Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer: Tesla’s “Ludicrous Speed Is Stupid”


Model S Ludicrous Spped Upgrade

Model S Ludicrous Spped Upgrade

In announcing the 2017 arrival of the 800 HP Aston Martin Rapide pure electric car, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer made a statement related to the Tesla Model S’ Ludicrous mode.

According to Palmer, Ludicrous is stupid.  Instead of focusing on Ludicrous acceleration, Palmer thinks that Tesla would be better off tweaking the Model S so that it can at least do a few laps at a decent race course.

Of course, Plamer here is referring to the Model S’ inability to complete a few hot laps without dialing back power due to overheating.

Here’s Palmer’s quote:

“We don’t do Ludicrous because Ludicrous speed is stupid.”

“I think that the fact that you could drive a few laps of a decent race course or race it around the Nordschleife [famed track in Germany] is much more interesting than doing 500 meters in Ludicrous mode.”

Andy Palmer then took to Twitter (preferred medium of Tesla CEO Elon Musk) to issues some Tweets aimed at Tesla:

Andy Palmer Tweets

Andy Palmer Tweets

Palmer even defined Ludicrous on Twitter:

Andy Palmer Defines Ludicrous

Andy Palmer Defines Ludicrous

We expect that the electric Rapide will have no problem with some hot laps.  If it does, then Palmer will be eating his words, that’s for sure.

Aston Martin Rapide To Become 800 HP Electric Car In 2017

Aston Martin Rapide To Become 800 HP Electric Car In 2017

Source: Automotive News

Categories: Aston Martin, General, Tesla

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118 Comments on "Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer: Tesla’s “Ludicrous Speed Is Stupid”"

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+$200,000 is stupid!

Additionally, how many people actually take their $100,000-$200,000 car to the track vs. how many want to get a jump on the next car over at a stoplight, or merging onto a freeway? Ludricrous mode works wonders in the real world.

Until Aston Martin actually releases their vehicle, they’re talking out their tailpipe.

The ludicrous button makes sense. You don’t need that power all the time. It’s like the black key/red key thing on the SRT Charger, except more convenient.

I think he’s upset that the Tesla design is similar to Aston Martins….

or that the P90D is faster off the line than their car, and it’s not even out yet.

“it’s not even out yet” = the electric Rapide, that is…

My 5 yr old calls things stupid when he doesn’t get his way.

How can you possibly know that the P90D is faster off the line than the electric Rapide when it’s not even out yet?

Reality beats fantasy in any matchup.


If they are down-playing a competitor’s feature, then they can’t beat it.

Jim_NJ said:

“Additionally, how many people actually take their $100,000-$200,000 car to the track…”

Exactly. What would be stupid is trying to engineer a large luxury* sedan to run on a racetrack.

Now, if this was the next-generation Tesla Roadster, then he would have a point. But the Model S ain’t a sports car, let alone a track racecar.

*…excuse me, “premium” 😉

I punch my P85 0-60 every time I go to work. I don’t go to the track anymore. Too much time, can’t bring the family there . I would rather have some fun everyday going to work then goto the track a couple of times a year. That CEO is an idiot, not in tune with the mainstream. That’s why sales of Aston Martins suck lately.

I have my P85 to the floor at least twice a day. It is too much awesome not to experience in a daily basis, all why doing it in almost complete non attention attracting silence.

“how many people actually take their $100,000-$200,000 car to the track”

Plenty of people take their Porsche 911s to the track which falls right in the $100K to $200K price range.

Also, plenty of modified cars that were $50-$60K and easily got about $50K to $60K worth of mods are on the tracks…

Plenty of 911’s on the tracks does not equal plenty of 911 drivers on the track on daily/weekly/monthly basis. Vast majority of 911 owners spend 99% of their driving time on public streets. In fact you can easily say that the best track cars are tvery uncomfortable on the streets.

Rob Andrews: “Plenty of 911’s on the tracks does not equal plenty of 911 drivers on the track on daily/weekly/monthly basis. ”

Ah, but the Model S is a 5-7 passenger sedan. I agree that the Tesla Roadster needs to be track-capable. Not so much need for a big sedan.

