Is Ludicrous mode just a software update?

Is Ludicrous mode just a software update?

On the refreshed performance Model S (from April 2019) does anyone know if the Ludicrous mode is just a software update?
Looking back Insane/Ludicrous mode also required different hardware but Tesla could have changed this due to production effectiveness. And also up sell Ludicrous mode later on as a software update. | 15 maj 2019

Hard to say. It does require a special pyro fuse to allow higher currents. I also thought the rear motor was selected for best performance. This is done in a lot of industries, where a component is tested and it is required to meet a base threshold, but some percent exceed this by enough of a margin to be sold as a higher performance part.

So it's possible Tesla improved the processes so that every motor is suitable for Ludicrous and include the pyro fuse (and whatever other changes they made), and Ludicrous is just software now, but I suspect not.

kerryglittle | 15 maj 2019

I was at the Tesla SC last month to get steering bolts and air bag replaced and while waiting I inquired about the Ludicrous upgrade on my car from the Insane mode. They said its a software and a hardware upgrade and takes about 8 hours with no problems. Also $10,000.00 Canadian bucks at checkout. They said it wouldn't be worth it for me to knock of a few tenths of a second in quicker time. If I ever trade I would go for Ludicrous or what ever they will call it by them. Think I would rather have a roadster for a change though. Would first have to try one out though first. Not spending that kind of coin without seeing one or driving it.

EVRider | 15 maj 2019

Don't know the answer, but even if a hardware change is required, Tesla can still sell the Ludicrous upgrade after delivery as they've done before.

kerryglittle | 15 maj 2019

I'm sure they can EVRider. What it costs them and what it costs us are at different ends of the scale. Shop labour where I go is $150.00 and hour. Can't see the parts costing a huge amount to them if labour would be approximately $1200.00 that means the parts would be $8,800.00 ??? | 15 maj 2019

Sounds like they replace the motor as part of the upgrade - not cheap, but I don't know the cost. There are also a lot of additional costs beyond parts and labor - Possible increased warranty costs from additional stress, and the software and hardware development costs are not minor. Lastly, it may have as much to do with what the market prices to achieve these performance numbers. With other cars in the high-performance category, it may require a step up in class, costing $30-100K or more additional, so relative to other consumer options, Tesla's upgrade may be a bargain at $10K and the parts and labor costs are immaterial.

I'm not advocating for or against buying it, just looking at some of the things to consider.

Tropopause | 15 maj 2019

OP is asking about the new refreshed models which are sold as either Performance or Performance with Ludicrous Mode. The other refreshed models are the Standard Range and Long Range which don't have the Ludicrous hardware, however I'm not sure if the Performance (without Ludicrous Mode) has the Ludicrous hardware.

srwaterhouse | 15 maj 2019

Were in process of ordering a new build, but we have an inventory "pre-refresh" car on hold while we decided as they are offering a nice discount, its a P100DL that we were told we could take off the L option and save the $20,000. That leads me to believe that it was just a software switch.

I would love to have L but not for $20,000!

He did say the the Performance does have hardware changes from the Long Range so can't undo that option or add it later.

Looking forward to finally becoming an owner, my wife talked me out of it two years ago when I was in the market for a new car, now she wants one! | 15 maj 2019

@srwaterhouse - I think it's trivial in software to downgrade a Ludicrous to non-Ludicrous in software. So the car has the Ludicrous hardware, but it is limited by software and the option does not appear on screen. Interesting that Tesla would do that to sell an inventory car.

Never heard of Tesla going the opposite way, and the fact they take 8 hours to convert a car would point to it being a lot more than a software switch.

Tropopause | 15 maj 2019


That's true because all P100D's were built and sold with Ludicrous Mode (hardware and software) so it's easy to undo the software to downgrade them to P100D w/o Ludicrous. Conversely software alone can not upgrade a vehicle unless the hardware is already there.

In the past P85D, P90D era, the hardware (once it was implemented) was sold on all cars, the software was activated if the buyer paid for the upgrade.

In the case of the new refreshed Performance models Tesla might be following a similar strategy or possibly building two separate lines- with and w/o the hardware.

heartbeat | 15 maj 2019

The initial P85D did not have the hardware. When the P90D came out with Ludicrous a Ludicrous upgrade was offered for $5,000 plus tax for the P85D. The upgrade consisted of replacing the connectors with a better material and required removing the battery. My guess is that now it is a software option as all new cars have the inconnel connectors for longer life.

Tldickerson | 15 maj 2019

@srwaterhouse, save the $20,000. I have the P90D without the"L" and it's plenty fast.

ST70 | 16 maj 2019

@Tldickerson- what is "plenty fast"?

Tldickerson | 16 maj 2019

@ST70, I can beat any car at a stop light with no problem. Just have to watch out for the cops. On the freeway your doing 80 before you know it. Pass a car and your doing a 100. That's "fast enough" or "plenty fast". :) | 16 maj 2019

P85DL faster than a non-ludicrous P90D! When I added ludicrous to my P85D, this biggest acceleration change I noticed was 30-50 or 50-80mph. )-60 was only 0.2-0.3 seconds faster. And yes, back then, the upgrade consisted of thicker wiring harness, Inconel fuse, not just software. | 16 maj 2019


Tropopause | 16 maj 2019

The new refreshed S states 0-60 in 3.0 seconds for Performance model and 2.4 seconds for Ludicrous.

No specs for 1/4 mile but it used to be 10.5 seconds for Ludicrous. I think the post-production Ludicrous upgrade for the P85D's yielded a 0.5 second improvement on the 1/4 mile. 11.8 down to 11.3 seconds.

ST70 | 16 maj 2019

@Tldickerson - OK...I'll play...what's this "any car"? "I can beat any car at a stop light with no problem."

heartbeat | 16 maj 2019

The best ever recorded for a P100DL is 10.638 on dragtimes. In my own case, the Ludicrous upgrade on my P85D was a maximum of 0.3 seconds.

Tldickerson | 16 maj 2019

@ST70, at 72 I quit racing a long time ago but I still like to drive fast and aggressive. My car enables me to do that just fine. I couldn't make myself pay the extra $10,000 for the ludicrous upgrade when I bought the car. I traded in my 2014 P85 for the 2016 P90D with the new facelift due to the looks and the "D" handles a whole lot better in my option. I'm still the first off the line at the red lights. End of the

ST70 | 16 maj 2019

@Tldickerson- Good for you! Keep it up old man! :-) I hope to keep it going at your dad died at 56, but his dad (my Gpa) died at 93 and got to experience the Tesla launch...he did this after a major stroke (he was a P51 WW2 pilot)...he said not bad...finally they are getting a car that can fly like my plane! I hope to get the Roadster before my times up..take care!

inconel | 17 maj 2019

pole position at a traffic light next to the coming Taycan, I guess that's when Ludicrous will come handy :)

kerryglittle | 17 maj 2019

My racing days are over too.... I think. Still debating to take my P85D to the strip just once this year. Finish off whats left of my tires before I get them replaced. In my younger days I used to have a Corvette that I took to the strip and on Slalom courses . Also had a 1971 Dodge Demon with a 340 motor in it. It would beat my Corvette on the strip but didn't handle any where near like the Corvette. Also broke 200 miles per hour on my Kawasaki motorcycle. Ah the good old days. LOL.

Tropopause | 17 maj 2019


Isn’t the Taycan a 4 second 0-60 car? 75D can beat that! :)

inconel | 17 maj 2019

I suspect the Taycan will have a quicker option with 0-60 around 3s