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Tesla expects big uptake on Ludicrous mode

Zapped: Hardware and software updates give the Model S supercar-hunting speed in a four-door silhouette.

Aussie customers going for Tesla Model S Ludicrous Speed upgrade

28 Jul 2015

AUSTRALIAN buyers of Tesla’s Model S P85D are waxing ludicrous, with most ticking the box to upgrade their cars with the high-performance pack that gives the humble sedan the spring of a McLaren P1.

Known as the Ludicrous Speed Update, it turns the new twin electric-engined Model S into a veritable rocket ship that can match – or outpace – most supercars on sale today.

While it has previously been reported that a Ludicrous-equipped Model S can sprint from 0-100km/h in 2.8 seconds, that time actually applies to the 0-60mph (96.6km/h) blast. Tesla’s Australian website has the time listed as 3.0s to 100km/h.

The number still matches cars such as Ferrari’s new 488 GTB and Porsche’s 911 GT3 RS, but is just shaded by the likes of the McLaren P1 and the Lamborghini Aventador LP4-700.

Tesla Australia marketing and communications manager Heath Walker told GoAuto that most of the cars in the system for Australian customers have been nominated for the upgrade.

“While we’ve been calling our customers, a good number of them have called us about it,” he said. “It’s basically a matter of cancelling the original order and replacing it.”

While cars ordered three months ago might have to wait until they land for the mods to be applied, newer orders can be stopped and replaced to allow the $13,500 upgrade to be installed.

The upgrade includes increasing the throughput of amperes (amps) from the battery pack from 1300 up to 1500 amps via a series of smart fuses, as well as encasing the main battery pack in Iconel alloy – the same material used to make exhausts systems on current Formula 1 cars.

The ultra light and strong alloy will allow the battery pack to expand with the extra heat generated by the additional amps.

The Ludicrous upgrade in newly ordered vehicles must also be accompanied by the installation of the 90kWh battery pack at $4,100 and is available as an option only on the range-topping P85D variant, changing it to a P90D.

“Given we are only launching that product in-market in a few week’s time, there won’t be too many that have built that will require retrofit, but we will offer that,” he said. “We’re still working through pricing on that.”

Mr Walker said while Australia is one of the last markets to receive the P85D, it means local buyers have access to the latest product.

“Certainly for our market it’s nice, because people haven’t received the P85Ds yet, where most other markets have we’re one of the last markets to receive the dual motors,” he noted. “It’s nice that their cars aren’t redundant when the receive it, and they have that option (to upgrade),” he said.

“We don’t wait for a model year change. As soon the update is ready, we’ll take it to market to give it to the customers as soon as possible.”

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