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Upgrades Hardware Hacking Power Transportation

"Ludicrous Speed" For Tesla's Model S Means 0-60 MPH In 2.8 Seconds 171

Automobile Magazine, writes reader Eloking, reports that the highest-end of the Tesla line has just gotten a boost upward, thanks to a new "Ludicrous Speed" mode: In combination with a newly optional 90-kWh battery pack, this new mode brings 0-60 mph acceleration down to 2.8 seconds (from a quoted 3.2 seconds for the P85D model). This larger battery pack is offered as an upgrade from the existing 85-kWh model, creating new 90, 90D, and P90D models. It doesn't come cheap, though: this isn't just a firmware update to download. For P90D owners, the upgrade costs $10,000 (including the larger battery); P85Ds can be upgraded for half that price.
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"Ludicrous Speed" For Tesla's Model S Means 0-60 MPH In 2.8 Seconds

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 17, 2015 @06:09PM (#50132879)

    Are you even trying anymore, editors?

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Friday July 17, 2015 @06:53PM (#50133087)

      Are you even trying anymore, editors?

      Link to TFA [autoblog.com].

      • by bgarcia ( 33222 ) on Saturday July 18, 2015 @05:13AM (#50134427) Homepage Journal
        Link to the announcement on Tesla's website [teslamotors.com]
        And reproduced below:
        ---
        • 70 kWh rear drive Model S for $70k
        • 90 kWh battery pack option for $3k
        • 2.8 sec 0 to 60 mph upgrade to "Ludicrous Mode"

        First, I should address something that might be on your mind, like: "Where the heck is the Model X and the Model 3!? You should really get on that." Don't worry, those remain our focus and good progress is being made on both. X is on track for first deliveries in two months and Model 3 in just over two years.

        70 kWh for $70k
        Now, on to the awesome news of today. The 70 kWh version of the Model S in the single motor version at $70k costs $5k less than the dual motor version, consistent with the price differential for the single and dual motor 85 kWh car. Importantly, enough options are now standard that you will have bought a great car even if you pick the base version.

        In many countries, national and state/province purchase incentives for clean energy vehicles improve the price to some degree. In the US, for example, the price after incentives is usually around $60k. Also, not having to buy gasoline and needing less service for an electric car typically saves around $2k per year, which accumulates to $10k over the national average car ownership period of five years. This economic advantage is often overlooked when evaluating gasoline vs electric cars. Moreover, these savings are experienced immediately in your monthly cost of transportation if you lease or finance an electric car.

        90 kWh Pack
        New buyers now have the option of upgrading the pack energy from 85 to 90 kWh for $3k, which provides about 6% increased range. For example, this takes our current longest range model, the 85D, to almost 300 miles of highway range at 65mph.

        Existing owners can also purchase the pack upgrade, but I wouldn't recommend doing so unless usage is on the edge of current range. On average, we expect to increase pack capacity by roughly 5% per year. Better to wait until you have more time on your existing pack and there is a larger accumulated pack energy difference.

        Luuudicrous Mode
        While working on our goal of making the power train last a million miles, we came up with the idea for an advanced smart fuse for the battery. Instead of a standard fuse that just melts past a certain amperage, requiring a big gap between the normal operating current and max current, we developed a fuse with its own electronics and a tiny lithium-ion battery. It constantly monitors current at the millisecond level and is pyro-actuated to cut power with extreme precision and certainty.

        That was combined with upgrading the main pack contactor to use inconel (a high temperature space-grade superalloy) instead of steel, so that it remains springy under the heat of heavy current. The net result is that we can safely increase the max pack output from 1300 to 1500 Amps.

        What this results in is a 10% improvement in the 0 to 60 mph time to 2.8 secs and a quarter mile time of 10.9 secs. Time to 155 mph is improved even more, resulting in a 20% reduction.

