Model S

Performance Gains after P85D Ludicrous Mode Upgrade

TMC member thimel recently had the Ludicrous mode upgrade installed on his Model S P85D. He carefully measured the performance of his car before and after, and found that Ludicrous mode is worth about a half second to 60 mph and a noticeable increase in power at all speeds up to 80.


Just how much faster is the the P85D with Ludicrous Mode upgrade? According to Tesla Motors Club (TMC) member thimel, the performance gains are significant, to the tune of 19% more power above 30 mph and a drop in 0-60 time from 3.2 to 2.9 seconds. Quarter mile time also drops from an already quick 11.8 seconds to an astounding 11.5 seconds.

thimel carefully measured the performance of the P85D both before and after the Ludicrous Mode upgrade. The performance data was then meticulously charted and plotted, painting a clear picture of the performance differences from the $5,000 retrofit.

Performance Chart P85D Ludicrous Mode Upgrade

[Image source: thimel via TMC]

According to thimel’s post from the TMC forum, “I started the before Ludicrous tests early in the morning and had not driven the car for many hours, but had charged it that night. The ambient temperature in my garage that morning was 59 degrees and it was 50 degrees outside during the tests. I started with a 90% charge and by the time I was done the charge was 70%. Creep mode was off to help avoid a very slow start. Insane mode was on of course. Climate control was off.

“I drove a few miles before starting the first test but did nothing else to warm the battery. I drove 5 miles at moderate acceleration and speeds between acceleration passes. This was both to give a chance for things to cool down and to return me to the same starting point for each acceleration shows the Ludicrous mode upgrade it worth nearly a half second in the sprint to 60 mph and several more miles per hour at the end of the quarter mile. ”

Next he charted his power and speed against time and found power to range from 380 kW, before the Ludicrous upgrade, to 451 kW after the upgrade with the Max Battery Power setting on. The setting heats the Tesla battery to a higher temperature thereby reducing its impedance and increasing current to provide short term acceleration and performance gains.


thimel chart 2

The biggest boost in performance after the Ludicrous upgrade happens above 30 mph. Below that, performance is about the same. But with Ludicrous mode engaged, there is a sizable increase in available torque. Before the upgrade, lateral acceleration reaches approximately 1.15 g at 15 mph, then falls below 1 g after 25 mph. After the upgrade, lateral acceleration peaks at 1.1 g and continues to pull over 1 g until slightly past 30+ mph. Most notably, the acceleration is consistently above the pre-Ludicrous Mode upgrade all the way until 80 mph.

P85D Ludicrous Mode acceleration

[Image source: thimel via TMC]

In his notes, thimel makes some interesting points. “Above 30 mph, ludicrous clearly has more power. This is seen directly with the PowerTools readout…..which shows the maximum power increased from 380 to 451 kW, a 19% increase and by the shorter times to achieve speeds above 30 mph. The max power measured from the battery was 451 kW. This compares to 458 kW that Pete90D measured on his P90DL. So the battery doesn’t make much of a difference. The 0-60 time I got of 2.89 is also nearly identical to that Pete90D got of 2.901.”

He ends his post with this conclusion: “The P85D with ludicrous upgrade is significantly faster than without. There is 19% more power above 30 mph, 0-60 time drops from 3.2 to 2.9 seconds and the quarter mile time drops from 11.8 to 11.5. So it was fast before and is faster now. You get about two-thirds of the improvement if you don’t heat the battery with max battery power.”

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