Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) has announced ‘Ludicrous Speed’ upgrade for Model S Sedans, priced at $10,000. The supercharged option will allow Tesla drivers to go from zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds that is faster than high-end models like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche.
Tesla promises that the car will run 155 miles per hour, about 20 percent faster than on a standard P85D. The company will also make the option available to Model X, but it will be a less quick due to the vehicle’s weight. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has described the acceleration as “faster than falling” as the acceleration would generate 1.1 G of force. The Ludicrous Speed option will also require a 90kWh battery upgrade, adding another $3,000.
“It’s just like having your own roller coaster,” said Musk.
The battery upgrade will increase the driving range of lower-end Tesla models by five percent, or 15 miles per charge. The high price tag for the speed upgrade is due to the new circuitry to pour out 1,500 amperes to the Model S’ electric motor. The premium price tag is aimed at well-heeled Tesla drivers as the vehicles will be priced at $130,000 upwards.
However, Tesla is set to offer a cheaper version of the Model S, priced at $70,000 that is $5000 lower than the entry-level model. Musk mentioned that the a new version of Tesla Roadster will have a “Maximum Plaid” option, and will be launched in four years. Production of the model was stopped in 2011, after 2,600 cars were sold globally. The name is inspired from “Spaceballs,” the 1087 Star Wars spoof by Mel Brooks.
Ludicrous speed, 70 kWh rear drive and 90 kWh battery pack http://t.co/kr9A0iXM58
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 18, 2015
During the conference on Friday, Musk said that they are just trying to make awesome cars, when asked about his sales expectations from the speed and range upgrades. Tesla’s shares rose by 2.99 percent to $274.66 on Friday, and has been rising since March, when it hit $181.
This is how they did it, according to Elon Musk’s own words:
While working on our goal of making the power train last a million miles, we came up with the idea for an advanced smart fuse for the battery. Instead of a standard fuse that just melts past a certain amperage, requiring a big gap between the normal operating current and max current, we developed a fuse with its own electronics and a tiny lithium-ion battery. It constantly monitors current at the millisecond level and is pyro-actuated to cut power with extreme precision and certainty.
That was combined with upgrading the main pack contactor to use inconel (a high temperature space-grade superalloy) instead of steel, so that it remains springy under the heat of heavy current. The net result is that we can safely increase the max pack output from 1300 to 1500 Amps.
What this results in is a 10% improvement in the 0 to 60 mph time to 2.8 secs and a quarter mile time of 10.9 secs. Time to 155 mph is improved even more, resulting in a 20% reduction.
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