Last week, Tesla Motors made a few of its trademark “What?! I didn’t even see that coming!” announcements, kicking-off – among other things – an upgrade to the range-topping Tesla Model S P85D which brings the electric sedan’s maximum output to a staggering, jaw-dropping, kiss-your-friends-and-loved-ones-goodbye 762 horsepower.
Car and Driver explains that the 762 HP “Ludicrous” mode is a subtle nod to Mel Brooks’ classic, intergalactic epic: Spaceballs. Also, they explain that it’s also only attainable because of two recent developments: a new and improved 1500-Ampere battery fuse (in-place of the old 1300-Amp unit), and a higher-capacity, 90-kWh battery pack.
See, the 1300-Amp fuse formerly found in the Tesla Model S P85D necessitated a bottleneck in the supply of current, which kept 0-60 mph acceleration at its claimed 3.1 seconds. With the uprated battery pack fuse, and the more capacious battery pack, that figure declines to a scant 2.8 seconds. Unfortunately, the “Ludicrous Mode” feature costs an additional $10,000 on top of the price of a factory Tesla Model S P90D, bringing the car’s price before incentives up to $109,200 (the 90-kWh battery pack itself is a $3,000 option for the AWD Performance model).
Car and Driver does report, however, that current Tesla Model S P85D owners can have their cars converted for Ludicrous mode for just $5,000 plus labor. Unfortunately, that deal only stands for the next 6 months.
Several more updates have also been announced for the Tesla Model S sedan, including the availability of a new, non-Performance Model S 90D. Again, the uprated battery pack is available from the factory for a mere $3,000 extra, and with it, the car is EPA-certified for a range of 270 miles.
Also announced is a new base model in the Tesla Model S range: a RWD, single-drive-motor variant with the automaker’s 70-kWh battery pack. Formerly, the AWD Model S 70D had been introduced as the marque’s most basic offering, but this new RWD car comes in at $6,200 less, albeit with a loss of 186 HP and a mere 10 miles less range.