Motor Trend Discovers Tesla Model S P90D With Ludicrous Mode Is A 10-Second Car


Tesla Model S P90D

Tesla Model S P90D

Ludicrous Mode Enabled

Ludicrous Mode Enabled

Motor Trend has conducted full testing of the Tesla Model S P90D with Ludicrous Mode and the results are in…

Motor Trend opens the article with this gushing paragraph:

“Stop what you’re doing right now. Stop texting. Get off YouTube, close Facebook, and pause for a moment so you can truly appreciate the times we’re living in, a world where if you have the means you can go out and buy an American-made, 762-hp, all-wheel-drive electric car that’s as capable of driving itself as it is smoking supercars off the line. That car is the new Ludicrous-enhanced 2015 Tesla Model S P90D.”


The article discusses the added costs to get Ludicrous Mode, which doesn’t come cheap, but we’re really only interested in the numbers, so here they are:

  • 0 to 60 MPH – 2.6 seconds
  • 1.1 g of accelerative forces from 0 to 14 MPH
  • 0 to 100 MPH in less than 7 seconds
  • Quarter mile – 10.9 seconds at 122.7 MPH

Thus, Tesla has delivered a 10-second car!

Motor Trend adds:

“Given the Model S P90D hangs with hypercars in acceleration from 0 to 60 mph, the list of cars the P90D beats to 60 mph is a long one, including everything from the vaunted Nissan GT-R to the big, bad Lamborghini Aventador and Bugatti Veyron. Only two cars that we’ve tested can outright beat the P90D to 60 mph: the Porsche 918 Spyder and Ferrari LaFerrari. As for the “other” hybrid hypercar, the McLaren P1, the Tesla ties it in a race to 60 mph.”

“Although the Tesla specializes in short sprints perfectly suited for metered freeway on-ramps, it’s also a capable drag racer. With a full charge, the P90D reliably rips through the quarter mile in 10.9 seconds, hitting 122.7 mph. Those numbers make the EV the fastest four-door sedan we’ve ever tested, besting both the mighty 707-hp Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and the Audi RS 7 at the strip.”


For more numbers from the test of the Ludicrous Model S, click the source link below.

Source: Motor Trend

Categories: Tesla

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

63 Comments on "Motor Trend Discovers Tesla Model S P90D With Ludicrous Mode Is A 10-Second Car"

newest oldest most voted

Schweet. πŸ™‚

Unbelievable for a 4-door hatchback with a trunk that could hold at least a couple of dead bodies. πŸ™‚

It only runs 11.1 seconds with two bodies in the trunk.

It’s all about weight distribution. One body in the trunk and one in the frunk will restore performance.

I’m not sure if you understand how physics work. The bodies would make the total mass bigger so acceleration would be slower no matter how you distribute the weight.

β€’0 to 60 MPH – 2.6 seconds
β€’1.1 g of accelerative forces from 0 to 14 MPH
β€’0 to 100 MPH in less than 7 seconds
β€’Quarter mile – 10.9 seconds at 122.7 MPH

That’s really very impressive.

A ten second car is a car that runs nines, not tens.

Breaking 12 seconds is hard. Breaking 11 seconds is way harder.

You are right, but if we think that even the Porche 918 can not make it under 10 seconds then we could agree that the numbers of Model S P90D are really impresive.

kubel, I thought the same thing, but are there that many production cars that do a quarter mile in less than 10 seconds?
Google says just 4.
2015 LaFerrari 9.7 sec @ 149.1 mph (240.0 km/h) Achieved on a 1.4% decline from start to finish
2014 McLaren P1 9.8 sec @ 148.9 mph (239.6 km/h)
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder 9.8 sec @ 145 mph (233 km/h)
2012 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport 9.9 sec @ 145.8 mph (234.6 km/h)

No, in the drag-racing world, a 10 second car is a car that can run the 1/4 mile in 10.99.

Thanks for explaining that, Jimmy. I was wondering how “10.9 seconds” qualifies as “10 seconds”.

This should be added to the article.

You’re right.
Motor Trend is wrong.
But we’ll accept their acelaides anyway, as long as they spell ‘TESLA’ correctly, the publicity is priceless.
Grampa Dave
Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association (MEVA)
Winnipeg Chapter One

A question about gas cars. EV starts with strong torque from start, but gas cars need some RPM before they reach the peak torque. Often it’s argued that as the reason why gas cars are slower.

But if the gas car driver fully opens the throttle and tap dance on the clutch slip to keep the engine at peak torque RPM at fully open throttle even from start, wouldn’t the gas car experience the peak torque through out? Assuming the clutch survive and human (or machine) can dance quick enough, it seems many gas cars could run lot quicker. No?

I can’t answer your question but at least you can read that only the 918 and LaFerrari can compete. And they both benefit of electrical motors to get a immediate torque.

