Tesla needs to stop fooling around and build a proper supercar.
On Tuesday, the company announced that it’s adding a 100 kilowatt-hour battery option, in the process making the Model S and Model X P100D sedan and SUV both the automaker’s most expensive and fastest options.
For $130,000-plus, you can do o-60 mph in 2.5 seconds in the Model S P100D with Ludicrous Mode, outrunning the Ferrari La Ferrari and the Porsche 918.
Brilliant, right? A four-door sedan with not merely a supercar lurking inside — that was the P90D Ludicrous, with it’s paltry 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds — but a hypercar!
I disagree. The new 100 kWh battery adds substantial range to Tesla’s two vehicles — 315 miles and 289 miles for the S and X, respectively — which is the real selling point. It’s unclear why anyone wants or needs a sedan that can outpace Sidewinder missiles. Ludicrous Mode is also impractical to use in a daily driver-type car. Not that it’s Tesla fault or anything. Boosting the 90 kWh battery pack to 100 kWh just adds available velocity for the 30-mph-t0-60-mph half of the journey, but enabling the motors to suck more juice from the battery.
The problem is that the Model S, in all its trim levels, looks that same. The hokey pokey old 60 non-D version (rear-wheel-drive only) is more-or-less indistinguishable from the top-of-the-line P100D. The look is good; Tesla has designed its cars to be scalable, so that it can dispense with model years and only make periodic tweaks, as it did recently by changing up the front end on the S. The overall impression is sleek and technologically sophisticated — Silicon Valley minimalist.
But this is a Ferrari LaFerrari:
And this is a 918:
There’s a reason why the world’s fastest cars look absolutely bonkers. The people who cough up millions to buy them want their rides flagrantly advertise their capabilities. Flamboyance is all part of the the obnoxious fun.
Tesla’s approach is far more subdued. “Oh yeah,” the Model S P100D says with a shrug, “I can do 0-60 in 2.5 seconds. Who wants to know?”
But this attitude its beginning to come off as a bit ridiculous. A 0-60 mph in-2.8-seconds is more than anyone really needs in a luxury sedan; 2.5 seconds is truly excessive. And excessive needs a more dramatic visual approach. Tesla has been moving away from drama since the debut of the original Roadster, which was based on a Lotus sports car design. But it’s high time CEO Elon Musk and his team gave us a proper Tesla supercar.
But won’t that further distract an already distracted company? Maybe a bit, but a Tesla LaTesla or whatever could be produced in tiny numbers and priced to the Moon. In fact, Tesla is kind of missing a lucrative opportunity here to charge a lot more for its fastest vehicles. Beyond all that, Musk knows supercars. He owned a McLaren F1 and pointed that that legendary machine as the inspiration for the fastest Teslas
An exotic Tesla supercar would compete Musk’s dream: an all-electric car that is 1,000% not a golf cart.
It’s about time.