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Tesla makes Ludicrous acceleration claims

Big boots: Tesla is comparing the new Model S P100D large sedan performance and practicality to Ferrari and Porsche’s highest performing models.

Model S P100D takes fastest accelerating production car title, says Tesla

24 Aug 2016

TESLA is predicting that a new P100D variant of the Model S large luxury sedan will set new production car records with an estimated zero to 100km/h acceleration time of just 2.7 seconds, while the Model X equivalent breaks records in the SUV segment with a figure of 3.1s.

If the freshly announced Model S and Model X P100D meet the electric car-maker’s expectations they will knock the likes of some serious supercar hardware for six, including the LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder, which can crack 100km/h in 2.8 seconds.

Tesla points out that in addition to the giant-slaying performance, its models offer seating for up to seven and generous luggage capacity, while contenders in the supercar segment that Tesla uses as a comparison have racecar-derived cornering, aerodynamics, braking and top speeds that reach far into the realm of 300km/h as their unique selling proposition.

The car-maker also highlights the far higher price of the supercar pair and their limited production run.

Tesla is reporting the feisty figures in a short release on the company’s blog, but says the numbers are “expected values” and acceleration is yet to be verified in actual tests.

With its new 100kWh battery the latest variant to join the Model S line-up increases its range to a marathon 613km, while the same power pack in the Model X P100D SUV enables a 542km maximum on the EU cycle.

Tesla Australia senior marketing and communications manager Heath Walker was unable to provide exact timing for the P100D variants beyond a launch date sometime in 2017, but suggested that production would be slower than other versions.

“We don’t have delivery dates at this stage, I don’t have any approximates,” he said.

“We’ll start taking orders now but … we’re limited to how many we can produce due to the technicalities around that new (battery) pack. Delivery times will probably be longer than any other variant we’ve had.

“Our cooling system is what is signature to our vehicle but (the 100kWh battery pack) required a whole new cooling system for that vehicle, so that’s why the production is slower at the moment for that particular car.”

For the fastest acceleration, the P100D pair must be switched to the company’s Ludicrous mode, which channels peak current to the brace of electric motors for all-wheel-drive traction and the most effervescent performance.

With a 3.1s zero to 100km/h time, the Model X P100D would become the fastest accelerating SUV on the planet, surpassing the P90D version than manages 100km/h from standstill in 3.2 seconds.

The next closest threat outside the Californian technology firm is the Bentley Bentayga, which cracks the milestone in 4.1s, but if the Model X wants to take the V-max record from the British high-rider it will need to better 301km/h.

Tesla has not yet released maximum speed for either variant, but the Model X and Model S P90D can haul to 250km/h.

In the previous flagship P90D, both models already set high performance standards and Tesla is inviting customers who have already ordered a 90kWh version to upgrade to the new 100kWh battery for an extra $10,000.

Customers who have already taken delivery of their Model S P90D are also offered the upgrade but the fee doubles to include the cost of recycling the used battery.

Orders are being taken for the P100D from now, which rises to about the $176,000 mark before on-road costs for the Model S and $182,000 for the Model X.

Interestingly, Tesla acknowledges the relatively high price of the new flagship but explains that premium models and their more premium prices are required to allow the development of affordable cars that are accessible to a greater audience.

“While the P100D Ludicrous is obviously an expensive vehicle, we want to emphasise that every sale helps pay for the smaller and much more affordable Tesla Model 3 that is in development,” it said. “Without customers willing to buy the expensive Model S and X, we would be unable to fund the smaller, more affordable Model 3 development.”

In Australia, the Model S is already on sale in four core variants, capped off by the P90D, while the Model X launches today. The Model 3 will join the local line-up at a point after late 2017 when its production run starts.

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