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I Upgraded to Ludicrous and got Launch Mode!!! Is it worth it? Here is my review.

Discussion in 'Model S' started by cbin97, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. cbin97

    cbin97 Member

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    This last thursday I picked up my newly retrofitted P85DL which also came with the new software upgrade offering "Launch Mode." First off to help put some context to my opinion towards the "is it worth it" debate, I was looking at this decision from a mostly impractical view. A.) the performance it gets you is way cheaper than what you'd have to pay to make any ice to improve it that much, B.) it gets my P85D back up to the king of the hill status and C.) I have always wanted a sub 3 second 0-60 car and a sub 11 second quarter mile car and I am done with ICE so here we are.

    If you are the type that would get better suspension, tires, intake or a chip on your ICE then this upgrade is for you. I feel like for most P85D owners this upgrade is for them as it is 5k as a retro and if you have a P85D you already made an impractical choice as a P85 or even an 85 is plenty of power for everyday driving. This is for the supercar seekers that don't want to leave Tesla to get one.

    First: Can you tell the difference? A Resounding YES!!! I was skeptical at first thinking I am going from 3.2 to 2.6 but man it is a whole new feeling.
    Before you go on I have not done any testing/timing etc... I have driven about 250 miles since I got it and done about 50 launch variations and this review is solely off my experience in those regards.

    You do not need max battery turned on to enjoy "Ludicrous." Ludicrous has replaced Insane mode and is always ready if switched on. Even without turning on Max Battery and without using Launch Control (more on that in a sec) you clearly notice Ludicrous. When you stomp on it there is a little more violence as opposed to before, but what is really different is right after you stomp there is this new "pull" for lack of a better term. If feels as though something is pulling you/yanking you forward even more. It seriously feels like I would imagine light speed. I would often do 0-45mph launches in my P85D to stay under the speed limit but still show people how insane it was. This one really feels different from 30mph on, it does not slow down. You hit 60 and you have not slowed from the initial launch. I have literally hit 60mph by the time I cross the other side of the intersection with this. I live near a wide open 55mph highway so don't fret on my launches, thinking I am doing them in residential or a school zone.

    Second: Where I really notice the biggest difference. Where I noticed the biggest difference in Ludicrous is the sub 55mph when I am rolling say going 40mph and then stomp on it, it feels just like the P85D did from a dead stop. It jolts you just like a dead stop. This is awesome and I love this while driving. Probably the best part of the upgrade. This tapers off after 55/60mph but still at like 75mph is very noticeable compared to before. I would say (this is based off of feeling not actual numbers) sub 60mph it feels like a 30% increase and then you lose about 10% of that as it tapers down every 15mph or so. So at 75mph it is like a 10% increase in power from my previous setup.

    Launch Mode: I am a little bummed I didn't have launch mode before the Ludicrous upgrade as it would of been cool to test the difference, but launch mode is crazy. Launch mode so far in my experience is really suited for the track I don't even think I would do it if an ICE was trying to challenge me at the line because it can be a little hard to time, but I have had it for less than a week so I am sure I will get more comfortable with it. You engage it by pushing down the brake all the way, (the Hill Assist kicks in) then you push the accelerator to the floor and you let go while still holding the brake down this "enables" it. It will say, "Launch Mode Enabled" and the whole car kind of creeks and the back drops and the front of the car lifts up. This is noticeable, my kids were like, "woah! the front lifted." It is like you get cocked into a barrel or pulled back on a slingshot. Or the start of a roller coaster. Then you push the accelerator back down to the floor and it will start to count down from 4s. When you are ready, you let go of the brake pedal to "release" it. It took me a few times as I was alternating the letting go of the brake at the same time as pushing the accelerator. The gist of it is you push the accelerator and let go of the brake already having the "pedal to the metal." I have never had "launch control" in an ICE so I am not sure if it is the same thing.

    But what happens next is weird, you literally take off like a bat out of hell, tunnel vision millennium falcon light speed take off. What is crazy is it isn't "jolting" or violent like when you stomp on the pedal without launch mode. The launch mode is holding it so tight, like a greyhound on a leash, that when you let go it just goes, very smoothly. So it is a totally different experience than just stomping on it from a dead stop with no launch mode engaged. The car is so freaking fast that I doubt I will use this much, without it I am still faster than previous and still faster than every car on the road save 2 or 3. I am looking forward to a day at the track where I can really mess with Launch Mode more.

    Last Thoughts:
    When I reached full battery warmth I noticed more speed in acceleration from both 0-60 and the rolling acceleration, but not too much different in launch mode. It seems as though Max Battery decreases battery much much quicker, but I still need to play with it as a lot of that could be the amount of Pedal Stomping I did in such a short amount of time.

    To me it is worth the $$$$, but again I am a guy that appreciates having a Bugatti killer just as much as I do having an EV. The fact that my Bugatti killer has 5 seats, storage and is an EV is even better. So if you are like me then you will not regret it. If you want more rolling higher speed power then you will not regret it either. With all that said my wife's Model X I will most likely configure as a 90D without the P or Ludicrous but only because I already have one. If I was going to just get one Tesla for my family then I would go all out. I am more interested in range on the X as it will be our "Trip" car.

    Costa Mesa is an awesome service center, always treat me good, text me with frequent updates and take care of me with loaners or rentals. Hats off to their team.