        This option will cost $10k for new buyers. In appreciation of our existing P85D owners, the pack electronics upgrade needed for Ludicrous Mode will be offered for the next six months at only $5k plus installation labor.

        It is important to note that the battery pack size upgrade and the pack electronics upgrade are almost entirely independent. The first is about energy, which affects range, and the second is about power, which affects acceleration.

        There is of course only one thing beyond ludicrous, but that speed is reserved for the next generation Roadster in 4 years: maximum plaid.

        — Elon

    • Are you even trying anymore, editors?

      What makes you think they ever were? Concise well written summaries with correct spelling, grammar, informative links to correct sources rather than some personal blog, and all devoid of clickbait headlines and some editor's stupid remarks only every appear here by accident.

  • by mcl630 ( 1839996 ) on Friday July 17, 2015 @06:09PM (#50132881)

    "Ludicrous speed, NOW!!!"

    Eat your heart out Mel Brooks.

  • sues for prior art.
  • Also on CNN (Score:5, Informative)

    by ClickOnThis ( 137803 ) on Friday July 17, 2015 @06:12PM (#50132899) Journal

    An article on CNN [cnn.com] has a few more details.

    Their next generation, out in four years, will offer "Maximum Plaid." No, really.

  • Somehow I get the feeling that this $10K upgrade will just get me a bit more smoke and rubber left on the road. Just how was this tested? What am I likely to really achieve on a local highway and with stock tires (presumably while steering clear of cops and any other nearby traffic)?

    • by tomhath ( 637240 )
      A '72 Z28 Camaro is around 4 seconds, so I agree - those numbers are suspect at best. Have they actually done it? Or is this what the engineers calculate it might be able to do?
      • by burtosis ( 1124179 ) on Friday July 17, 2015 @06:45PM (#50133047)

        A '72 Z28 Camaro is around 4 seconds, so I agree - those numbers are suspect at best. Have they actually done it? Or is this what the engineers calculate it might be able to do?

        I'm not sure its reasonable to compare a one wheel wonder rear wheel drive car (standard differential) to an all wheel drive electric. You are basically running on a fraction of the traction and therefore theoretical maximum acceleration for your tires.

      • by amicusNYCL ( 1538833 ) on Friday July 17, 2015 @06:54PM (#50133089)

        No, they went to earnings calls and straight to market just on the strength of some nerd's multiplication skills, no one actually thought of getting into a car and timing it. Maybe you should call and let them know to try it.

        • No, they went to earnings calls and straight to market just on the strength of some nerd's multiplication skills, no one actually thought of getting into a car and timing it. Maybe you should call and let them know to try it.

          You forgot to include a citation for that. Please link to your arse.

      • by bledri ( 1283728 ) on Friday July 17, 2015 @07:18PM (#50133205)

        A '72 Z28 Camaro is around 4 seconds, so I agree - those numbers are suspect at best. Have they actually done it? Or is this what the engineers calculate it might be able to do?

        This is a Poe, right? Well played. YouTube will give you the answers you seek. :)

        The 762 HP all-wheel drive electric car with traction control and performance tires (standard on the Model D) most definitely blows the doors of of the 255 HP rear wheel drive V8 with a standard differential. Also, the '72 Z/28 has a 0-60 time of 7.4 seconds.

      • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Friday July 17, 2015 @09:19PM (#50133551)

        I used to race RC cars in competition. Both "Stock cars" (we called them pan cars) and drag races. We're not talking about walmart RC cars here... Mine were custom cut out of graphite sheets with a CNC router. My pan car would do between 70 and 80mph real speed, not scale. The drag car wasn't really measurable but it's speed resembled an arrow in flight. Random video I found: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

