Tesla Ludicrous Mode sounds great - until you actually use it


Tesla Model S Autopilot

Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider

Brace yourself! The GoPro flew off the dash.

Everybody wants to know about Ludicrous Mode on Tesla's cars. This is the feature that enables the top-line P90D Model S sedan, for example, to go from 0-60 mph in under 3 seconds.


That's supercar fast - faster than some Ferraris and Lamborghinis. In a four-door all-electric car that can seat five.

It feels like you're being launched into orbit, basically. But that's an issue, when you get right down to it. Because Ludicrous Mode isn't that great in practice, or at least in everyday practice. It's best enjoyed in moderation.

Here's why. In a Ferrari or Lambo or other exotic supercar, the setup and aesthetics of the vehicle prepare you for bonkers acceleration. Sitting behind the racing-inspired steering wheel of a Ferrari 488, down low in a tub of carbon-fiber, with a preposterously powerful engine tucked behind your head, you're emotionally and psychologically prepared to go fast. That's the whole point of the car.

Not so in a Tesla. You actually feel quite ... normal behind the wheel. It could be a Honda Accord.


And you do normal things, like have a couple of piping-hot drinks in the cupholders, some stuff not tied down on the seats, a free-range smartphone or two tucked into cubby holes, your pet dog Fido on hand, a large bag of popcorn on your lap, and so on.

You go into Ludicrous Mode. You punch it!

And everything goes flying!

Tesla Road Trip 2016

Matthew DeBord/Business Insider

Ludicrous Mode time? Nah.

This was what happened with my most recent Ludicrous Mode run. I was lucky the Starbucks mocha had mostly been consumed.


Going fast in a Ferrari never gets old because ... it's a Ferrari! But Ludicrous Mode in a Tesla is fun the first few times, and then you just don't want to go through he battening-down process that's required to get ready to fulfill your need for speed.

I can't image how weird things will get when Tesla takes acceleration to the next level: Maximum Plaid.