Tesla to offer faster 'Ludicrous Mode'

This Tesla just went 'insane'
This Tesla just went 'insane'

If you want to merge onto the highway from a dead stop in less than three seconds, you no longer have to buy a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. Tesla will now offer a "Ludicrous Mode" on its high-powered P85D all-electric sedan.

That car already offers an "Insane Mode" that allows it to blast from zero to 60 miles/hour in just 3.2 seconds. With the "Ludicrous Mode," the new Tesla Model S P90D will get to 60 in just 2.8 seconds.

This latest improvement is something Tesla is offering simply because it's possible, Musk said, not because there was customer demand for more speed.

"Nobody was asking for 'Ludicrous Mode' because it was too ludicrous," Musk said during a conference call.

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The Insane Mode had already put Tesla's seven-seat sedan in a league with high-end two-seat sports cars, known for extreme acceleration. Tesla limits the car's top speed to 155 miles an hour.

To enable the extra speed, Tesla (TSLA) made engineering improvements to the car's electronics. These changes allow power to be drawn out of the car's battery pack more quickly, making for faster acceleration.

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At the same, Tesla also announced it will offer a longer range 90 killowatt hour battery pack that will provide about 15 miles more driving range compared to the 85 KwH battery pack that's currently Tesla's top offering, the P85.

The pack should give the car almost 300 miles of highway driving, Musk said.

The Ludicrous Mode capability will cost an additional $10,000 for buyers of the new all-wheel-drive Model S P90D.

The new car's total cost will be about $118,000.

The name comes from the Mel Brooks comedy movie "Spaceballs" in which a spaceship goes so fast -- after being set to "Ludicrous Speed" -- that it warps starlight into a plaid pattern.

Tesla isn't stopping with "Ludicrous Mode," either. A next-generation Tesla Roadster sports car, due out in four years, will have a mode called "Maximum Plaid."

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