        Basically everything Tesla is doing was stolen from my old hobby. The torque possible with an electric motor is only limited by the fleshy bit behind the steering wheel. Tesla could literally kill you if they let the motor wind out at full torque. The biggest problem I had to deal with was the heat on the power cables. The cables were the size of pencils but they were draining 20+ c-cell batteries completely dead in just a few seconds. As the tech advanced, we eventually had to get rid of battery connectors completely. We'd solder the battery backs directly to the speed controller. Then the cables between cells would start melting, so we spot welded sheet metal directly to them. Then the speed controllers started frying to we switched to mechanical relays that just dumped the entire battery at 100% at once. We had so many car fires, the school gyms that we used to race at wouldn't let us run there anymore. If you're wondering, to get batteries to dump that much juice at once, you have to "Train" them... we'd hook them up to tractor headlights from the local farm implement store and dump them quick. Then charge them quick. Do this hundreds of times and they'd turn into these super high voltage power houses. I think a while later, after I left the hobby, they put limits on the voltage output of the batteries, because they were getting pretty dangerous. I saw people get hurt at some major competitions by batteries exploding and in one case a car punched through a 3/4" sheet of plywood and broke a persons leg. That was from a standing start from less than 100 feet away.

        As far as tires go... that's nothing. Regular car tires... well they suck. They're made very hard so they'll last a long time. To make a tire than has insane amounts of traction is easy... only problem is it only lasts 5k miles. But if you're buying a $200k car, I doubt you care.

      • Once you get down sub 4-5 seconds everything is about traction, not about power. The fact that the P85D/P90D are four wheel drive means that they have a metric fuck ton more traction than a Camaro. Add to that that the Camaro you're talking about did 4 seconds on 1970s tyres, and you get quite easily to a car with 4 wheel drive and a lot of torque can do 0-60 in 2.8 seconds.

        Admittedly that's into the range of current super/hyper cars (a McLaren P1, and The Ferrari The Ferrari will both do around 2.3 secon

      • by ne0n ( 884282 )

        A '72 Z28 Camaro is around 4 seconds

        You're just a stoned kid posting from mommy's basement after imbibing too many of ol' dad's rubbish stories about muscle cars of yore.

        Facts: 1972 was the beginning of the end for F-bodies. All engines were detuned even by Chevy standards, the biggest and most powerful could shove a Z28 to 100kph in around 7.5 seconds [zeroto60times.com]. That's an entire metric FUCK-TONNE of difference, kid.

      • The electric Tesla has two advantages over the Camaro. First, it's an all wheel drive car so there is twice as much rubber at work. Second, the electric motors deliver full torque all the way down to zero RPM, so the Tesla is faster off the mark.
    • Stock tires [denofgeek.com] make your car look like an AMC

    • by bledri ( 1283728 )

      Somehow I get the feeling that this $10K upgrade will just get me a bit more smoke and rubber left on the road. Just how was this tested? What am I likely to really achieve on a local highway and with stock tires (presumably while steering clear of cops and any other nearby traffic)?

      The upgrade is to the P85D, which is the performance model so it's already got decent tires on it. Plus it's a four-wheel drive electric vehicle with traction control. So no tire smoking and on dry pavement you're going to get damn close to 0-60 in 2.8 seconds if you have a full charge. As the the charge decreases, you'll loose a bit of the acceleration.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        On "prepared" pavement. Just "dry" really isn't going to be sufficient, through "dry and clean" might not be too bad, even without the TrackBite.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        The traction control must be working overtime. Even my Leaf can easily spin the tyres if I disable the traction control and put my foot down in the dry. I think most people have little idea just how weak ICE cars are at low speeds, until they drive an EV.

        Even with the traction control off you can tell that the engine management system is holding back a bit at low speed. I wonder if they tweaked that for the Nismo version. Also, 93 MPH in reverse.

        • by AaronW ( 33736 )

          My experience with my Tesla P85 is that the traction control is extremely good. It gives just a little bit of slip. There is virtually no difference in 0-60 time with it disabled vs enabled.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is NOT an old-school rear wheel drive with essentially an open diff and sloppy suspension. The car could theoretically apply exactly the maximum amount of power possible before causing wheelspin, to each wheel, continuously adjusting them all simultaneously until you let off the pedal. Given enough power it might even be possible to accelerate /almost/ as fast as you can stop. So, if it can go 60-0 in 104 feet with those tires...

