Thanks to a new software update, the Tesla Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode can run from 0-60 mph in 2.28 seconds, according to . That makes this Tesla quicker than the 949-hp Ferrari LaFerrari–an especially astonishing feat when you consider the P100D weighs nearly 5000 pounds. So, how is the super-Tesla able to put down such outrageous acceleration times?
According to our friend Jason Fenske at Engineering Explained, the Tesla's face-melting acceleration comes down to three factors: Big power (680 hp in the P100D, with instantaneous electric-motor torque); all-wheel-drive traction; and superior grip. The last one is the most interesting, and effective, so that's what Fenske spends the most time exploring.
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Fenske explains that by using a car's braking distance figures, you can calculate the quickest acceleration it's capable of. This is because when a car is braking at its full capacity, the tires are utilizing their absolute maximum grip—and theoretically, given infinite power output, that's the maximum grip the car can take advantage of during acceleration.
Using a 102-foot 60-0 mph braking test, Fenske calculates that the quickest possible 0-60 acceleration for a P100D is 2.32 seconds. Motor Trend's 2.28-second acceleration run is slightly quicker than Fenske's theoretical number, but as he details in this video, the discrepancy can be attributed to certain rounding assumptions made in the calculation.
Fenske also goes on to explore whether the smaller, lighter Tesla Roadster would be quicker than a Model S if equipped with the P100D drivetrain and batteries. The answer is yes—but only if the Roadster managed to be lighter than the Model S with an identical drivetrain.
Basically, that means that even quicker electric cars are coming, provided they can keep their weight down. Whether they'll come from Tesla or elsewhere remains to be seen.