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Tesla Model 3 Will Have Ludicrous Option

On Friday, Elon Musk was asked on Twitter if the upcoming Model 3 would be available with Ludicrous Mode. Musk’s response was short and to the point.

Tesla has upended the automotive world by making electric cars that outperform almost every car with an internal combustion engine on the planet, including some that sell for $1 million and up. YouTube is replete with videos showing the Model S trouncing everything from polo ponies to Ferraris to 737s in acceleration runs.

Musk’s comment has ignited a storm of speculation on the internet. The Model 3 will be smaller and lighter than a Model S, so it should be faster, right? But it will also offer smaller batteries than the Model S to keep it price competitive. So, it should be slower, right? Ludicrous Mode is a $10,000 option on top of the base price of a Model S P90D. Will the Ludicrous option be the same or less on the Model 3?

No one knows, of course, because Tesla has released very few details about the Model 3. We do know it will be available in rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. Other than that, everything is just speculation at this stage. But what fun it is to speculate! Tesla’s ability to create buzz from thin air is one of its greatest assets.

Ludicrous Mode was first introduced on the Model S P85D. That car was plenty fast enough, but the Ludicrous option allowed the motors to draw more current from the battery — 1500 amps versus 1300–1500 amps. That’s the equivalent of adding an extra cylinder to a gasoline engine.

What’s the secret? Tesla engineers developed a new kind of electronic fuse that could monitor current draw. High-current flow can overheat electrical connections. The new fuse monitors temperature 1,000 times a second and can reduce the amount of current if it detects overheating. The second factor is a battery connector made of inconel, a space-age (and very expensive) alloy developed for NASA. Inconel allows a higher current flow than a conventional connection.

Put the two together, and you get a car that can accelerate to 60 mph faster than if you pushed it out of an airplane, according to Elon. The car is so blindingly fast, it can distort vision and make human eyeballs tear up. The official 0–60 time for the Model S P90D with Ludicrous is 2.8 seconds.

Will a Model 3 be able to beat that? No one knows. But it is awfully fun to think about.

via gas2
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