      Tesla vs Hellcat back in January [streetcardrags.com]

      Also, if you're only going zero to [the

      • Tesla vs Hellcat back in January [streetcardrags.com]

        I bet the defeat would have been less embarrassing if the hellcat driver hadn't spent the first 5 seconds spinning his wheels in first gear. That he would lose there could be no doubt. The Tesla has more horsepower and all wheel drive. A rear wheel drive with less horsepower can't hope to keep up with that. Less overall traction AND less horsepower to drive it.

        • A rear wheel drive with less horsepower can't hope to keep up with that. Less overall traction AND less horsepower to drive it.

          Say hi to the Atom [arielatom.com].

      • by fnj ( 64210 ) on Friday July 17, 2015 @11:31PM (#50133881)

        I've never heard of a U.S. state that has a law against "accelerating too fast" as long as you aren't racing another vehicle and you don't break traction for an extended period of time or commit some other moving violation in the process.

        Only every single state in the union, that's all. If the cops don't like the cut of your jib, their racket is to nail you for "exhibition of speed" or the equivalent (I know it's really acceleration, not speed, but you're not going to win the argument with ol' man law by dazzling him with grammatic precision - please trust me on this). Completely aside from obvious no-nos like drag races, street races, peel outs, skidding, sliding, and drifting, any suggestion of "showing off" is your doom, but you can also be written up for doing it alone on a deserted stretch of road. And the old ruse of "gee officer, the car surprised me, I wasn't trying, I had no idea the car had that much power" also usually doesn't fly at all.

        Finally, "breaking traction for an extended period of time", are you kidding? Just barking the tires instantaneously is a no-no.

        • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
          They actually do name it correctly, at least in some states, "Unnecessary show of acceleration."
          • What's "unnecessary"? Somehow I don't see
            "Officer, I had to gun it to make the next green light!"
            working very well.

        • As a teenager, I recieved a citation for "peeling and squealing" my tires. Being under 18, it was a mandatory court appearance along with a parent. My dad told the judge the noise the officer thought he heard was a power steering belt slipping and he replaced it two days latter. The judge made some comment about calling the cop a liar and dad replied "jesus christ, itsca worn out ford pinto with a four cylinder, exactly what make anyone think its capable of peeling and squealing ". I had to pay a $65 fi

      • by AaronW ( 33736 )

        The nice thing about the Tesla is you don't have to do anything special to get insane acceleration without just spinning the wheels and smoking the tires. Just mash down on the accelerator and let the traction control do the rest. I have a P85 and it's a lot of fun.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      The "stock" tires on the performance edition should do just fine on any reasonably flat paved road. Will it burn rubber? Prooooooooobably. The point is though the $10k upgrade makes your $100k car accelerate like cars that cost ten times as much. It's the class of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Koenigsegg, McLaren and high end Porsche, compared to them the Tesla is a bargain. Of course there's a catch, it can't cruise very long at really high speeds but unless you have an unrestricted Autobahn nearby that won't matt

    • The 3.2 second 0-60 of the P85D model S has been independently verified, so I don't see why it would be so outrageous to expect an upgraded model to do better.

      The Tesla is in fact specifically engineered to not leave rubber on the road. The computer actively measures the car's acceleration and adjusts the torque on the wheels so that they apply the maximum possible force to the road without slipping.

    • Here's the deal: From 0-~30MPH, the car (a P85D) is limited by friction grip on the road. Note that they have decent size wide tires as a stock item, and the car weighs about 4700 lbs, so the grip is pretty solid. You *WILL* feel the slightest road imperfection- gravel, potholes, water, anything that causes any slip on a high acceleration "launch". The car does a great job of recovering and keeping the other wheels moving you forward (rather than careening into a ditch).

