Everybody wants to know about Ludicrous Mode on Tesla’s cars.
This is the feature that enables the top-line P90D Model S sedan, for example, to go from zero to 60 mph in under three seconds.
That’s supercar fast — faster than some Ferraris and Lamborghinis. In a four-door all-electric car that can seat five.
Just one of the many ways that Tesla has redefined what we expect from a car.
The feature makes you feel like you’re being launched into orbit, basically. But that’s an issue when you get right down to it. Because Ludicrous Mode isn’t that great in practice, or at least in everyday practice. It’s best enjoyed in moderation.
Here’s why. In a Ferrari or Lambo or other exotic supercar, the setup and aesthetics of the vehicle prepare you for bonkers acceleration. Sitting behind the racing-inspired steering wheel of a Ferrari 488, down low in a tub of carbon-fibre with a preposterously powerful engine tucked behind your head, you’re emotionally and psychologically prepared to go fast. That’s the whole point of the car.
Not so in a Tesla. You actually feel quite … normal behind the wheel. It could be a Honda Accord.
And you do normal things, like have a couple of piping-hot drinks in the cupholders, some stuff not tied down on the seats, a free-range smartphone or two tucked into cubby holes, your pet dog Fido on hand, a large bag of popcorn on your lap, and so on.
You go into Ludicrous Mode. You punch it!
And everything goes flying!
This was what happened with my most recent Ludicrous Mode run, this past summer in a Model S. I was lucky the Starbucks mocha had mostly been consumed.
Going fast in a Ferrari never gets old because … it’s a Ferrari! But Ludicrous Mode in a Tesla is fun the first few times, and then you just don’t want to go through he battening-down process that’s required to get ready to fulfil your need for speed.
I can’t image how weird things will get when Tesla takes acceleration to the next level: Maximum Plaid.
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