Tesla announces a “ludicrous mode” upgrade that will make the Model S “faster than falling”

When light speed is too slow.
When light speed is too slow.
Image: MGM/Spaceballs
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Elon Musk runs both an electric car company and a rocket company, but with the latest speed upgrades to Tesla’s top-of-the-line Model S P85D sedan, it’s getting slightly harder to tell the difference.

Musk announced in a press conference that Model S owners will soon be able to upgrade their cars to enable what it’s calling “ludicrous mode”—the car already had an “insane mode”—that will let it to go from zero to 60 mph (96.5 kph) in a hair-raising 2.8 seconds. With an acceleration of 1.1G (10.78 m/s^2), Musk noted that the car is “faster than falling” (objects fall toward earth at 1G, or 9.8 m/s^2).

The tongue-in-cheek name of Tesla’s new speed mode—announced after conference call hold music from the rapper Ludacris—was perhaps a reference to the ’80s parody movie Spaceballs:

Musk explained that the speed boost was made possible by an advanced “smart fuse,” which is made from an alloy called inconel and has its own electronics and battery.

Ludicrous mode will also be deployed on the upcoming Model X SUV, which will then go from 0-60 in 3.3 seconds—or a tad behind the Model S’s “insane mode,” at 3.1 seconds. The upgrades will cost $10,000 for new Tesla buyers and $5,000 plus installation costs for existing owners.

The company also announced a series of new price points for the Model S based on new battery capacities and horsepower. The cars now range from $70,000 to $105,000.