Elon Musk confirms Ludicrous Mode for the Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3
Tesla released fairly little information about the Tesla Model 3 during a widely publicized unveiling at the end of March, but thankfully CEO Elon Musk gets chatty on Twitter. He recently used what appears to be his favorite method of communication to confirm that the Model 3 will get Ludicrous mode.

When asked by a fan if the performance option would be offered on Tesla’s forthcoming $35,000 electric car, Musk replied with a simple “of course.” That not only indicates that the Model 3 will be able to dust other sport sedans, but also that it will cover a very wide price range. Ludicrous mode is a $10,000 option on the Model S and Tesla Model X, after all.

Ludicrous mode adds a “smart fuse” and other safeguards that allow current to flow from a car’s battery pack to the motors (the feature is only available on all-wheel drive cars at the moment) at a faster rate. This improves the responsiveness of the motors, cutting acceleration times. In Ludicrous mode, Tesla says the Model S P90D will do 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, compared to 3.1 seconds otherwise. The Model X P90D takes 3.2 seconds to reach 60 mph in Ludicrous mode, shaving 0.6 second.

Read more: Watch a Tesla Model S P90D race an airliner in Ludicrous mode

A Ludicrous mode-equipped Model 3 probably won’t be that quick, but should still be an invigorating ride. Tesla hasn’t released specific performance figures for the standard version, only saying that it will do 0 to 60 mph in less than six seconds. Expect Ludicrous mode to be offered as an option on a special “P” performance model, just like the Model S and Model X.

The specifics of Ludicrous mode aren’t the only Model 3 mystery. The prototype cars Tesla showed at the reveal had no instrumentation besides one large central screen, which baffled some journalists and fans. Musk subsequently said (again, on Twitter) that this doesn’t represent the final configuration of the Model 3 interior.

Tesla has given itself plenty of time to reveal those details. Model 3 production isn’t scheduled to start until the end of 2017, and Tesla may not even meet that deadline. So far, every one of its car launches has been delayed.

Product Review

The Skagen Falster 2 proves it takes a lot of battery life to look this good

Skagen unveiled the Falster Wear OS smartwatch earlier this year, and not even a year later the Falster 2 arrived. It’s among the most beautiful smartwatches available, and the new model adds more functionality.

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.

Aston Martin bets classic car owners will choose volts over carburetors

Aston Martin has converted one of its most sought-after classic models to run on electricity instead of gasoline. The roadster uses electric components sourced from the upcoming Rapide E sedan.

Did that car just wink at you? Daimler previews car-to-pedestrian signals

Eager to show off progress with autonomous cars and perhaps do some consumer softening as well, Daimler and Bosch previewed car-to-pedestrian communications. A sensor-loaded Mercedes S appears to wink to acknowledge a pedestrian's presence.

Uber is about to restart self-driving car tests but on a reduced scale

Uber is reported to be on the verge of restarting its autonomous-car test program. The company halted it in March 2018 following a fatal accident involving one of its vehicles, but its cars could be back on the road within weeks.

Bosch is developing a Rosetta Stone for autonomous and connected cars

Bosch and start-up Veniam want to create a common language that autonomous and connected cars can use. The two firms have developed a connectivity unit that transcends the national boundaries of technology.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!