Jim_NJ said:
“. . . many want to get a jump on the next car over at a stoplight . . .”

Why do people want to or have to “get a jump” on the car next to you at a stop light? What are they trying to prove? A stop light is not a Christmas tree light at a drag strip. At 2.8 seconds acceleration, you have a good chance of clipping a car that hasn’t made it through the intersection yet or hitting a pedestrian still in the crosswalk at the other side of the intersection, because you’re focused on the light changing and not on checking to see if the intersection is clear before proceeding.


I don’t know where you got *your* driver training, but I was always told to look both ways before proceeding on a green light.

This doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to get a jump on the next guy at the light.

sven “Why do people want to or have to “get a jump” on the car next to you at a stop light? What are they trying to prove? ”

You must not have any women in your family. 🙂 Always changing their minds at the last minute,. I’ll find myself in the left lane on a 2-3 lane road, and my wife or daughter will see a place she just HAS to stop at 100 feet ahead. As BraveLilToaster says, I make sure to look both ways before proceeding.

While this mode seems cool, it will not be when someone or a group of people get killed because someone is going WAY too fast. I dare say, most that have this mode will try it on a road that they should NOT be doing it on.

I’m pretty sure that the guy who drove his Model S off a cliff was going waaaaay too fast on a public road.

You will note that hasn’t exactly suppressed sales of Tesla’s Performance grade Model S’s, any more than high-speed accidents suppress sales of any high-performance car. People who buy high-performance cars know it’s dangerous to drive them very fast. In fact, the danger is part of the attraction.

I can do that vs. most cars with my LEAF. Surely you don’t need to put the Tesla into any special mode to get enough torque to the wheels to smoke nearly every car out there at a stoplight.

It’s never a good idea to burn bridges, to bad mouth your competitors. You never know if you may get laid off, and then if you want to go work for Tesla, you’re out of luck. Criticism of competitors is okay, just keep it civil is a good idea.

Yeah, Andy Palmer should be more like Elon Musk who never bad mouths his competitors, and is always very civil when does criticize his competitors.


Love it! Couldn’t agree more but what do you expect from people trying to justify the unjustifiable neither car makes any sense. The cheaper versions of of the tesla make a little sense but those that compete with Aston make as much sense as an Aston…… None


Yup, badmouthing the competition is a fine and (dis)honorable tradition in business.

And yeah, Elon Musk is particularly notorious for shooting off his mouth about everything, including his opinions of Tesla’s competitors. Arguably his designation “fool cell” for FCEVs is accurate, but it’s hardly a polite or even civil way to describe competitors’ cars.

I don’t think Elon Musk has to worry about being laid off any time soon… even if Tesla burns to the ground, he’ll come out smelling like roses.

perhaps we should take that as a reference. a standard available in today’s car tech. the research between a British tech with an extreme experience in car making comparing to an american new comer in car making but pioneer in vehicle technologies.

Mr. Palmer is N0 Rocket Scientist ! Musk IS! If a Miracle Happens He will make A Better Car Than Musk…Otherwise He’d Better Get Used to The Taste Of Crow……Cuz Musk Is Light yrs Ahead Of This 0ld Aston Martin Co. that is barely hanging 0n, Living 0ff it’s once upon a time good name, Ancient Laurels. 0ld Technology & Primitive Nonsense Engineering. Get Ready for a Heaping Serving of Crow alla Cart Mr. Palmer.

Tesla does need to fix the track issue. No $100,000+ car should only be able to drive on a track for half a lap.

It’s not an issue of NOT having INSANE / LUDICROUS mode… it should do both.

Try restating your objection to jibe with reality.

No $70,000+ car should reduce its power to cool down while driving the Nürburgring full-out for several laps… or should it? The Model S has NO problems lapping a standard (1/2 or 1 mile) track several times. Half a lap? How about a half truth… or less.

I don’t need to restate my position. My brand new Tesla S-70D went exactly one half lap around the world famous Laguna Seca track (about a two mile loop) before the 160kW limit engaged. Every Model S on the track that day (mid 70F to low 80F ambient temperatures) had the similar issues.

