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Tesla Model S does 0-100km/h in 2.8s

Super power: The Ludicrous Mode in the Tesla Model S gives the luxury liftback a mind-boggling 2.8-second 0-100km/h sprint time.

Supercar performance, new upgrades for Model S as Tesla confirms second-gen Roadster

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Tesla logo20 Jul 2015

By TIM NICHOLSON

TESLA has announced a new 'Ludicrous' mode for its Model S range, capable of a zero to 100km/h sprint in 2.8 seconds, as the Californian start-up confirms that a next-generation version of its Roadster is in development.

The company's founder Elon Musk announced updates to the Model S in a blog post late last week, which includes the introduction of a new base rear-wheel drive 70kWh version priced from $100,100, plus on-road costs.

The previous entry point was the 70D (dual-motor) all-wheel drive that starts from $106,900. Tesla customers now have the option of upgrading the battery pack on the Model S 85 to a 90kWh pack for an additional $4100, which boosts electric vehicle range by six per cent, or about 24km, according to the American car-maker.

Existing Model S 85 customers can order the battery pack upgrade, however Mr Musk said in his post that he did not recommend doing so “unless usage is on the edge of current range”.

In the range-topping $148,000 P90D variant, cashed-up Tesla fans that feel they need even more performance can option the new Ludicrous Mode, which brings the zero to 100km/h dash time down to a supercar-beating 2.8 seconds.

This neck-snappingly fast sprint time is quicker than that of a number of ultra-exclusive supercars, such as the LaFerrari (2.9s), and matches the digits of others including the McLaren P1, Porsche 918 Spyder and Koenigsegg Agera, but it is still beaten by the 2.5s time of the Bugatti Veyron.

Mr Musk said technological advances were made to ensure a 10 per cent improvement to performance.

“Instead of a standard fuse that just melts past a certain amperage, requiring a big gap between the normal operating current and max current, we developed a fuse with its own electronics and a tiny lithium-ion battery,” he said. “It constantly monitors current at the millisecond level and is pyro-actuated to cut power with extreme precision and certainty.

“That was combined with upgrading the main pack contactor to use inconel (a high temperature space-grade superalloy) instead of steel, so that it remains springy under the heat of heavy current. The net result is that we can safely increase the max pack output from 1300 to 1500 Amps.” While Ludicrous Mode costs new customers $13,500 in Australia, existing P85D owners can upgrade as well for less than that amount.

Before signing off his blog post, Mr Musk revealed that there will be a successor to the Tesla Roadster – a Lotus Elise-based electric sportscar that was produced from 2008 to 2012.

“There is of course only one thing beyond ludicrous, but that speed is reserved for the next generation Roadster in 4 years,” he said.

There is no other information about the Roadster at this early stage, but Mr Musk said that the entry level Model 3 sedan, which is currently in development, is due in “just over two years”, while the long-awaited Model X crossover is coming for first deliveries in the United States in two months.

Tesla Australia marketing and communications manager Heath Walker told GoAuto that local deliveries of the Model X will kick off mid next year. The production version is yet to be revealed, and Mr Musk has previously stated that the first glimpse of the road-going SUV will be when it is delivered to the first customer.

The design is unlikely to differ greatly from the prototype that was revealed in early 2012.

Tesla Model S went on sale in Australia last year priced from $91,400 up to $133,500, but it has risen since December last year and now ranges from $101,100 to $148,000.

It is unclear how many Tesla models have been sold in Australia as the electric vehicle manufacturer does not subscribe to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' monthly VFACTS sales report.

Tesla Model S pricing*
70D (a) $106,900
85 (a) $114,200
85D (a) $121,000
P85D (a) $148,000
*Excludes on-road costs and LCT.

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