      The existing 3.05s time has been veri

    • by Shoten ( 260439 )

      Somehow I get the feeling that this $10K upgrade will just get me a bit more smoke and rubber left on the road. Just how was this tested? What am I likely to really achieve on a local highway and with stock tires (presumably while steering clear of cops and any other nearby traffic)?

      ...

      This is an upgrade to a six-figure car that brings its 0-60 speed from 3.2 to 2.8 seconds...and you're asking practical questions about how this would play out under normal driving conditions???

      Have you ever DRIVEN on real roads with real traffic before? Aside from a toll booth, I am having a very hard time imagining a place where you would be at a dead stop and go right up to 60 mph at full force with no hesitation, no deceleration or any other such interruption along the way. And a tool booth is the

      • by AaronW ( 33736 )

        I do it every time I have to stop at the metering lights when traffic is moving nicely on the freeway in my P85.

  • by Sponge Bath ( 413667 ) on Friday July 17, 2015 @06:17PM (#50132927)
    No-time Toulouse. The story of the wild and lawless days of the post-Impressionists.
  • were reported on in Science News, my boss and I were talking about the implications and our first thought (his actually) was drag racers [wikipedia.org]. The power mass densities (different than energy density) was insane. You could build a car in literally tens of kg that could accelerate at 10g's!
  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt&nerdflat,com> on Friday July 17, 2015 @06:27PM (#50132975) Journal
    That's gotta have some interesting ramifications when you are driving on a slope, especially if you are accelerating over a small rise in the road.
    • by Etherwalk ( 681268 ) on Friday July 17, 2015 @07:21PM (#50133219)

      That's gotta have some interesting ramifications when you are driving on a slope, especially if you are accelerating over a small rise in the road.

      The ramifications might include your breakfast.

    • by Falos ( 2905315 )
      My understanding is that exceeding 1.0G requires adding downward net force by windfoil and surface grip. Apparently formula racers spin their wheels before starting guns, just to heat the rubber sticky. Apparently the main ramification of a small bump or aerodynamic failure is usually catastrophic: Your racer shooting up into the air and flipping vertically like someone put a bomb under your front lip.

      Well, I got that last one from internet GIFs. Shit be nuts, yo.
      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        Why are they manufacturing a car for use by the general public if it is that dangerous on even slightly uneven roads?
  • This might ignite a firestorm among ICE car vendors.

    Now if only we had a car analogy.

    • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

      This might ignite a firestorm among ICE car vendors.

      Why? Several of the latest ICE supercars already seem to incorporate an electric assist for acceleration, and no-one else really cares about a car that can accelerate really fast but takes longer to recharge than the amount of time you can drive on the highway between charges.

      Utility of a 2.8 second 0-60 time for most ICE car owners = 0.
      Utility of being able to drive 500 miles and then 'recharge' in five minutes = lots.

      • Re:Shocking! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by thestuckmud ( 955767 ) on Friday July 17, 2015 @08:00PM (#50133339)

        Utility of a 2.8 second 0-60 time for most ICE car owners = 0.
        Utility of being able to drive 500 miles and then 'recharge' in five minutes = lots.

        Utility of having decent range and never having to stop at a gas station = priceless!

        Seriously. Buy a second car (owners of this Tesla can certainly afford one). Or borrow a friends (they'll be happy to drive you Telsa for a day). Or rent a car for your trip. The convenience of having a fully charged car every morning more than makes up for any range anxiety I might have had, and my electric has less than half the range of a Tesla.

        • Yep, same here - drive to work, plug in, drive home; drive to work, plug in, drive home, ...

          I never ever ever have to think at all about stopping at a petrol station, and I never dip below 70-80% battery charge, also, with a ~100 mile range on my car.

      • Most cars can't make 500 miles between refuelings, and if you stop at a supercharger station you can very much be on the road for longer times than you spend recharging.