I’ve not experienced it, but doesn’t Hellcat have a computer controlled ‘launch mode’ that already does what you’re describing?
Getting power down and shifting seem to be the killers on the ICE side.

If that’s what hellcat is doing, and assuming they are doing it with clutch tap dance and not throttle dance, Physics would seem to suggest they ought to be quicker than Tesla. They could put in 1st or 2nd gear that’ll get them to 60 mph, and simply tap dance without shifting. Being ligher, they should be quicker in 0-60 from numbers point of view. What am I missing?


Well said.

That is the reason.

Even if you can deliever all the power to the wheel, it would be hard to gather traction with engines. Electric motors allow you to gather max traction without wheel slipping. That is why no cars are beating P95D in 0-30mph but more cars can beat it in 70-120mph acceleration test.

That makes no sense at all. Power is power, motor or engine. If you’re saying traction for 600HP electric motor is better than 600HP gas engine, why?

I believe it’s how accurately you can control the power output. For an electric motor the control is extremely fine so the traction control can keep the power right on the limit of the loss of traction.

I’m only deducing this though, I’d be happy to be corrected.

To get it exactly at peak torque RPM with in 1RPM would be tough. But it’s shouldnt be that difficult to within +/-100RPM. I can do it on the motorcycle for short time (about 1 sec) to pull wheelie with weak engine; I have to assume more qualified car racers would be able to do it more?

“I’m only deducing this though, I’d be happy to be corrected.”

You and me both, buddy. Anyone here who’d like to lend me there Hellcat to do this “clutch burn-beat tesla” experiment? πŸ˜‰

Actually, traction argument is wrong. The gas car can choose the gear that will allow peak torque to NOT lose traction, but at the limit of traction. Then the gas car would be able to keep the car at limits of traction throughout 0-60.

I saw Tesla acceleration profile, and it was decreasing over speed whereas the proposal I make would make the acceleration constant over speed.

Yes, gas cars can do that to maximize 0-60mph by not shifting. But they don’t. Why? Because gasoline engine has narrow band of max torque so it has to be ready for real world driving where the flexibility of the electric motor gives you the max torque when you want and also daily driving capability.

To maximize the 0-60mph, the car can be tuned to have just the right gearing for 0-60mph but it wouldn’t be opitmized for other speed band.

Also, it is far easy to control torque on an electric motor than an ICE engine.

600 electric hp vs 600 gas hp: the electric motor supplies all 600 hp effectively at the wheels. The gas engine at the crank, which then has to go through the tranny, and then the diff and axels, all the while losing power to friction and inertia. The electric way is much more efficient. Then there’s the delicate control it has over wheel spin through all 4 wheels, something a computer controlled mechanically linked gas engine just cannot do.

If what you say is true, then no gas car would be quicker than Tesla, and that’s not the case. Further, gas car could choose the single gear that will prevent losing traction, but put down peak torque to wheels without needing traction control assist.

So gas cars are not torque limited and not traction limited due to ability to select the property gear (no shifting involved!). Then why are they slower when they have so much advantages going for them?

Gearing and tractions.

Also all wheel drive for the Tesla gives it more traction. The Hellcat has rear wheel drive and is limited by traction. When its stock tires are replaced with racing tires it can get closer to matching the P90D to 60 and is quicker to the 1/4.

Aha! Thank you Philip. So it’s the tire limitation. But that doesn’t make sense. Looking at Tesla acceleration profile, it’s below 1G in many places. Unless hell cat uses low rolling resistance tires like SparkEV, they should be able to pull off 1G under acceleration. And the proposal I make would make gas car to have constant torque (ie, G force) throughout 0-60, making it quicker than Tesla. Shouldn’t it?

0-60mph is a time to a speed.

getting ahead of someone is a position comparison.

You can get ahead of a car even though if you have a slower 0-60mph time.

Distance is the area under the curve of speed which 60mph is a point on that curve vs. time.

Power curve.

When you’re keeping it at peak torque RPM via tap dance, power curve does not enter into the picture.

Electric motors are 100% torque from 1 mile per hour to full speed.
No idle required to ‘keep it going’.
You only have ‘On’ and ‘Off’ and varying degrees of ‘On’ as you excellerate.
And you suffer in virtual silence, with virtually no air polution, uttering ‘blue’ superlatives, while doing it.

A Tesla doesn’t carry the weight or complexity of a transmission because it doesn’t need one like _all_ gas cars do to stay in the “powerband” RPM wise.

A Hellcat with the eight-speed automatic shifts in 160 milliseconds. This is the kinds of hoops a gas engine has to jump through to try to maximize power delivery. Watch the Hellcat shift at the beginning and end of this video-

In a dual-motor Model S, the “motors” have “one” moving part each. Under maximum acceleration maximum torque is delivered right to every tire almost continuously right at the limits of adhesion thanks to a traction control system that updates feedback from each wheel approximately every 30 milliseconds.

