Automotive journalists get to do things mere mortals do not, like taking someone else’s expensive luxury car and drive the wheels off it. That’s what Car and Driver did recently with a brand new Tesla Model S P90D with Ludicrous Mode.
Let’s clarify that nomenclature. The “90” means the car has a 90 kWh battery, the largest currently offered by Tesla. The “D” means it has dual motors, making it an all wheel drive vehicle. The “P” means it has the performance upgrade for faster acceleration. And “Ludicrous”? That is a $10,000 option on top of the performance option that makes the car get from 0-60 faster than the ordinary P90D can.
Is that important? It is if you have an extra ten grand rattling around in your wallet and want to enjoy acceleration that pushes you eyeballs back into your head every time you mash the go pedal.
Car and Driver took their Model S test car out to the track, where it officially became the first production 4 door car they have ever tested that accelerated to 60 mph in under 3 seconds. It did it in 2.8 seconds, to be precise. That time is the average of two runs, one in each direction to eliminate any variation caused by wind. It did the quarter mile in 11.1 seconds with a top speed of 121 mph.
Prior to the P90D Ludicrous, the fastest Tesla Car and Driver ever tested was the P85D Insane. It went 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and “only” recorded a top speed of 114 mph at the drag strip. That’s what an extra $10,000 buys you.
To have the fastest Tesla Model S, you have to make do without a few things. Don’t order the heavy panoramic sunroof or the optional rear facing seats. Forget about the second battery charger, too. All those things add weight, although they may make the car more enjoyable to drive on a daily basis.
When you get to your local drag strip, make sure the battery’s state of charge is at least 95% and that “max battery performance mode” is selected on the car’s touchscreen. Using all that power heats up the battery pack, so allow at least 3 minutes between runs to let it cool down a bit. Do all that and you will have the fastest Tesla Model S at the drag strip that day.