Even on a soaking wet road, a Ludicrous Mode launch is neck-snappingly fast.
We know that a Tesla launching in Ludicrous Mode is, well, ludicrously fast. Indeed, Tesla claims its latest, top of the line Model S P100D is the third quickest production car there has ever been over the 0 to 60 miles per hour sprint, with a time of just 2.5 seconds (0 to 100 kilometers per hour is quoted at 2.7 secs).
Drag Times took its recently acquired P100D to a drag strip to find out if those astonishing numbers are actually true. But the session was rained out - it has been raining a lot in Florida recently - so driver Brooks just did some demonstration runs. Which were surprisingly quick, given the conditions.
Curious to know exactly how fast the P100D is in the wet, Brooks set up his timing gear and engaged Ludicrous Mode. A scant 2.72 seconds later, the car blasted through the 60 mph marker.
As you can see in the video, the road was soaking wet. Achieving that kind of acceleration in those conditions is surely unheard of in a production car.
To put that performance into perspective, the Ariel Atom and Caterham 620R - both lightweight, high power British sports cars - will do 0 to 60 in 2.7 seconds in perfect conditions. But in the wet? You would be lucky to reach the mark in less than five seconds.
But what about the cars that are quicker than the P100D? The LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder posted dry 0 to 60 times of 2.5 seconds and 2.2 seconds respectively, when they were tested by Car and Driver. Being rear-wheel-drive, the LaFerrari would struggle to transmit its 963 horsepower (708 kilowatts) to a similarly wet road in a full-bore launch, even with all the traction control systems engaged.
The four-wheel-drive 918, on the other hand, would probably only lose a couple of tenths, as the P100D did. Especially as its front axle is powered by electric motors, which can respond more quickly to changes in grip than a mechanical 4WD system would be able to.
And it’s the P100D’s four electric motors that are probably the key to its speed in the wet, as well. They are better able to distribute the immense power and torque to tap to the road than a conventional car with a mechanical drivetrain and electric filters would be able to.