Pathetic, actually, particularly when the Nissan LEAFs did not.

Sorry if facts get in the way.

Yep, my LEAF never hit the 160kW power limit. 🙂

I wish mine did!

Oh, and you did restate your position, Tony. Thanks for clarifying it. 🙂

Tony Williams said: “My brand new Tesla S-70D went exactly one half lap around the world famous Laguna Seca track (about a two mile loop) before the 160kW limit engaged. Every Model S on the track that day (mid 70F to low 80F ambient temperatures) had the similar issues. “Pathetic, actually, particularly when the Nissan LEAFs did not.” Seriously, dude? Lessee, what is the top speed of the Leaf? 150 km/h, or 93 mph. What’s the top speed of the Tesla S 70D? 140 MPH. So, dude, if you limited your Model S to no more than 93 MPH, I’m fairly certain you could have done as many laps as you wanted to, at least until the battery pack ran low. And a lot more laps than the Leaf. Heck, you probably could have averaged better than 100 MPH and still not had the car overheat so much it went into reduced power mode. Tony Williams continued: “Sorry if facts get in the way.” You appear to be rather selective, in an rather negative way, of which facts you choose to present. Rather odd for a Model S owner to go out of his way to selectively choose facts to… Read more »

Tony Williams “Tesla does need to fix the track issue. No $100,000+ car should only be able to drive on a track for half a lap.”

I disagree. I’m sure Tesla could develop a “Track Package” with aero-shutters, a new hood, a compressor and radiator(s) that would nearly fill the frunk. My guess is that less than 1% of Model S’s would be ordered with such a package. If you were Tesla, would you create a Track Package for 1% (or even 10%) of your buyers?

But I do agree with those who say track capability needs to be a part of the next Roadster.

Yes, the issue is how long (in time) that continuous max power can be engaged.

To clear some confusion many have between Insane, Ludicrous, and Continuous power:
• Insane: max. power from 0…30 mph
• Ludicrous: max. power from 0…60 mph
• Continuous: how long max power can be sustained until governed back to 160 kW, so cooling system can maintain normal operating cooling temperatures. (approx. 1-2 miles of hard track driving for current Model S editions)

note: things could get interesting with an after market cooling system (motor, inverter & battery). The engineering challenge is moving huge amount of heat quickly from the core of components. Cooling the motor rotor is one of the more critical areas. Remember the Model S was designed as a family sedan first, the amazing performance is secondary.

Sustained continuous power is a topic that I expect will be discussed for the next generation Tesla Roadster. 🙂

Tesla is a car made for the REAL WORLD, not the stupid fictitious track.

**** the track

Tony: I admit to not being a “car guy”. Speed such as Tesla can do is not important to me. So for me, and others, whether the car can handle Ludicrous speeds or lap a sports car on the track is irrelevant. In fact, for many of us, those kinds of speeds may be downright dangerous. For others, used to performance cars, it is probably expected that the car should be able to do both. It’s a plus being able to accelerate and pass another car safely,(and SoCal freeways are a place where you will need to do that) but at some point it approaches overkill(which I think was Andy’s point). To each his own, though. If you are a capable and safe enough driver, then the Ludicrous mode is fine. I am the kind of driver who would look to the P70 as the ideal combination of comfort, range and performance, ignoring the extremes that Tesla is capable of. Maybe I need to become an airline pilot and maybe acclimate myself a little better to the world of speed. My past life, as an insurance adjuster who has handled many, many serious accidents, probably has influenced me to some… Read more »

I don’t see too many people taking Bentleys and Rolls Royces around tracks very often and they are $100,000+ automobiles. I think anyone who has $100,000 to spend on a car can spend it on what ever kind of car they want. If you were wanting an electric track car, you may have wanted to wait.

Way to go Andy, call it like it is.

Someone is jelly.

AMEN!! Tesla, let us take our diapers off. The mechanicals are already there.

What’s “Ludicrous” is to have so much power, and then program traction control so high that it can barely be used out of a turn.

Let’s Face it Aston Martin with it’s huge price tag delivers little compared to Tesla in the real world. How many of their clients take their car to the track, survey says <1%. Aston Martin is old school company living on old school marketing. Tesla is an innovator and not afraid to push boundaries of technology.

Even more, how many of their customers take their 4 door Rapide to the track?

call it like it is Andy, just pity Aston’s maintenance and reliability record is so “legendary”*

*note that A-M reliability is legendary is how bad it is with bank balance emptying maintenance pricing.

Everyone has it’s critics. Bottom line for me is, if I was choosing between the two, I’d go with the Tesla.

Andy Palmer was a huge proponent of EVs during his stint as a senior executive at Nissan!

Obviously conflict of interest as his company does only gas cars now, but he is just trying to get some publicity from Tesla’s insane feats in acceleration. Most car enthusiasts care about 0-60 and top speed and 2.8 secs is amazing no matter how you slice it! Glad to see an electric Aston coming at least!

So he wants to offer a car with more power (less range though!!) than Tesla does but has no need for ridiculous speed? And he doesn’t consider Tesla as a rival but seems obsessed with dissing Tesla?

Wonder if someone is panicking over at venerable old Aston Martin.

His car is OBSOLETE and he knows it.

I think “sour grapes”. For years now, Tesla has been eating their lunch. This is an OLD head to head comparison, before dual motor, insane or ludicrous modes …

He should stick to what he knows best–golf, that is. 🙂

I think that is Arnold Palmer.


Ahh what’s he doin’!?


Is it just me or does that non Tesla car up there look like the bastard brother of the Model S?

Wait, was that a compliment?

Shall we ask Bond if a “Ludicrous” mode would be helpful when trying to catch the villain in the 2018 or 2019 installment of the film?

Our car will crush that other stupid car ,,,,,, someday if we actually make it. maybe ……. then again where will you charge it on the road, oops forgot that part.

Oh well we are Aston Martin , people will just buy it because of the name.


When they say… “We don’t do Ludicrous™ because Ludicrous™ speed is stupid.”

They really mean… At Astin Martin, we’re very alarmed and really, really ticked off at how quickly Tesla is eating into our customer base!


Good idea, thanks for the tip, the next higher than Ludicrous mode will be stupid mode at less than 2 seconds.

Actually, the next mode after Ludicrous is “Plaid”.

That’s “Maximum plaid”, but Elon says that’s reserved for the next generation Roadster.

Maybe the next bump up will be “Warp speed”? 🙂

“We expect that the electric Rapide will have no problem with some hot laps. If it does, then Palmer will be eating his words, that’s for sure.”

Maybe his middle name is “Face”.


We are Aston, we don’t do that.”

(there was a question?)

I’m guessing his mission was not to come off like a humor-challenged tool.

I like fighting words…

That is a good thing for consumers.

Tesla has delivered on its claims. Now, let us see it Aston Martin. Ball is in your court.

Talk the talk and walk the walk…

I don’t mind a Model S beating Aston Martin.

In general I don’t care that much for Andrew Palmer, however, lately he’s said 2 things of which I can totally agree:

1). Advertising and Car Blogs and Reviewers seem to overemphasize straightline acceleration in all Teslas, when most drivers would care about much more.

2). Why can’t the EV car industry agree on standard connections? At least Nissan had the most consistent, most standardized solutions. He never said that, but I have to give credit where it is due.

AM announces an 800 hp EV to compete with Tesla, yet whines about their competors 0 – 60 times entering Super Car Territory.

Boo hoo, Aston. Boo hoo.

Here is what I like. I like the fact that Palmer is watching Tesla, admits he’s watching Tesla, and is responding to Tesla with a full electric rather than that German 20 mile PHEV nonsense they seem to think will address electrification.
Of course the proof will be in the pudding, but Palmer hasn’t been at his job long, so lets give him time to show his work.


I am very interested if Astone will be better in any mesurable parameter then Tesla in 2017. Maybe weight.

generally, i think palmer is correct, ludicrous mode is a stupid feature. the kind of cars that have the kind of acceleration that you get in ludicrous mode tend to be for fantasy racers who like to go out on the track. the tesla ludicrous mode seems to be primarily for the purpose of showboating.

and generating revenue as a $10,000 option.

