Model S

Tesla ‘Launch Mode’ 0-60 Improvement is Questionable

Tesla P90D Ludicrous vs Insane Mode

Tesla has pushed beta software to some Model S cars that includes a new feature – Launch Mode. Drag Times says it improves acceleration times but only by a smidgen. Road & Track it only minimally useful. So what’s the point?

Tesla has recently added a new ‘Launch Mode’ feature in its latest firmware 7.0 update that helps Performance Model S vehicles ‘accelerate as quickly as possible’ (from a standstill). By holding down the brake pedal and depressing the accelerator at the same time, the new feature preloads torque to the wheels thus allowing the vehicle to catapult off the line when the brake pedal is released. Presumably, Launch Mode should make the car faster, right?

If so, the differences are slight. Drag Times tried out the new software on a Ludicrous enabled P90D and found the 0-60 time dropped by a mere 0.04 second — from 2.86 seconds to 2.82. Launch Mode shaved a full tenth off the 0-100 mph time, but was only good for an 0.05 second improvement in the quarter mile. The folks at Road & Track tried it out and came away wondering what all the fuss was about. Their conclusion? “The car is already optimized for maximum thrust; Launch Mode’s affect isn’t really that dramatic.”

With reports of Model S drive unit failures amongst owners, particularly in early cars, some forum users have even gone as far as speculating that Launch Mode might be a way for Tesla to reduce drivetrain wear by dialing down off-the-line acceleration in normal everyday use (when Launch Mode is disengaged). Whether that’s true or not remains to be seen.


Feature Photo credit: DragTimes

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