Top Gear Test Drives Ludicrous Tesla Model S P90D


Tesla Model S P90DL (source: PerformanceDrive)

Tesla Model S P90DL (source: PerformanceDrive)

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

Top Gear recently had the opportunity to test out the Model S P90DL and here we’ll run down some of the takeaways from the review.

According to staffer Ollie Marriage, the Model S P90D, although very expensive, especially with all the tested add-ons, works with extreme simplicity. The Ludicrous and autonomous modes function logically and smoothly.

The base model chimes in at £86,900 ($118,165). The fully-appointed test model would cost £113,180 ($163,296):

  • Ludicrous mode £8,700 ($12,552)
  • Autopilot mode £2,200 ($3,174)
  • Air suspension £2,200 ($3,174)
  • Premium sound system £2,200 ($3,174)
  • Sport seat £2,200 ($3,174)
  • Carbon fiber spoiler £850 ($1,226)

Ludicrous Mode

Ludicrous mode has an upgraded smart fuse, said to allow max current of 1300-1500 amps.

Although the numbers in testing don’t match those previously reported by Tesla, Marriage shares that, “It’s astonishing. There’s no wheelspin, just an electrical whine and this vast, even pressure shoving you forward. It’s utterly relentless up to about 70mph, but after that it starts to tail off.”

He explains, “Still, 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds isn’t slow and I don’t doubt it would go faster as the P85D we tested last summer hit the exact numbers it was meant to (60mph in 3.1secs).”

Acceleration Times

Tesla Model S P90D Ludicrous Mode test drive

Tesla Model S P90D Ludicrous Mode test drive

  • 0-10 mph: 0.6
  • 0-20 mph: 1.0
  • 0-30 mph: 1.5
  • 0-40 mph: 2.0
  • 0-50 mph: 2.6
  • 0-60 mph: 3.2
  • 0-70 mph: 4.1
  • 0-80 mph: 5.3
  • 0-90 mph: 6.8
  • 0-100 mph: 8.3
  • ¼ mile: 12.1 secs @ 115.2 mph
  • Peak accel G: 1.39g
  • 30-70: 2.6

Autonomous Mode

Top Gear’s reporter says “It’s the best I’ve used . . . it’s so simple to operate – just a double pull on the cruise control stalk, some blue graphics appear on the dash and the car takes over.”

Tesla Autopilot

Tesla Autopilot

However, Marriage also points out that, “It keeps you further to the left in each lane than you might want. It might very well be dead center, but when you’re in the outside lane, most of us drive more to the right to give us extra space to the cars in the middle lane – it’s that slight difference between our judgement and a computer’s that these systems can’t replicate.”

Overall Dynamics


All in all, Marriage shares that the ride is “very refined” with little road noise.

Marriage goes on to say that, “The thing that strikes you about all Teslas, not just the P90D, is that they approach things with a different, more open mindset. While the German big three permanently mark each other, and end up feeling rather generic in their quest to keep within the brand ethos, Tesla is different.”


The rear headroom is poor and the rear bench is flat. There is also no proper storage up front. Brakes are subpar for this class of car and rear visibility is poor.

*To read the entire Top Gear review, follow the source link below.

Source: Top Gear

Categories: Tesla, Test Drives

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21 Comments on "Top Gear Test Drives Ludicrous Tesla Model S P90D"

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Very expensive?

Name a vehicle that outperforms the P90DL and costs less?

How the heck did they get 12.1s quarter mile? The 90DL easily does 11.4s. These Top Gear idiots had to have tested the 1/4mile with a low battery charge.

Maybe they thought it would be lighter if the battery is not full? 🙂

Hey, a single electron’s mass is 9.1094 × 10⁻³¹ kg. Those things add up!

The number of electrons in the battery are identical full or empty…


Well the battery is only full when you first leave the plug so testing with a less than 100% charge is probably more akin to real world performance

The real world? When has the 1/4 mile been anything to do with the real world?

He states him self that it might be because the car was on winter tires.

Just because tesla’s are as expensive as other cars in their class doesn’t make them cheap or good value. Tesla’s are jaw dropping but cheap they are not.

“There is also no proper storage up front.”

Too bad that Tesla dropped the optional storage console that goes between the front seats. Apparently there were quality issues. But Tesla should have tried again with another vendor. Hopefully they will do so soon.

As it is, I guess the aftermarket center console insert from EVannex is selling pretty well.

Tesla still sells the center console, not sure where you get your information

I provided the link for where I got that info.

But I guess the console is still available if, and only if, you order the “carbon fiber” color interior. At least, that’s what I think the article is saying; it’s not very clear.

RIP (genuine Top Gear).

Why? Weren’t they just a bunch of whinny,
…heads,…holes, or whatever crude appellation, you wish to apply? Except for
the Stig, who never said anything, balanced out by Clarkson who couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Good riddance.

Crude and Rude. I guess that is some people like their auto reviewers.

Yes, they were idiots but at least unpolitically correct idiots, and that’s worth something in those days. + sometimes they made me laugh.

True. I liked their trip through the Alps.
Loud, nasty, colorful, and beautiful.
Sorry if I was bit harsh, but so were they.

Agreed, they stopped being funny years ago and just became 3 annoying @sshats paid tax payer money to be morons on international TV.

It’s the 0-90mph in 6.8, kids. Static schwing!

And this is the kind of content BBC’s (Or Shell Oil’s?) Gear produces on an EV, after Clarkson gets sacked.


Top Gear never was a professional show anyway, Just entertainment and for what they did to fake the results for the Leaf and original Tesla and for what they still do to promote multi-exhaust, dinosaur fossil fuel burning land barges Top Gear can burn in hell.