Tesla Model S gets 90 kWh battery, 'Ludicrous' acceleration mode

The acceleration upgrade will cost $10,000, slashing the P85D\'s zero-to-60 mph time to 2.8 seconds.

Tesla Motors has introduced several updates to the Model S range, adding a bigger battery, a cheaper entry-level model and an even quicker 'Ludicrous' acceleration mode as an optional upgrade.

The company earlier this year replaced the 60 kWh model with the 70D, an all-wheel-drive variant with a 70 kWh pack and a $75,000 price tag. Now, buyers can opt for a single-motor version with the same battery pack for $70,000, with a range of 230 miles.

"Various purchase incentives mean the actual net price is around $60k and annual gasoline and servicing savings are around $2k," the company notes. "These savings are captured immediately if you lease the car."

Engineers have also developed an advanced 'smart' fuse for the battery. The system has its own independent battery and monitors the current at the millisecond level, firing a pyrotechnic charge to cut the battery if a short is detected.

The intelligent fuse and use of high-temperature Inconel steel for other battery-pack components allows the Model S to use 1500 Amps, up from 1300 Amps. For drivers, the extra current results in a potential 10-percent increase in performance.

If an 'insane' 3.1-second zero-to-60 mph sprint wasn't quick enough for some buyers, Tesla now offers a 'ludicrous' mode that brings the time down to just 2.8 seconds. Drivers can expect to complete the quarter mile in 10.9 seconds, while time to 155 mph has been reduced by 20 percent.

"Model S just got quicker and is now the fastest-accelerating sedan on the road," the company wrote in a Twitter post.

The extra performance carries a $10,000 upgrade cost for new buyers. Existing P85D sedans can receive the new fuse and pack modifications for $5,000 plus installation labor.

For buyers more interested in range, Tesla has also added a 90 kWh variant to the lineup. The extra 5 kWh of battery capacity is said to stretch the 85D's range to almost 300 miles at highway speeds of 65 mph. Official range is set at 270 miles.

"Existing owners can also purchase the pack upgrade, but I wouldn't recommend doing so unless your usage is on the edge of current range," the company said. "On average, we expect to increase pack capacity by roughly 5% per year. Better to wait until you have more time on your existing pack and there is a larger accumulated pack energy difference."

Aside from the existing models, the EV maker suggests it is just two months away from delivering the first Model X units and just over two years from shipping the Model 3.

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