It’s no contest between electrics and ICEs anymore. All the world’s automakers are playing catch-up right now.

In the scenario I’m talking about, there is no gear shift, and max power from start. Essentially, it makes gas car behave like EV, except that it has far greater mechanical advatage in that one gear that is used is optimized for 60 MPH.

Goodness, it seems people are stuck in changing gear mode of thought for gas cars that they can’t seem to understand that there is no gear change in the scenario I’m talking about.

That’s because you don’t know what you’re talking about. No gasmobile drag racer runs the engine at top speed continuously from 0-60. They simply are not engineered that way. Altho in theory it would be possible to design one with a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) to run that way, in practice it looks like they don’t because CVT transmissions can’t handle the high power needed for drag racing. I don’t know what you mean by “tap dance”, Spark, but if the clutch is slipping, then the car isn’t delivering all the power of the engine to the wheels. Full acceleration with a gasmobile only happens when (a) the clutch is fully engaged, and (b) the wheels have full traction… they’re not slipping/spinning. In the Model S, neither is a concern, as (a) it has no clutch, and (b) the car is engineered to prevent the wheels from slipping. If you look at a graph comparing the acceleration of the Hellcat vs. the Model S in a 0-60 drag race, you can see for the first 1.5 seconds the Hellcat’s acceleration spikes rapidly up and down. That’s probably a sign the wheels are slipping. Later downward spikes on the Hellcat’s graph… Read more »

It’s not that I don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s that you and everyone else don’t know what I’m talking about. What I propose is certainly within realm of possibility. The question is why don’t gas car drivers do it?

When clutch slips, but engine RPM is kept the same, the torque from the engine MUST BE delivered to the wheels. It’s simple physics.

The power is lost via clutch slip through heat. BUt the amount of power lost is only with respect to current wheel speed. Again simple Physics that relate torque to power.

In any case, what I propose would make torque/power characteristics of gas car to be the same as EV while gas car would have mechanical advantage of lower gear (NOT SHIFTING!) plus lower weight.

Just because no one’s doing it doesn’t mean it’s not possible or considered. Just ask Tesla.

Drag racers do exactly what you want but those cars aren’t tunned for daily driving.

With a broad torque curve, EVs can easily have both.

Sorry, but when “everyone else” just so happens to coincide with every expert drag racer out there, who are willing to use every competitive advantage humanly and mechanically possible, I think it’s you that doesn’t have the right idea.

But a lot of drag strips have public nights for people who have no idea what they’re doing (provided you adhere to certain safety regulations), so you can go ahead and give your idea a try if you like.

SparkEV said:

“Assuming the clutch survive and human (or machine) can dance quick enough, it seems many gas cars could run lot quicker. No?”


I’m not sure where you confusion lies, Spark, but based on multiple similar questions you posted to another article here, my guess is that your underlying mistake is in thinking that an automatic transmission gasmobile never changes gears because the driver doesn’t manually change them.

If you don’t understand how an automatic transmission works, try this:

I ask this in multiple places, because so far no one seem to understand nor even have the ability to imagine the scenario I’m talking about. Let me ask you, is there a way to make gas car torque/power curve to be like that of EV in that it starts off with peak torque, keeps it that way until 60 MPH, no gear change? If your answer is no, you lack the mental capacity to understand what I’m talking about.

Here’s a hint. How do you start a wheelie on a motorcycle with power far less than 1G, assuming center of gravity would require at least 1G to pull a wheelie? Now imagine doing this technique to 60 mph using a gas car.

Just get over it, electric drive is the superior technology in every way except one, refueling speed. End of story. Some would say energy density but that big heavy battery has been turned into an advantage by lowering the center of gravity. Everything but refueling speed.

Umm that big heavy battery does help with a low center of gravity, but performance would be better in almost every way if energy density were better and the cars were much lighter … after all it’s easy enough to design an ICE car with a big slab of lead under the floor to lower the center of gravity but no one would do that for obvious reasons.

Yeah, it would make them EVEN LESS efficient. MwuahhahAHAHAH.

Interesting that you mention the leaded floor not being done by Mfgr’s, but Dad had a ’32 Deuce Coupe that he did that to, because he had a boosted engine! He did it for traction, mostly, but I guess it also helped in corners! He was glad they did not scale the car when he brought it into Canada, as it was 1,000 lbs over spec, but still had jaw dropping acceleration! The extra weight would have cost more in import duties, but they went with normal specs!! Also, when White Zombie, out in Oregon, dropped the Lead Acid pack for a quick show horn of a Lithium Pack, from – I think it was – Killacycle, their 1/4 mile time was nit so much quicker, as they did not have traction control at the level Tesla has, and now the car had less weight to put that power down on the road with! Plus, while it has two motors (Siamese Twins), it puts all that power to the Ford Race Rear End, instead of one pair of wheels per motor! I think this is similar to the issues the top digs from Dodge have: All that power, and no… Read more »

…and price

Agreed volume and weight are not a significant disadvantage anymore and weight location is even an advantage as you mention. Price is really on par now for the new generation of vehicles coming out in the next 1-2 years for 100 mile BEVs based on first cost. As running costs are added in the equivalent cost battery size goes up. If you drive enough 300 mile BEVs will be competitive with TCO.

