.2 of a second. It also easily abolished records from 0 to 30,40, and 50 mph previously held by Model S competitors, although Tesla owners hoping for a true race car may be disappointed to learn that most other supercars surpass the sedan after the quarter mile mark. Still, the fact that a P100D can run the quarter mile in 10.5 seconds at 125 mph is no small feat. Most impressive however is the fact that Motor Trend's Model S P100D weighed 5,026 pounds with the driver and recording gear inside, making it a brute on the scales.
With ferocious acceleration performance in spite of the weight, there's no doubt that a stripped down Model S P100D could push the limit even further, something proved by the Model S race car. Maybe a future filled with electric cars won't be all that bad.