Tesla "Ludicrous Mode" added to Model S

Tesla is adding a Ludicrous Mode to its Model S, introducing a new "smart fuse" that allows the 0-60 mph time to be cut to just 2.8 seconds. Rather than using a traditional fuse that melts if the voltage gets too high, Tesla has developed an electronic version with its own battery, which tracks current in real-time and is pyro-actuated to cut the power if necessary. That's allowed Tesla to increase the maximum throughput from 1300 to 1500 Amps on the Model S P85D and P90D.

The result is a 10-percent cut in 0-60 mph time for the Model S, and it means that the Model S will now accelerate at 1.1G: "it's faster than falling," Musk pointed out.

With Ludicrous Mode fitted, the quarter mile will be completed in 10.9 seconds, while the time to 155 mph is now 20-percent faster when compared to the standard Model S Performance.

The fuse isn't the only change that has been made as part of the new mode. "That was combined with upgrading the main pack contractor to use inconel (a high temperature space-grade superalloy) instead of steel," Musk explains, "so that it remains springy under the heat of heavy current."

While the name might seem light-hearted, it's not the first time Tesla has used a tongue-in-cheek title. An "Insane Mode" was added to the Model S as part of the P85 D, squeezing further acceleration out of the drivetrain.

Ludicrous Mode will also be offered on the upcoming Model X SUV, with Musk estimating it will cut the car's 0-60mph time to around 3.3 seconds. That's yet to be tested, however.

The Ludicrous Mode upgrade will be priced at $10k to new buyers of the new P90D. However, anybody who already has a Model S P85D will be able to upgrade any time in the next six months for $5k, along with any installation costs at their dealer.