Price? ROTFLMAO not so much. Which cars are we comparing now? The ludicrous Tesla vs. The McLaren P1…vs. the Ferrari…vs. the 918. Oh yeah, so in order to best an electric, a GAsHOg needs a sticker that’s five times as high? This is the real problem: there are two few electrics right now, and as a result people can cherry pick the gas car that can “beat” the electric. At least in ONE category. Usually. Get over your dumbass gas cars people! They all but have a fork stuck in them. They’re D-O-N-E. The reality is that gas cars are on the fringe now. They’re hopelessly less efficient in all but the most contrived/fringe cases. With equivalent infrastructure investment, electrics would all be HALF as costly as gas cars, and just as capable of ranged driving for much less money and less environmentally damaging. Consider: The U.S. is roughly 2800 miles wide by 1500 miles deep. A DCFC network every 25 miles in a grid would mean about 7000 total chargers at a cost of a measly $210 million–much less than the cost of decommissioning one of the “still useful” gashog production lines. What is slowing the EV revolution is… Read more »

I have a Model S and a Volt, Wile E. The fact is that battery prices can still be an obstacle for many drivers and vehicle types. The rarefied air of supercars is very rare and I was speaking generally as I assume the OP was as well.

Please check Tesla’s new numbers. P90D no longer has (or have ever had) 770, neither 700 HP. Now it only has 539 HP..

It beats the 707hp hell cat and 650hp z06 and hangs with over million dollar hyper cars call it 10hp if you would like then I supposed a hell cat can’t beat a 10hp car

“hangs with over million dollar hyper cars”

No, it only hangs in 1 category, acceleration. It won’t even stay close in handling or racing course.

Do a loop around Laguna Seca and you will understand why nobody is posting any video of P95D lap times.

Hangs with million-dollar hyper cars, in acceleration.
Hangs with light weight hybrids, in efficiency.
Hangs with super-luxury cars in smoothness, and silence.
Hangs with mid-sized SUVs in passenger & cargo space.
Hangs with the best of any all-wheel-drive sedans.
Hangs with Europe’s sleekest sport coupes in style.

Any speculation about how the Tesla Model S might perform as a track car at Laguna Seca is quite irrelevant.

Yes, when people respond to the weakness of Tesla for a “performance” car criteria, the things such as efficiency, size, quietness will be brought up as EXCUSES TO JUSTIFY WHY IT CAN’T HANG in the rest of the performance category.

If those things matter to you, then the Tesla isn’t a performance car then. Why bother with saying that it can “hang” with them when it can’t.

I dont know when im going to drive Laguna Seca on my commute to work

I also dont know what Laguna Seca accomplishes

I also don’t know when I’m going to dash from 0 to 60 at wide open throttle at every opportunity on my commute to work either. My commute generally involves this slight problem called traffic which usually consists of other cars on the road.

It accomplished what defines a performance car since all the people here are claiming that Tesla can “hang” with the performance cars.

If your daily commute is what you are concerned with, then a LEAF or even a Prius is more than sufficient.

Saying that “you don’t need it as an excuse” to justify why Model S can’t hang is just admission that Tesla isn’t a performance car. It only got acceleration to match a performance, but that doesn’t make it into a performance car.

Now, if we are talking about Koenigsegg or Rimac, then we are talking about peformance car.

“Fastest four-door sedan”? No. Not even close. The P90D may be quick, but far from fast. With a 155mph top speed? Plenty sedans go faster than 155 mph. The REAL fastest production sedan is the hellcat Charger which can go 204+ mph.

I like how ICE fans have invented this quick vs fast thing πŸ˜€ They are synonyms according to my dictionary.

To those who say gas car (like stock Corvette) that has more power and lighter weight cannot accelerate 0-60 quicker than P90DL, why is that? If 20 lb/hp 250cc motorcycle can pull a wheelie by accelerating quicker than 1G for about half a second, 5 lb/hp Corvette Z06 should be able to accelerate 1.1G for 2.5 seconds, and be quicker than P90DL. See my blog for better details.

But why aren’t they doing it, even just for bragging rights?

Because they are geared to have way higher top speed.

First gear on Corvette is only to about 70 MPH while P90DL is far higher (140 MPH?)

If anyone wants to buy a Model S after reading this (who wouldn’t?! :p ), this link gets you $1,000 off: