Named after a spaceship’s power boost from the 1987 cult-classic Spaceballs, Tesla Ludicrous Mode is designed to give your electric vehicle an extra (ludicrous) jolt of acceleration power.
Introduced in 2016, Tesla Ludicrous Mode dropped the 2016 Model S’s 0-60 mph acceleration time from an already respectable 3.2 seconds to a fiery 2.5 seconds. This power burst is derived from an increased current drawn from the Tesla’s battery and directed toward the electric motors.
If you’re not sure how to turn on your Tesla’s Ludicrous Mode, or you’re itching to learn more about it in general, you’ve come to the right place. Here
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What is Tesla Ludicrous Mode?
Tesla Ludicrous Mode is a performance enhancement setting upgrade that increases peak torque by about 60 percent—allowing your Tesla to accelerate at higher speeds. It does so by transferring energy from the battery to the electric motor.
Ludicrous Mode was improved upon in 2017 with the introduction of Ludicrous Plus Mode, which enables Max Battery Power for even greater acceleration. Essentially, this enables 100% of your battery’s power to go toward the electric motor.
Ludicrous Plus also comes with Launch Mode, which adds an intense acceleration thrust intended for closed circuit driving settings. Doing so requires the battery to reach an optimal temperature, however, which can take up to an hour if your Tesla has been idle.
Whereas a Model S in Ludicrous Mode can take off from 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds, a Model S in Ludicrous Plus can shave that time to just 2.3 seconds. That said, Tesla warns that operating your vehicle in Ludicrous mode for long periods will lower your Tesla’s range and efficiency. Operating in Ludicrous Plus Mode for extended periods is unadvised as it accelerates wear on your Tesla’s motors and diminishes battery power.
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How to turn on Tesla Ludicrous Mode
To put your Tesla in Ludicrous or Ludicrous Plus Mode, all you have to do is press the “Ludicrous” or “Ludicrous Plus” button on the dashboard’s touchscreen. You can find it under the “Acceleration” tab.
Engaging Ludicrous Plus will prompt you to activate “Max Battery Power.” This will heat your battery to a higher temperature than Ludicrous Mode to allow it to have even lower impedance for acceleration and performance.
Engaging Launch Mode is a little trickier than pressing a button, so here’s what you’ll need to do:
- While pushing on the accelerator pedal, depress the brake pedal
- Wait for the touchscreen to signal that the battery has reached optimal temperature
- Release the brake pedal, and enjoy the instant thrust
You don’t have to wait for the battery to reach the optimal temperature to use Launch Mode, but doing so will give you the full thrust power.
How long can you leave Tesla Ludicrous Mode on?
While it’s possible to leave Tesla Ludicrous Mode on all the time, doing so will use about 1% of a full battery per charge—or around 4 miles of range. If you do forget to turn Ludicrous Mode off, most Tesla models will automatically deactivate the setting after three hours.
That said, overusing Ludicrous Mode, Ludicrous Plus Mode, or Launch Mode will cause fatigue damage to your battery which can lead to a long-term decrease in power. It’s therefore recommended that you only use these modes in short intervals.
Which Teslas have ludicrous mode?
Ludicrous Mode was introduced as an add-on feature in 2016 for the Model S P90D sedan and Model X SUV. Though it was discontinued in 2021, you may find Ludicrous Mode equipped in used performance models of the Model S and Model X between those years.
In current Model S and Model X Teslas, the Plaid performance grade offers a similar thrust of acceleration power. Unlike Ludicrous Mode, Plaid’s maximum thrust is always available as it depends on a third electric motor rather than diverted battery power.
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