The electric-vehicle maker, channeling one of the more absurd moments of the Mel Brooks comedy “Spaceballs,” announced an upgrade to its high-performance Model S P85D that cuts its zero-to-60 time to a face-stretching 2.8 seconds — an option Tesla is calling “Ludicrous Mode.”
That compares with the now-seemingly leisurely time of 3.2 seconds for the current model’s “Insane Mode” setting.
“Nobody was asking for Ludicrous Mode because it was too ludicrous,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk told reporters on a conference call today. “Insane Mode has been incredibly well-received. We figured out from an engineering standpoint how to go beyond Insane so we figured we should release that.”
Zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds puts the Model S, a large sedan, in the realm of some of the fastest sports cars on the road today: It’s faster than Porsche’s top-end 911 Turbo S, which needs 2.9 seconds to hit the same speed.
Tesla also announced two additional Model S variants: a new rear-wheel-drive base model called the 70, which will start at $70,000 before any incentives, and a longer-range 90 model that uses a 90 kWh battery for about 300 miles of highway range on a single charge. For current owners, the upgrade from the 85 kWh battery pack would cost $3,000.