    There you go, I hope that helps. I really didn't have any idea what I was getting into being the 3rd install in Costa Mesa. So hopefully this helps some of you decide yay or nay. I have a neighbor with a P85D and after the holidays when we get back I want to have him drive my car and tell me what he notices. I also want to race mine and his side by side as that would be very telling. I know there was an early video showing an L vs a D and it beat it like the D beats a +. I will come back and update with some more thoughts. Oh also my wife drove it and said, "did you do something different? It feels different." She is the last person to know the difference between any type of car so I thought that was pretty telling as well.

    Last - forgive the grammar etc... I just got done driving 10 hours in one day, but wanted to get this out as I thought a lot about the differences during my drive today. Which was in my ICE SUV and I felt like I was Fred Flintstone using his feet :( Im so done with ICE.
     
  2. MikeBur

    MikeBur ManualPilot

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    Nice review, thanks. +1 rep for you. Also, hadn't realized this was being installed outside of Fremont SC. Anyone know if Seaatle is doing this yet? ;-)
     
  3. tstafford

    tstafford Member

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    Thanks. Nice to get another review from a clear car guy who happens to own a Tesla type (I fit this category too). I had wavered on the upgrade a bit but Yo Mama sold me again and it's nice to see another supporter. Need to ping the Nashville SC after the holidays and see if we are getting anywhere on scheduling.
     
  4. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    If I ever get the greenlight call from Bellevue service center, I'll post about it.
     
  5. tanner

    tanner Active Member

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    Too lazy to delete all the part except what I'm referencing, but it's not 0-60 in 2.6 like the P90D is... Tesla's own site clearly states it's merely a reduction of .2 seconds. Considering the P85D does 60 in 3.1 seconds, that would mean your L upgraded P85D actually does 60 in 2.9 seconds. They also specify that it will NOT give you a P90D-level of performance.
     
  6. MikeBur

    MikeBur ManualPilot

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    Thanks. Dropped by Seattle today, to drop off some things. No kits arrived there yet and they were a little surprised OC were doing these already.
     
  7. spentan

    spentan Active Member

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    Still on the fence whether to do this or not.

    I will be ordering a Model X P90D, (without Ludicrous, as its for the business. P90D is only to get it early), and therefore should get it March/April. Therefore is the 5k really worth it for the next 2 months or so (I don't expect to get the upgrade done earlier than the next 20-30 days).

    That being said, I did check with a Trade-In specialist, and he did say it will make a significant difference to the trade-in value. So maybe I'll just do it.
     
  8. notAmeenPerson

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    Someone else reported that light tire marks were left as a result of launch mode. Did you see any?
     
  9. Caligula

    Caligula Member

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    That's really going to depend on tire, pressure, road surface, and ambient temp... among other variables.
     
  10. BigCity

    BigCity Member

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    My pocket book wishes I hadn't read this thread....now i'm going to obsess over upgrading mine until it happens.
     
  11. InsaneDriver

    InsaneDriver Member

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    Quote from OP : If you are the type that would get better suspension, tires, intake or a chip on your ICE then this upgrade is for you. I feel like for most P85D owners this upgrade is for them as it is 5k as a retro and if you have a P85D you already made an impractical choice as a P85 or even an 85 is plenty of power for everyday driving. This is for the supercar seekers that don't want to leave Tesla to get one.

    This is so true, chasing speed in an ice is expensive. And it's not just a couple of simple items. I had a '99 Corvette FRC, ended up with a Supercharged 408 CID Stroker with 675 RWHP. Had to upgrade the rear end, transmission and clutch, bigger brakes and an improved radiator, new fuel pump and larger injectors. The list goes on and on!!!

    So the ~$5k for the Ludicrous upgrade is an absolute bargain in comparison. Just can't wait for the Dania Beach SC to start upgrading vehicles, hopefully soon!
     
  12. NSX1992

    NSX1992 Member

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    This well written thread needed an update so I will comment. I did a P85D 1/8 mile dragstrip time of 7.37 sec at 93 mph at Irwindale. In January I will give Launch Mode a try at the strip for some real numbers. Then when I get Ludicrous another trip to the strip. To the op Irwindale is open every Thursday night from 5 to 10 and the cost is only $20 to race and $10 to watch. Just bring a helmet with you.
     
  13. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Even though I don't own a Model S, I have had the pleasure to drive both P85D, and P90DL...

    The difference between 0-60 in ~3.2s and 0-60 in ~2.8s has a more profound effect on me than I expected.
    I am usually fairly comfortable, and low key about quick acceleration. But getting sub 3s just starts to cause some different physical effects on me.
    For one thing, I would say I can get a "head rush" from the P90DL off the line runs (not even using launch mode). In some ways it suddenly feels like you are standing on your head with blood rushing down, I guess as the car is doing over 1G acceleration. I think we spend most of our lives in a world of 1G downward force, and we get used to that feeling as we can sometimes rotate around to different positions and angles. But when acceleration gets over 1G it can cause (maybe only in some people?) your brain to start freaking out a bit. It can force a bit of a "tense up and hold your breath" response. Maybe if I was driving one more regularly I would get used to it, but for now, it is a novel experience being able to accelerate like that at will. Definitely quickler than the old Ninja super-bike I once had. I never expected to drive a big sedan that was quicker than that thing.
     

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