The Model 3 could be the quickest Tesla ever
There could be a new king of the hill when it comes to being the quickest accelerating car in Tesla’s vehicle lineup if the latest tweet by Elon Musk holds true. When asked by @vigneshraju of Twitter on whether the Model 3 will have Ludicrous mode, Musk replied with a simple “of course”.
The remark has left many reservation owners across Twitter and forum groups to speculate on the type of battery, price, and performance improvement Ludicrous mode will bring to Tesla’s entry-level vehicle.
@vigneshraju of course
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 30, 2016
Ludicrous mode was first introduced as an optional hardware upgrade to the Model S P85D: an upgrade that would allow the battery to draw more current, from 1300 to 1500 amps, and allow the electric motors to temporarily produce more power. The end result is unrivaled acceleration capable of catapulting the Model S from 0 – 60 mph in a blistering 2.6 seconds and down the 1/4 mile at 10.9 seconds, according to tests conducted by Motor Trend.
What will this mean in terms of performance when Ludicrous mode is enabled on a presumably much lighter Model 3 with smaller battery pack? And more importantly, how will this upgrade impact the overall cost of the vehicle?
Price of Tesla Model 3 with Ludicrous Mode
Make no mistake that 400k reservations of the Model 3 is largely due to the fact that it has a low cost of entry. At $35k you’re buying proven electric vehicle technology, low cost of ownership (cost per mile), and brand prestige.
We know the base Model 3 will come standard in a rear wheel drive configuration, but add in dual motors – required in Tesla’s top of the line Performance models – electronically controlled air suspension (also required), and the optional rip-your-head-off Ludicrous mode upgrade, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to double the cost of the vehicle. After all the Ludicrous Speed Upgrade on the Model S and X alone costs $10k, and that’s on top of the additional price paid to upgrade to the flagship Performance variation.
All said and done, a fully loaded Model 3 could reach $70k and surpass the base price of the Model S. But that won’t stop 15% of Model 3 buyers from going Insane to Ludicrous.
Tesla Model 3 Ludicrous Mode Performance
We know Ludicrous Teslas are quick. We recently saw the 6,000 pound Model X SUV destroy a Ferrari in a test of acceleration, and we’ve even witnessed a Ludicrous-enabled P90D Model S sedan take on a Boeing 737 jet. But will Tesla allow its entry-level vehicle surpass the performance of an equally-equipped Model S or Model X? The answer is likely no.
Accelerating quickly requires power derived from the battery. Current and voltage affects the amount of power the inverter delivers to the electric motors. But because the Model 3 will likely have a smaller battery, in order to keep costs down, the voltage produced from a smaller battery pack is lower than that of a larger pack, resulting in less power.
The Model S 70D is capable of accelerating to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. Assuming the Performance version of the Model 3 will have a tuned version of the 70D battery with higher voltage, combined with a lower overall vehicle curb weight than the Model S, it wouldn’t be surprising if we saw low 3 second 0-60 mph times. It’s still quicker than Elon’s favorite performance benchmark the McLaren F1, while leaving bragging rights to its older and more expensive siblings.