This also helps change the perception of electric cars as slow appliances and demonstrates to other auto manufacturers the enormous benefit of going electric and how straight forward increasing power output is compared to the engineering required for an ICE car.


And 0 – 60 times sell cars. owners create their own videos of passenger reactions, the media picks up on it, and the entire motoring world knows the specs for the latest Tesla Vehicle– and not a single dollar was spent for an ad.

That’s another thing automakers hate about Tesla…

Spot on, 0 – 60 runs on YouTube are the perfect 30 – 60 second add. Nobody is going watch 20 – 60 minute videos of a car doing laps at a track.


The trade term in the automotive industry for “showboating” is called the “Halo Car”.

It has long been the tradition of the automotive industry to build Halo cars with performance that is beyond what is useable in 95% of people’s everyday driving.

The purpose of the Halo car is to create brand affinity in the eyes of buyers. The high performance version of the Tesla Model S Halo cars does exactly that.

Tesla’s Halo cars even creates EV affinity across the entire category of EV’s that once were commonly called “golf carts” and other derogatory terms. And while you might not have any need for this performance in your own daily driving, as an EV enthusiast who wants to see more people driving EV’s, that cause benefits from Tesla’s Halo cars.

My thoughts exactly. I have tried to spread this concept in the past.

All Plug-Ins are their on sub-brand as a group. And the Model S is the #1 Halo car. Strangely it is also leading in volume this year.

Nix said:

“The purpose of the Halo car is to create brand affinity in the eyes of buyers. The high performance version of the Tesla Model S Halo cars does exactly that.”

Brilliant! Thanks for explaining that so clearly, Nix.

I personally wouldn’t spring for a high-end Performance grade Model S even if I could afford one. A slightly more downscale S 85D would be my preference, if I had the money to spend on one.

But I certainly do understand why Tesla continues to produce faster and faster versions of the Model S. It’s the same reason Aston Martin makes the V12 Vantage GT3 ($300,000, 0-60 in 3.7 seconds).

I’m in a similar position. I can only hope at this point to get a Model III while there are still federal tax incentives, and my state’s tax incentives available. If not, my best chance is a CPO 70D in a few years.

I like that the P90D Ludicrous exists, but I can’t justify the money to own one myself.

Well, good luck to you. They say that Tesla’s slice of the (Federal EV tax rebate) pie will run out about the time they start selling the Model ≡, so it’s iffy at best that you’d be able to get that. If Tesla still has any left by the time the actually get around to making production Model ≡’s, then you’d best get your order in as early as possible, and hope for the best.

no, “showboating” is not a “halo car”.

a “halo car” is something that a car *is*; typically as a result of a market positioning decision by a car manufacturer.

“showboating” is something that a driver *does* with a car; such the as “displays of speed” that you see on the invariably idiotic “drag racing” videos that you see posted in articles on this forum.

I think you must be lacking your ‘fun’ gene… MW

A P85 just lapped the Nürburgring in 9:01 last month. That’s pretty good for a stock luxury sedan that seats five. When Aston Martin actually does produce an EV for sale, then they can try to talk some trash about Tesla. Until then, they are just full of tantrums and hot air.

Actually this is one minute to slow to reach supercar teritory. And one minute is a lot in racing.

Corvette ZR1, Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911 GT3 RS all reached around 7:20 on the nurburgring. Even a Ford Focus ST reached 8:39 laptime.

Considering the fact that this was a tourist day and not a proper race day, I’d say that the 9:01 time was pretty damn good, especially considering the not-quite-expert driver.

The car is certainly capable of a better time.

Like I said, it’s a stock five seat luxury sedan. You can’t expect it to be as fast on the track as a supercar or a 2-seater like the Corvette. I think Nine minutes on the Ring with stock tires and no mods is pretty good.

Did he just do an “Aston Martin vaporware is better than Tesla’s actual product that Tesla has been selling since 2012” whine?

