Tesla’s Insane Mode apparently wasn’t crazy enough.
The electric-vehicle maker, channeling one of the more absurd moments of the Mel Brooks comedy “Spaceballs,” announced a $10,000 option on its newest Model S variant that runs zero to 60 in a face-stretching 2.8 seconds -- a feature Tesla calls "Ludicrous Mode."
That compares with the now-seemingly leisurely time of 3.2 seconds for the "Insane Mode" setting that’s now included on Tesla’s previous high-end model, the Model S P85D.
“Nobody was asking for Ludicrous Mode because it was too ludicrous,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk told reporters on a conference call today. “Insane Mode has been incredibly well-received. We figured out from an engineering standpoint how to go beyond Insane so we figured we should release that.”
Zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds puts the Model S, a large sedan, in the realm of some of the fastest sports cars on the road today: It’s faster than Porsche’s top-end 911 Turbo S, which needs 2.9 seconds to hit the same speed.
Tesla also announced two additional Model S variants: a new rear-wheel-drive base model called the 70, which will start at $70,000 before any incentives, and a longer-range 90 model that uses a 90 kWh battery for about 300 miles of highway range on a single charge. For current owners, the upgrade from the 85 kWh battery pack would cost $3,000.
The move broadens the Model S range to nine models -- with a mix of rear-wheel-drive, all-wheel-drive and high-performance variants, and a range of battery capacities.
The $10,000 Ludicrous Mode option is available on the P90D, now the top end of the Model S line, which has a base price of $119,200 including destination. Tesla says the car has a range of 253 miles on a single charge.
Buyers of the recently launched awd P85D will be able to upgrade their cars to include the Ludicrous Mode for $5,000, plus the labor cost of the hardware upgrades the new mode requires, including a new fuse with its own electronics and lithium-ion battery.
In addition to the 2.8-second acceleration time, the Ludicrous Mode is good for a quarter-mile time of 10.9 seconds, faster than a Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
The mode will also be available on the upcoming Model X crossover, Musk said today.
Although Tesla hasn’t officially tested the Ludicrous Mode in that vehicle, Musk said he expected it would need 3.3 seconds to hit 60 mph. “That’s mad for an SUV, obviously,” Musk said.