Word leaked out yesterday that Tesla Motors had a big announcement set for today. While everyone was expecting there to be news about the Model X (which seemed highly likely) or the Model III (which seemed highly unlikely), the actual announcement is all about the Model S.
“First, I should address something that might be on your mind, like: ‘Where the heck is the Model X and the Model 3!? You should really get on that’” said Tesla CEO Elon with regards to today’s announcement. “Don't worry, those remain our focus and good progress is being made on both. X is on track for first deliveries in two months and Model 3 in just over two years.”
What Tesla did announce, however, are some improvements to the already spectacular Model S. For starters, the company has introduced a new entry-level model: the Model S 70. This vehicle features a 70 kWh battery pack and a single, rear-mounted 328hp electric motor. This essentially take over the price point that was previously occupied by the discontinued Model S 60.
But that’s not all; Musk also has some more performance in store for the already potent Model S P85D. While the P85D currently has an “Insane Mode” which allows the vehicle to rocket from 0 to 60 mph in about three seconds, Musk has unveiled new “Ludicrous Mode” which drops that time down to a neck snapping 2.8 seconds. In order to achieve this kind of performance, Tesla has developed a special fuse that allows maximum amp throughput to rise from 1,300 to 1,500 amps.
In addition to the sub three-second 0-60 time, Ludicrous Mode will allow the P85D to cover the quarter mile in an amazing 10.9 seconds. In addition, reaching the vehicle’s top speed of 155 mph now occurs 20 percent faster. Ludicrous indeed!
All of this doesn’t come cheaply, however. Existing P85D customers to can upgrade their vehicles to support Ludicrous Mode for $5,000 plus the cost of labor (this offer is only being made available of the next six months). New P85D customers will have to fork over the entire $10,000 for the option.
The last bit of news today relates to a new 90 kWh battery option that is available for 85 kWh hour versions of the Model S. The new 90 kWh option extends the maximum range of the Model S by roughly 5 percent and will cost $3,000.
“Model S already offers the highest possible safety ratings, the longest range of any EV, and over-the-air updates that continuously make it better,” Musk added. “The performance improvements we're announcing today demonstrate, yet again, that an electric car can soundly beat any gasoline car on efficiency and pure performance.”