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What is Tesla Ludicrous? And why is it called so strange?

The “Ludicrous Mode” is a performance update for Tesla Model S and Model X performance models, and it’s activated in the vehicle settings. The name comes from the film Spaceballs, in which the speed of the spaceship is described in this way. But what makes the Tesla Ludicrous mode so crazy?

Quite simply, vehicles with this option can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in under three seconds. With the Ludicrous option, the maximum power of the vehicle is released.


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Ludicrous provides the additional kick to accelerate your Tesla even faster than the performance models already can. Most of the time the Ludicrous mode was optional and subject to surcharge. In September 2019, it was included in the purchase price of the Performance Model S and Model X. Newer Vehicles with Ludicrous are identified by a horizontal red line under their vehicle badge. Normal Performance models without Ludicrous have only a silver line under their vehicle badge:

The following table shows the differences in acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h between the P models with and without Ludicrous

Model Swithout Ludicrouswith Ludicrous
P85D3,3s *3,0s
P90D3,3s *3,0s
Performance Long Range3,2s2,6s

* Insane Mode

Model Xwithout Ludicrouswith Ludicrous
Performance Long Range3,6s2,9s

Details of the different Tesla Ludicrous modes

Tesla Insane mode

The Insane mode was introduced at the end of 2014 with the introduction of the Model S P85D. Insane mode was standard on the P85D. In July 2015, the optional Ludicrous mode was introduced, which replaced the Insane mode.

Tesla Insane+ mode

The Insane+ mode is only available in the Model S P85D models and the older P90D models that have not been upgraded to the paid Ludicrous option. This mode is activated in the same way as the Ludicrous+ via a button in the acceleration settings and offers the possibility to preheat the battery to the optimum operating temperature for maximum performance.

Tesla Ludicrous mode

Usually, the Ludicrous mode was only available for an additional charge. But sometimes it was sold as standard with the performance model. The cost of the option fluctuated over the years between approximately 11’000 and 15’000 EUR. For the P85D, the subsequent Ludicrous update is no longer offered since the end of 2017.

Tesla Ludicrous+ mode

Currently, produced vehicles only have the Ludicrous+ mode. This means that the battery is first preheated to the optimum temperature for maximum performance. After that, the Launch Mode can be used to get the absolute maximum acceleration. The Launch Mode is activated as follows:

  • Preheat the battery using the Ludicrous+ switch in the settings and wait until the battery is fully preheated (energy display in the instrument cluster).
  • Keep brake pedal pressed.
  • Press and release the power (“Gas”) pedal. Release the brake. The message “Launch Mode activated” should now appear on the display.
  • Then hold the brake down, apply current fully, release the brake – and off you go!

Originally intended as an Easter Egg, the Ludicrous+ mode was introduced in a hidden menu that could be accessed by pressing the normal Ludicrous button for five seconds. It was then added as a “Max Battery” option to the acceleration options. Meanwhile, “Ludicrous+” and “Insane+” have been given their switch in the acceleration settings:

Ludicrous Einstellungen
Settings for acceleration

There are also many YouTube Videos with Ludicrous mode reactions.

In spring 2020 Tesla introduced the “cheetah stance” for the new Raven models (from March 2019). By lowering the front of the vehicle, acceleration at launch is further improved.

And Ludicrous at the Tesla Model 3?

There are persistent rumors about a Ludicrous mode for the Tesla Model 3, but I thought it unlikely, as it is a typical differentiating feature to the Model 3. But if the Model S comes soon with the even better “plaid” drive, Ludicrous might still be available in Model 3.


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