        That's without a battery swap station, of which Tesla has demonstrated a model which can replace the battery faster than you can refuel a 500 mile ranged vehicle.

        • by fnj ( 64210 )

          Most cars can't make 500 miles between refuelings

          Plenty of them do, though. Mine does. Every time. In fact, my record (both directions on a closed course) is 798 miles. In a very normal car; not even a hybrid.

      • by Cyberax ( 705495 )
        I traveled 8000 miles in 1 month on my new Tesla. Range and recharge time is not a problem - superchargers are almost everywhere where I would want to go in the US: http://supercharge.info/ [supercharge.info]
      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        Utility of a 2.8 second 0-60 time for most ICE car owners = 0.
        Utility of being able to drive 500 miles and then 'recharge' in five minutes = lots.

        YMMV but I don't think I've ever driven 500 miles in a day, ever. The longest would be around 350 miles and that included one substantial break, enough for a supercharge. The issue is more that a $20k ICE car primarily made for commuting can make the occasional 350 mile drive, while nothing short of the Tesla will do on the EV side without ages of charging time. Neither is really a killer feature IMHO, the killer feature would be getting the $35k model 3 out the door. Currently there's a huge no man's land

        • by fnj ( 64210 )

          I did approximately 650 miles one day. I drove to the hospital to visit my uncle, and back again. It was, oh, about maybe 16-18 hours without a real rest and I was half the age I am now. I sure as hell couldn't do it now.

      • Utility of being able to drive 500 miles and then 'recharge' in five minutes = lots.

        I don't really understand the necessity of this. Realistically, you're gonna be driving at most 70mph, more likely averaging 50-60 over a long journey. You can reasonably do 4 hours before you need to stop for lunch, and another 4 in the afternoon before you're going to want to eat dinner. Both of those meals are gonna take you half an hour.

        That means that a range of between 200 and 280 miles is sufficient for pretty much any form of driving save for utter insanity driving all through the night, and fran

  • Here's an idea. You can do one more Google search before you leave home.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday July 17, 2015 @07:54PM (#50133319)

    Finally, a car I can drive straight up the sides of buildings.

  • by toadlife ( 301863 ) on Friday July 17, 2015 @10:24PM (#50133753) Journal

    ..."Inconceivable" mode on the P100D.

  • You want the torque and power curve of an electric motor but the convenience of tanking up with kerosene?

    http://www.ultimatecarpage.com... [ultimatecarpage.com]

  • by Legal.2.Troll ( 4189291 ) on Saturday July 18, 2015 @07:30AM (#50134717)
    I get that there may still be efficiency gains over pushing a gas-fired car to 60mph in ~2 seconds, but doesn't this kind of wasteful driving sort of defeat the purpose of having an electric vehicle? Meanwhile you're using up highly specialized materials that simply aren't needed, if all you want to do is show off. --Legal.Troll (dodging his -1 Karma)
    • People want their expensive penis extensions regardless of whether they are powered by decomposed dinosaurs or by a fusion reactor in the sky. Is it still green?

      Considering a Veryon has the same 0-60 speeds, a 27 gal tank, and can only go 50 miles on that tank a full throttle I would definitely say that this is still green.

      The alternative is not to drive it like a normal car, but to drive a gas powered supercar. People may look for green ways of enjoying their hobby, but no one will abandon their hobby alto

    • If you are going to be driving wastefully, doing it as efficiently as possible still makes sense.

      I *WANT* one of these. Madly and desperately. Tesla heard my only objection left: All Wheel Drive. I have been maneuvering my finances to buy one since the AWD version came out. Now, I am almost willing to mortgage my soul to get one of these. (I would definitely NOT mortgage my soul, it is a figure of speech designed to show how much I want one of these.)

  • i don't care if it takes 5 minutes to get up to 60mph, what I want is a 400 mile range.
  • How did we get this deep into the comments with no occurrence of either the word "Kessel" or "parsec"?

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.

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