Has he actually taken a P90D Ludicrous around the N-ring to base his claims about it not being able to make half a lap? No. Nobody has. As of last week, they were still “in transit” to customers, so nobody knows how a P90D Ludicrous is going to handle the N-ring.

If he thinks he has a better car, bring it. Until then, don’t be such a whiner. Until then, it is like an Orphan competing in a “my dad could beat up your dad” smackdown.

Omg, lol. my dad could beat your dad. Perfect

Nix said:

“Did he just do an ‘Aston Martin vaporware is better than Tesla’s actual product that Tesla has been selling since 2012’ whine?”

🙂 🙂 🙂

A perfect summary! Thank you, Nix.

If he is going to compare their cars to Tesla, where is Aston Martin’s Supercharger network?

Would that be something is Aston Martin licensed the Tesla SuperChargers? Elon said other manufacturers can use them WHEN and IF their cars can accept that level of current. For ever Twitter “burn”, I would charge AM twice as much to license the SuperChargers.


That would be a great comeback from Musk – something like, “@AndyatAston Where can you charge it?”

AM is just marketing. Just check the figures, nowadays they sell less than 10% of the cars that Tesla sells in a year (5.000 against more than 50.000) and they have more or less 1500 employees against more than 10.000 of Tesla. I think Andy Palmer wants to take advantage of the huge popularity of Tesla in the net to get the brand some free advertising. Overall, I think the winner here is the EV market, imagine James Bond driving an electric AM, that would be phenomenal for Tesla and EV’s.

Maximum Plaid anyone!

I agree with palmer. We need Model S to go around to Nürburgring!

Aston Martin electric car is just blatant vapor ware. Aston Martin just does not have required expertise to squeeze 800 hp from batteries. Not to mention, innovate the required battery pack architecture.

Even Formula E has failed with this and therefore the setup of that series is just insane.

When am I going to drive the Nurburgring on my commute to work in America?


I am one of the stupid people I ditched my Aston for a Tesla P85 because it was faster and better and not going back and less Aston start to think stupidly in the future.

if you ditched your aston for a tesla *solely* on the basis of the model s 0-60 specification, then i would be inclined to agree with you.

Posturing when you are seriously behind. Dumb.

Ya its stupid… Stupid fast!

And PLEASE tell me when ANYONE in the UNITES STATES OF AMERICA is going to drive their Tesla around the Nurburgring? LMAO!

Just to inform you: Tesla already sells the Model S in Europe.

I agree with Andy, Why waste electricity like people waste other fuels ?

I love my LEAF ECO mode. I don’t have one on my FORD Focus EV or my bicycle.

Now that Mr. Palmer has the freedom to run his own sports car company and BTW, one with a fine tradition of building track cars, he can apply the lessons learned at Nissan building EVs for AM.

He is correct and in my mind The ‘S’ should be modified to at least include a ‘track’ mode. I don’t know all the modifications needed to do that; but, seems to me it’s a matter of suspension, aero, and tire mods and limiting the power. It’s very little different from modifying any street car for the track including managing the temperatures of the drive line.

I think the next generation Tesla Roadster should be Tesla’s “track” vehicle. Not some variant of the S. Even a model 3 as a highly modified track vehicle would make more sense than a dedicated Model S track vehicle.

Seating 5+2 and being a track vehicles is sort of absurd. I think folks just need to be just a bit more patient and wait for Tesla to build a track car on a more appropriate platform. Expectations for a Tesla highly modified to be a purpose-built track vehicle at this point in time are unrealistic and aren’t in line with Tesla’s goals and business plan.

“We are Aston, we don’t do that.”

Yes, and you don’t ‘do’ and EV yet, either… let alone a world-beating car! MW

It’s just a consumer car. If you want to race your stock* tesla do what EVERYONE does to their car when they go to the track… Modify it. It’s just a liquid cooling system…

A ludicrous price difference

My wife calls a Porsche, Aston Martin, etc. Martillo cars. Martillo is the Spanish word for hammer. Which means, if I buy one of them, she will hit me on the head with a Martillo.