The Need for Ludicrous Speed: Tesla Produces Fastest Production Car on the Planet
Tesla, the world's staple in completely electric cars just threw down a serious gauntlet in the automotive world that will rattle cages, cause riots, and even divide families, villages and potentially small countries. They have staked their claim to the manufacture of the world’s fastest production car.
In a press conference held on Tuesday, Elon Musk announces that the Tesla Model S P100D equipped with “Ludicrous” mode will now go from 60 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds - for a rock bottom price of $135,000. Just to let you know, the Hennessey Venom GT can also go from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds with it’s 1244 hp, 7.0 LS7 Turbocharged V8 Twin Turbo V8, but it will cost you over a million dollars. The Bugatti Chiron, is also a 2.5 second car, but this one will cost you 2.5 million dollars to own. The McLaren F1 is also in the running with a 2.5 0-60, at $800k. Then there is the SSC Ultimate Aero priced at $750k, but with a zero to 60 time of 2.75, why would you pay 3 quarter million for a snail? There are two quicker roadside contenders however, the LaFerrari with it’s 2.4 second time, and the Porsche 918 Spyder in 2.2 seconds both costing over a million each. However, Tesla argues that with a limited number of each produced, they’re more rightfully classified as exotic hypercars, who’s production has since halted. So, Model S P100D it is!
Haters Gonna Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate.
There’s fury going across the internet over the phrasing used to hype Tesla’s Model S P100D. They’re unhappy with the fact that people are calling it the fastest production car so just to make them happy, we’ll elaborate. While Tesla is the quickest (or interchangeably fastest, if you will) car to accelerate from zero to 60, that is where they are claiming the glory stops. They’re arguing its the quickest accelerating production car, not the fastest. Which, yes, we can agree. A Venom G or a Porsche 911 Turbo or a LeFerrari can all, by definition reach much faster speeds, the Venom up to 270 mph, if given enough runway to do so. So basically, in a longer race the Model S P100D, in line to a “gentleman’s agreement” between Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW to govern the top speed of their vehicles, in good citizen effort to lower automotive racing fatalities, will level out at a top speed of 155 mph and eat the dust of any vehicle with the ability to reach faster speeds.
But then lets sort of also compare the terminology. If a car wins a race, you’d say it was the fastest, right? So if that race was the exact distance a Tesla travels to 60mph at max acceleration, Tesla would be the fastest car. So lets agree to disagree and just admire Elon Musk for the unsurpassed electric automotive engineer that he is, and what he has been able to achieve with his vehicles.
If you’d like we can change the headline to, “The fastest 0-60 realistically affordable, farthest traveling before needing a charge electric production car about to hit the market”, but it just doesn’t have the same the same hype. So the winner of fastest electric car actually goes to a Chevy Corvette called the Genovation eXtreme Electric, which just broke the electric car speed record at 205.6 mph, but this car isn’t readily available to the public at this time, it hits 0-60 in a slopping 3 seconds, and honestly, what would really happen if Tesla removed the 155mph cap on it’s speed and pushed it up to 200?
How did Elon do it?
The power lies in it’s new revised 100-kiollowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack that buyers can upgrade to for only $10,000. If you already own the Model S, you’re in for a $20,000 upgrade fee due to the costs of recycling their 90-kWh packs. That alone makes us pretty interested in knowing what goes into this “recycling process”.
Whats even crazier is that the new “Ludicrous” battery pack will also be available for the Model X sport utility vehicle, which, at 2.9 seconds zero to 60 time, is still far beyond what every tuner dreams to achieve after spending 10-40k on their vehicle and then dumping another 30k over the course of 5 years to modify it. An SUV that goes faster than, well, any BMW ever made? Thats just… LUDICROUS! (You knew it was coming…)
As an added bonus, the max number of miles they drive has been increased from 300 to 315. But lets be honest, no Tesla owner will ever see 315 miles on one battery charge since they’ll be cruising around in Ludicrous mode. It would take some serious self control for any Tesla enthusiast to come close to that.
In order to reach this faster-than-light speed, Tesla needed to reengineer the vehicle battery’s energy density. A major swap has been Elon’s choice of material for the battery’s anode which is what discharges electrons. Typically graphite was always given top billing, but silicon boasts more efficiency, thus resulting in a cell chemistry shift for the new battery pack. It’s using partial silicon in addition to synthetic graphite, with hopes to increase the amounts of silicon as the technology improves.
The Great Debate
Now comes the controversy over the vehicle because it sort of puts it in a league of its own. Especially with it’s comparatively low price tag to any other spectacularly performing zero to 60 vehicle, by a discount of $800k or more, its going to be highly desired and purchased as a sunday car by enthusiasts and millionaires just for it’s acceleration abilities. Some will choose it over slightly slower and more insanely expensive super cars. But will the Tesla Model S really get it’s “street cred” from the automotive community because of it’s all electric nature? Or will it be separated and left out in the cold because, 1. no other entirely electric car is in the same ball park, and 2. no non-exotic, street legal domestic or imported tuner whip will even come close? Can we compare it to the technology in gasoline powered vehicles or is it only fair to judge it against other electric vehicles? Will anyone be brave enough to drag race this Tesla? Will the automotive community give credit where credit is due or will it get shot down and dismissed as you lose sleep at night over a repeated nightmare featuring Ludicrous Model S blowing your Hellcat off the light, meanwhile yelling as it leaves you in the dust, “Eat my electrons!”? Is it fair to put all electric and gasoline cars on the same track, with the same standards or will they need to be judged individually in order for you to not have to swallow your pride for your 8 cylinder beast to being beaten by a small box of anodes? After all, your car also contains a “battery”, does it not? And we know you would have been more than happy to go head to head with it before it was, well, this fast.
We vote, to respect electric, and the engineering genius at Tesla and look forward to owning one or two of these fantastic cars. Well done Mr. Musk, you may take a bow.