Tesla’s New ‘Ludicrous Mode’ Takes You From 0 to 60 MPH in 2.8 Seconds

18 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Elon Musk: upgrade to Tesla Model S car makes it ‘faster than falling’.

CEO Elon Musk said Friday that the upgrade will cost $10,000 for new buyers of the Model S, whose base price is $70,000. Elon Musk has made it official: his electric car company, Tesla Motors, is planning to debut an unnamed new Roadster in four years, and it won’t be based on the Lotus like the last one.Tesla Motors Inc. unveiled three features for its Model S on Friday, including a “ludicrous” speed mode that can take the all-electric sedan from zero to 60 miles per hour in just under three seconds.Environmentally conscious automotive thrill-seekers can now get a “ludicrous mode” upgrade for their top-of-the-line Tesla Model S … if they’re willing to shell out an extra $10,000. The name “ludicrous mode” comes from Mel Brooks’ 1987 “Star Wars” spoof “Spaceballs,” where a spaceship is able to surpass light speed – traveling so fast it turns plaid.

The “ludicrous mode” feature will also be available in the upcoming Model X SUV, although it will be a bit slower, going from 0-60 mph in only 3.3 seconds. Tesla said the next version of its Roadster car will have a “maximum plaid” speed, but that Roadster won’t be available for another four years.

It’s like having your own private rollercoaster.” Tesla customers weren’t asking to go faster, he added, but the company wanted to see if they could do it. “We figured out from an engineering standpoint how to go beyond and then we thought, we should release that.” Musk said that the acceleration was officially 1.1 G’s, making it “faster than falling”. The fuse has its own electronics and a tiny lithium-ion battery that constantly monitors current, and it uses a super-alloy rather than steel so it can withstand the heat generated by the electric current.

Musk said the software was progressing, but that he had run into difficulties on the road in California. “Right now [the auto-driving software] works incredibly well if the highway markings are clear,” he said, but less so if lane lines are hard to see. This is a problem across self-driving vehicles; when Daimler sought permission to run self-driving 18-wheelers in Nevada, it asked the state to brighten the lane lines. “The acid test […] happens to be the 405 in LA, one of the world’s worst freeways,” Musk said, “which is a light concrete surface with faded white lines and then black skidmarks that have a higher contrast than the actual lanes.” Lane width also varies on the 405, he said. SPX, +0.11% During the call, Musk offered some incremental updates on the timelines for the Model X, Tesla’s planned SUV, and the Model 3, the mass-market car Tesla plans to sell for about $40,000.

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