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Best settings for P85D launch / drag racing?

Heading to the local drag strip this weekend for some fun.... Friday night is 1/8 mile street racing (drivers can challenge other drivers to a race), and Saturday is test and tune day, so can do 1/4 mile solo runs. Figured I'd get an Insane mode baseline and will do it again after I get the Ludicrous mode retrofit/upgrade.

Just wanted to check if there are any non-obvious tips for maximizing the car's launch?

I assume:

- drop the adjustable suspension to lowest setting (minimize air drag)
- be in Insane mode, with as much charge the battery as possible
- turn off all battery sucking things - kill climate control, dim display brightness, etc.
- drink a Red Bull and nail a good reaction time :)

Anything else I'm not thinking about? Hope to record the fun so will report back with the results!
I'm pretty sure none of these except the battery SoC will have any meaningful effect - they all seem like one percent sorts of things. I don't have any additional suggestions.

Testing on a thread here suggests the SoC does make a pretty big difference, though...

Yeah, sort of assumed that was the case. That said, want to make sure I do all the little things too. No excuses! :)


Electrical Engineer
Aug 8, 2012
Dimming the display isn't going to make any measurable difference. Same with pretty much all the 12v accessories.

Lightening the load in the car is probably the best tip. Take out everything you can that's not essential. I'd even remove the passenger seat, it's got to be 50+ lbs with all those motors and things!

When they build race cars out of stockers, they usually pull all the interior stuff out, which usually adds up to hundreds of pounds!
Lower tire pressure. The traction is in fact limited, the traction control is what keeps the tires from spinning. Pull the stability control fuse if you doubt me- you will promptly get 4 wheel burnouts! Lower tire pressure will gain you more traction (by increasing contact patch) at the expense of rolling resistance. For drag racing, traction is more important than rolling resistance.
I thought I read that "you must raise your foot off the go pedal and STOMP it to get max launch" ? Perhaps just a quick step is needed. I'm sure it has been talked about before along with a reason a "launch" mode is not necessary.

That's the rumor...I don't know of anyone who has ever provided a detailed explanation for why this may be the case, but an early P85D review stated that stomping the pedal is the way to get the best times out of the car: 2015 Tesla Model S P85D First Test - Motor Trend

I've done my share of Insane mode launches, never timed, and it rearing back and stomping the daylights out of the pedal as quickly as possible seems to feel faster than just pushing it like you would with an ICE.
In a traditional Christmas tree start, you will get the best time by mashing the pedal when the final yellow light illuminates. If you wait for the green, you'll actually get a quite slow reaction time.

Looking at the shape of the side mirrors, I'm not convinced they are more aerodynamic folded in, nor that even if they are that it would have a measurable effect. I'm quite sure minor electrical drains like the displays are not going to matter much either.

I would expect lower tire pressures to make a slight, but measurable difference. I'd also be super-curious to see someone run a set of drag radials, ideally on a lighter weight rim.

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